I recently hurt my back again while doing side twists on my Pilates machine. I was over it in one day due to being fit and reading my body correctly.
I was starting my back routine by doing the side twists that have been so helpful in getting a flatter more muscular stomach. As I went to get up, I could feel it; that stiffness in my lower back. I could barely walk. This was in the afternoon on Christmas Eve. About 1 PM Christmas Day, I was able to do my full back routine.
The rehabilitation had to do with stretching out the disk in my lower back. I did straight on stomach exercises and shelved the side movements. I also avoided any downward pressure on the disk by not putting the weights over my head. The more I moved, the quicker the injury loosened up. Sitting and driving only made me stiffer.
My stomach routine involves many exercises that pull my pelvis towards my chest. These in turn help to stretch out the injured area. Here are the four exercises I do while laying flat on my back.
- rotate my hips up by bringing my knees to my chest
- extend my legs perpendicular to my body and then reach up and touch my toes (great for upper abdominals)
- bicycles where I crunch up touching my elbow to the opposite knee
- leg lifts with elevation of my lower back up off the floor at the end of the lift
I did 100 of each of these. I could feel the muscles and lower back stretching out. I was hesitant to do the leg lifts as sometimes they arch my back and cause it to hurt. In the end, they were the saving grace that cured me; especially the part at the end where I pulled my lower back off the floor by forcing my legs straight upward (they are at a right angle with my body at the end of the lift).
By listening to my body and performing the correct movements, I was healed within a day. Learn your body well and give it what it’s asking for. Too much pain means you are doing the wrong repair.