Research suggests that back pain in young people can be reduced with increasing levels of activity, improving the flexibility of the leg muscles, and improving the strength of the trunk muscles.
Home exercise programs consisting of stretches and gentle core exercises should be completed on a daily basis. In addition, all young people are recommended to take part in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day – this should range from moderate activity, such as cycling and playground activities, to vigorous activity, such as running and tennis.
Leading a healthy lifestyle
Healthy food choices, keeping active and maintaining a normal body weight, will assist the postural muscles in supporting your body, reducing the chance of low back pain.
Maintaining an upright posture is important for strengthening the core and back muscles and should be encouraged at all times.
Standing: imagine a piece of string is pulling you up straight towards the ceiling – try not to stand with shoulders rounded and knees sagging
Sitting: Sit upright with your back supported. If you are working at a laptop or tablet, sit with it in front of you, not on your knee
Stretches and core exercises
These exercises should be performed on a daily basis and it may be 6 weeks before any improvement is observed.
Hold for 2 minutes on each side
Hamstrings: Lie on floor, one leg stretching up the wall and the other flat down. Feel the stretch on the back of the leg
Quadriceps: Lie face down on the floor. Gently bend one knee, taking hold of your ankle, and pull the foot towards your buttock. Feel the stretch on the front of your thigh.
Core strengthening exercises
Lie on back with knees bent. Slowly slide hands up thighs towards knees.
Repeat x 20
Lie on back with knees bent. Keep one knee very still whilst slowly allowing other to glide out to the side. Slowly bring knees back together.
Repeat x 10 each side.
Lie face down, forehead resting on hands. Slowly lift arms approximately 5 centimetres off the bed. Slowly lower.
Repeat x 20
Lie on back with knees bent. Squeeze buttocks and slowly raise hips into the air. Slowly lower.
Repeat x 20
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