Back Pain Exercises with Dr Colin Charnley


I'm Dr. Colin Charnley from Bayside Acupuncture Chiropractic Natural Therapies. I'm here in Cairns and today I'm with Luke, we're going to talk about back complaints. We all have backs and we're all walking on two legs (some of us can't walk on two legs but hopefully we can) and we're all fighting against gravity and as result the spine takes 2/3 the entire body weight rests on this l5 disc at the base of the spine, so if we carry excess weight as a result from central obesity and just too much weight in the front of the abdomen and as a result for our body to be center of gravity we tend to lean backwards and this jams up the facet joints in the back of the spine and you can see how these facet joints ride into each other, so we need to open those facet joints up and get more flexibility in the back because pain, pain always causes contraction and traction then causes more muscle spasms and more muscle spasm the more pain we're going to get. So you want to relieve all that and by doing some simple stretching you can alleviate a lot of back tension.

Now one of the most common complaints that people have because of their back is out of alignment they're not aware but they've actually got one leg short one leg long and you know this because you can test yourself by lying flat on your back, bring both knees up and if one leg is slightly higher than the other one your pelvis rotation is out of alignment. This is commonly seen when people walk down the street they waddle from side to side. It also means that one leg is short one leg long. I'm not overlooking of course the person might have a hip problem or a knee problem or some other problem and the other thing that causes it, is that if a leg turns out that will also cause the pelvis to drop on that side and as you see if the pelvis drops on one side it upsets the whole center of gravity and the person ends up with Scoliosis and complications later on in life.

So we don't want that. So one of the simplest exercises we can do to compensate for all that, is to hang onto a bar above our head, suspend our weight and because that gives us a natural traction to the lower back and by bringing our knees up and down again we're strengthening the core, our abdomen, and that takes 40 to 60% of stress off the lower back, but not only that it also stops this pelvic rotation from happening and that will alleviate a lot of lower back problems, the simple exercise you can do at home. And apart from that I will get Luke to demonstrate for us and while Luke gets hooked up here I'll carry on talking. So be aware of your posture, postures number one with back problems.

If you're slouching in a chair that's not good if you're poor posture, over a computer for long hours, that's not good. Lifting and twisting, if you lift any weights, make it close to your body. Okay Luke take it away Here you can easily see how the muscles strengthen up in the abdomen which then will help the core, the base of the spine and the legs. Fantastic. Thank You Luke that's really good. Apart from all the injuries we do, sometimes repetitive things like digging in the garden, or playing softball or squash.

Back Pain Exercises with Dr Colin Charnley

I've got nothing against exercise believe me, but things that are repetitive are more likely to do injuries and I think I'll leave it at that and we'll come back shortly. I'm here with Eve we're gonna talk about lower back complaints so let's get back to bonesy here, just the bare back of the bones as you might say. Most complaints happen in the lower back and this is because we sit too much in chairs and cars, and as a result our rump basically gets too tight, so and that pulls on the lower back and causes pain down the legs for instance, sciatic pain just for example, that's when the nerves and the lower back get pinched and it causes pain that gravitates down the leg.

Now I must emphasize that if you have pain in your lower back that gravitates down the leg, and it's worse when you cough, sneeze or use your bowels, this is a disc protrusion and please see your doctor as soon as possible and as always seek professional advice if the condition persists. So this is only for basic simple lower back complaints. Now firstly we want to demonstrate how we can traction out l4 l5 and this is basically curling up and rocking on our back. So Eve we'll get you to demonstrate for me. So lying on your back basically bringing your knees to your chest hanging with your hands around your knees, tuck in your chin under and rocking backwards and forwards this is a very simple exercise that anyone can do with any back complaint and you shouldn't have any injuries at all doing that.

Thank you Eve. So without knowing your history or what injuries you've done we're trying to keep these exercises as simple as possible that anyone can do at home without any equipment. Okay the next one we're gonna do is a standing exercise, sorry, we're gonna do another one it's a (rollover face down Eve) sorry we're gonna do what's called the cat and cow exercise and one is we sink the back down, and arch like this and then up again and this helps to pump the blood into the disc and help to relieve lower back complaints.

And the other one is like like a prayer position or you squat back on your knees and stretch forward as far as you can and this stretches and elongates the back, stretches the buttocks and the rump and that helps to relieve the lower back as well and you can stay in that position for just a few minutes until the the pressure eases and as always if the pain persists and it's too much, don't do more injury in keep doing it. Okay now we do some standing poses, these are very simple standing poses, for stretching the lower haunches and basically stretching forward on your hands there could be a kitchen bench or a table you stretch out as far as possible keeping heels on the ground, rotate the buttocks like a hinge stretching the lower back as far as you can and reaching forward as far as you can, allowing the head to just hang. Now this obviously we're stretching the lower reaches of the spine. Another way to do this is just hanging forward with your arms crossed and bending forward. Now this you're not trying to go as low as you can, you're just relaxing and hanging forward, so this is a very relaxing pose, it's very good if you got neck tension as well, but you must relax into it and not force into it. The other one is for the lower back is when you cross one leg in front of the other and just bending forward this also helps to stretch the lower gluteus and help to relieve pressure off the lower back and you do that just for a couple of minutes and then you come up slowly and you do it on the other side. Very simple, that anyone can do at home, so say if there's pain there, and it's too painful just don't force it.

Okay that's all for me, for Colin at Bayside Acupuncture in Brinsmead, and thank you Eve. Thank you Dr. Colln for having me. Thank you very much.

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