Low Back Strain Disc Herniations: Hip Flexor Stretch

Kneel down onto your left knee. Then rotate it about 45 degrees past the midline of your body. To keep your posture nice and tall imagine there’s a string pulling your whole spine upwards from your pelvis, right up your entire back and neck and up to the top of your head. Then engage your inner core muscles tight below your belly button and keep your low back flat. Next, bend the right knee forward and keep your posture nice and tall without leaning backwards. Then reach your left arm up pointing the fingers towards the ceiling nice and high and point your right finger tips to the floor. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times for each side. This stretch can help with low back strain due to disc herniations. If you experience pain and continue having problems then consult your Physiotherapist.

Low Back Strain Injuries: Ball Walk Outs

Start by pulling in your inner core by making your waistline skinnier below the belly button. Then roll out into a plank position on the ball in full control with a flat spine. Lift one leg off of the ball with full control while keeping your hips level with each other. Try to keep you toes pointed to the floor as much as possible and lead with your heal. Do 3 sets of 5 repetitions holding for 5 seconds on each side to start. Then progress to 3 sets of 5-10 repetitions holding for 10 seconds when stronger. Plank walk-outs on a ball is great for strengthening your core in coordination with strengthening your posterior hip and gluteal muscles. This can help with a faster functional recovery and prevent future lower back strain injuries in sports and everyday physical activity.

Low Back Pain: Core Stability Strengthening

Start off with one hand below your belly button and pull your inner abdominal muscles downward. Imagine you are making yourself skinnier at your waistline. Put your other hand by your low back to make sure you keep it nice and flat. Slowly lift one bent knee up towards the chest, followed by the other knee while keeping your core engaged, low back flat and breathing into your diaphragm. Then slowly lower one leg down at a time. Repeat this for 3 to 5 minutes as a basic core stability strength exercise 4 times daily. To progress and increase the difficulty of this exercise, start with both knees and both arms straight up in the air. Reach one arm up above your head towards the ground and lower your opposite leg straight down to the floor while keeping your core engaged, back nice and flat and breathing into your diaphragm. Return the arm and knee back to the start position and do this for the other arm and leg. Repeat this alternating pattern with the arm and opposite leg for 3 to 5 minutes 4 times daily. This is the “Helpless Turtle Pose”. If you are experiencing any acute or sharp pain consult your Physiotherapist before doing either of these exercises. 

Anterior Hip Pain- Hip Flexor & Core Strengthening

This exercise is called the Psoas March and it’s really great for increasing your hip flexor strength with your core and also with giving you that explosiveness and really awesome if you have issues with your SI joint and your hip joint. So we’re going to start off by actually having Vivian lying down flat on the mat and she wants to make sure that her low back is nice and flat; So that’s what the hands going to feel for so there’s no arching of the lower back. And you want to have this hands just below the belly button and that’s just going to help you engage that core a little more and you’ll feel a facilitation of that transversus. And you’re going to bring both knees up: So you want to have them up above ninety degrees… So here’s ninety and you want to go a little further. And then you’ll be wrapping a band around your feet and with the band you want to have it around the feet like this with the legs out a little bit with tension and parallel so they’re like train tracks. So you’re going to start in this position. The hardest part it is going to be maintaining the knee that isn’t moving up so it doesn’t move down with the other leg. So you’re going to start by holding this knee up while pressing down with this one all the way down… nice, and come back up nice and slow. Great! And Alternate. So all the way down… and then all the way back up. Great! And then.. that’s one… So do one on each side. Great! Keep Breathing… keep that core intact. Looks awesome Viv! Come back up. Thats’ two. Feeling good?! Good! This is your third one on the left. Awesome! And third one on the right. Great! So two more. Try to maintain that core with the back nice and flat… all the way down… and all the way up. Great! So this is the fourth one on the right. Ok, Last one. Great… and one more. All the way down. Great. Great! So bring your legs back down. So that’s just three sets of five. So you want to start off doing three sets of five and if you feel like you can up to three sets of ten then that’s what you want to work towards. 

Anterior Hip Pain: Eccentric Hip Flexor Strengthening

Start off with one hand below your belly button and pull your inner abdominal muscles downward. Imagine you are making yourself skinnier at your waistline. Put your other hand by your low back to make sure you keep it nice and flat. Then point both hands up and bend both knees to 90 degrees keeping the low back flat. As you slowly lower one leg straight to the floor bring your opposite arm up above you. Keep your inner core engaged and low back flat. Return the arm and knee back to the start position and repeat this with the opposite arm and leg. Repeat this alternating movement with the arms and legs 2 minutes 3 times daily. This is an excellent exercise to help strengthening your Iliopoas and Iliocapsularis muscles which can help decrease your anterior hip pain by stabilizing the front of the hip capsule more. If you have pain during the exercise or are unsure about what you are doing, consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing.

Shoulder Pain: Pectorals Muscle Stretch

Stand beside a door frame or corner of a wall. Keeping your back straight and your inner core engaged, bring your arm up against the wall with the elbow and shoulder bent at 90 degrees. With the arm planted on the wall, draw your opposite shoulder back followed by your torso in a straight line. Keep the back straight and core engaged. Hold this for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side 2 times per day. The tightness in the Pectoralis muscles can cause abnormal movement in your shoulder and can give you pain and dysfunction. Non optimal computer desk and sitting postures and performing activities and sports with a repetitive nature like climbing, volleyball, or any throwing sports can cause these imbalances. If you have pain or if you’re unsure about how these exercises affect your shoulder pain, consult your physiotherapist before continuing.

Elbow Pain: Biceps Stretch

Place the thumb side of your hand facing forward firmly against a door frame or corner at the level of your hips. Keep the elbow bent to start. Then straighten the elbow and hold for 30 seconds doing 3 sets. The biceps muscle attaches just below the elbow and tightness here can sometimes be a source of pain for this area of the elbow. If you do activities or sports involving repetitive elbow flexion with twisting then this could be a source of pain in your elbow. If you are unsure about your elbow pain or about this exercise please consult your local physiotherapist before continuing. 

Shoulder Rotator Cuff Strain: Scapular Muscle Strengthening

After straining your rotator cuff, retraining the muscles of the scapula is an important aspect towards full functional recovery with any activities or sports at or above shoulder height. You can do this without a weight at first to practice your technique, and if you are feeling confident with this then you can start with a 3 to 5 pound dumbbell. Start lying down on your back with your knees bent and your low back core stability muscles engaged. Straightening up the arm, begin to raise the dumbbell up towards the ceiling. Then at the end of the movement protract and lift your scapula up off of the floor with a focus on the posterior muscles doing the work and not your pectorals muscles. Do 15 lifts of the scapula for 3 sets daily. If you are unsure about your shoulder pain or about this exercise please consult your local physiotherapist before continuing.

Anterior Hip Pain: Iliopsoas & Iliocppsularis Muscle Strengthening

Anterior hip pain could be the result of a weak hip flexor causing the joint to be impinged and move out of its dynamic stability in everyday use such as walking, running or sport. Begin by slouching forward on a bench or chair grabbing the back of your thigh with both hands. As you sit straight up again lift the knee towards your chest with the help of your hands. With your core stability muscles engaged, slowly lower the thigh to allow the foot to reach the floor as you release your hands. Repeat this 5 times on the affected hip for 3 sets. If you have pain during the exercise or are unsure about what you are doing, consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing. 

Anterior Hip Pain: Advanced Hip Muscle Strengthening

A weak hip flexor can cause the joint to be impinged and move out of its dynamic stability in everyday activities such as walking, running or playing sports. Begin this advanced hip flexor exercise by engaging your lower abs and doing a poster pelvic tilt with your pelvis. Grab the front of the bench or table with your hands and keep your feet firmly planted on the floor. Slowly lower your torso backwards while maintaining the posterior pelvic tilt to as for back as possible without falling backwards or losing the posterior pelvic tilt. Then slowly return back to the start position again. Repeat this 5 times on the affected hip for 3 sets. You can even have a partner assist you by holding down your thighs and legs to help stabilize the lower extremities. If you have any pain during the exercise or are unsure about what you are doing, consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing.