The NEW Lower Back Plan
Stew Smith, CSCS
We all are susceptible to lower back injuries– military, law enforcement, advanced athlete, beginning exerciser, or sedentary person – we all get back injuries of some sort. The back injuries seen most in doctor’s offices and chiropractic clinics world wide involve the lower back / hip region and can occur from a variety of different causes. According to Dr. Steve Erle D.C. and physical therapist of the Maryland Disc Institute, most of the injuries in the region are lower back muscle pulls or tears, disc inflammation, or the spine itself. These three types of lower back injuries can occur from falling, stretching, lifting, sleeping in an awkward position, or in some cases, no noticeable reason at all. Usually, all occur due to lack in flexibility and balance of hip, abdominal, and lower back muscle strength.
Each of these injuries seems to manifest themselves in the form of the back spasm, which is the body’s way of immobilizing the injury to prevent further injury. Many forms of treatment can be given to these injuries, from heat, ice, anti-inflammatory, electrical stimulation, ultra-sound, pain killers, and muscle relaxers. Some studies have experimented with BOTOX to relax the spasm so the patient can function better and will less pain.
One of the most interesting studies I have heard was the three treatments of 1) Electrical stimulation and massage, 2) Bed Rest and pain killers, 3) nothing but stretching. Strangely, all had about the same full recovery period. The lower back plan discusses and illustrates preventative exercises and stretches to strengthen the torso and create balance between the hips, abdominals and lower back. These three muscles groups often oppose each other and must be equally flexible and strong in order to prevent injury in one or the other. Many advanced athletes may have super abdominals, but have neglected to exercise the lower back. This can cause the lower back stress since abdominals will flex while the lower back stretches. IF the lower back, legs, and hips are not flexible or strong, the lower back will pull involuntarily, usually causing spasms.
More Fitness Resources
As a police officer, you may be sitting for hours in a police car and then required to hop out of your car to chase down a criminal suspect. This requires a foundation of flexibility and proper training in order to accomplish this. There are more exercises and workouts you can follow from any of the eBooks in the PoliceLink Fitness Store or you can surf the article archive at PoliceLink.com for more information on training. There you can learn about fitness, nutrition, injury prevention, and get free tips to create your own plan.
Good luck with the core injury prevention or rehab program. Be careful when starting any exercise routine especially if you have been previously injured. It is always best to consult your doctor or physical therapist for complete programs as all injuries require different exercises.
Get more law enforcement fitness books at the PoliceLink Fitness Store.