Physiotherapy, or physio as it’s sometimes called, is a form of physical therapy that restores, maintains, and improves your mobility, functioning, and overall well-being. We’re going to explore what is physiotherapy in depth within this article, as well as provide some helpful physiotherapy exercises for lower back pain and other types of common pain.
If you go to the gym and work out, you may sometimes (or often) find yourself becoming incredibly sore, especially if you have really pushed yourself during your workout routine. You may have even injured yourself or almost done so. Well, physio can come to the rescue.
Physiotherapy is a great option if you want to prevent injuries, restore your body to its peak performance capabilities, and improve your overall health. Specially-trained physiotherapists can help you restore, maintain, and maximize your recovery and function. Oftentimes, the terms ‘physiotherapy’ and ‘physical therapy’ are used interchangeably. This means you probably already know what physiotherapy is without knowing it!
Thanks to physio, you can enjoy all of the following benefits:
- Improve your strength
- Increase your flexibility
- Increase your mobility
- Breathe more easily
- Reduce pain-free
- Stay active
- Prevent physical and sports-related injuries
The focus of physio is on preventing injuries and recovering from them. Depending on what kind of injury has been sustained, different exercises, massage, and movements will be done.
Here are some common issues people face that are alleviated thanks to physiotherapy:
- Neck pain and back pain
- Problems involving bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments
- Pelvic issues
- Reduction or loss of mobility due to trauma sustained by the spine or other issues
- Reduction in muscle strength
The sooner you engage in physio, the quicker you’ll be able to get back into the gym and operating at your peak performance levels.
Physiotherapy Exercises for Lower Back Pain
While you can get physiotherapy help and guidance from a professional, you can also do some helpful physiotherapy exercises for lower back pain at home. Here are some useful physiotherapy exercises for lower back pain you can try out at home.
Your transverse abdominis is the muscle supporting your entire back. If it’s not strong, you may be risking greater injury and lower back pain. If you are like most people, you have a weak transverse abdominis. Thankfully, you can strengthen it with some deep abdominal stretching.
You will want to start out by lying on your back, with something soft underneath your head. Next, bend your knees while making sure they are touching the floor and staying hip-width apart. Tuck in your chin while relaxing your upper body. Inhale through your nose. Then, exhale while drawing in your stomach toward your spine. Maintain the position for five seconds. Repeat this exercise a handful of times.
Strengthening your lower stomach area is also important when you are working out a lot. These muscles exist to support your lower back. This means that when they are weak, you can get sore and injured more often.
You will want to start out by lying on your back, while your feet at flat on the floor and your knees are bent. Inhale first, and then exhale while bringing your right knee toward your chest. Let your foot go back onto the floor once you’re ready to inhale again. Repeat this six or more times for each leg.
Your lower back is going to need to get moving if you want to recover quickly. That’s why the Bird Dog is a great exercise to do. You start out by getting on your hands and knees. Your knees should be hip-width apart while your hands are right under your shoulders. Maintain a horizontal spine.
Take a deep breath in. On the exhale, stretch out your right arm and left leg, ensuring both are parallel to your spine. Hold this for ten or more seconds. Finally, bring your arm and leg back down while you are inhaling. Repeat this exercise on each side.
The Pelvic Tilt is a great physio exercise for lower back pain. Start out by lying down on your back, with something soft under your head. Then, make sure your keep are both flat on the floor. Your feet should be hip-width apart while your knees are bent. Your chin should be tucked in while your upper body stays relaxed. Get your back to become flat on the floor as you squeeze your stomach.
To get started, turn your pelvis toward the heels. The key here is to feel those back muscles doing their job. Put your right hand on your stomach, while your left hand goes underneath your lower back. Repeat this 5-10 times.
Bridge is a classic back-strengthening pose that can be very helpful with strengthening your back. Start off by laying down with your feet hip-width apart. You’ll want to keep your knees bent as well. Then, inhale and lift your hips. While exhaling, keep your shoulders, spine, and hips flush with one another. While inhaling, lower your body back down to the ground. Repeat this several times.
Physiotherapy Exercises for Knee Pain
Besides lower back pain, knee pain is common for people who work out and sometimes push themselves too far. Here are some of the best physiotherapy exercises for knee pain you can do at home.
Your hamstrings are located on the backside of your thighs and connect to your knees. This exercise will stretch and strengthen them. You will be stretching one at a time.
To start, lay down while keeping your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Raise your left leg, keeping it bent, and bringing it toward your chest. Link your fingers together behind your thigh. Then, straighten out your leg as best as you can, bringing it toward your head. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds. Finally, bend your knee slowly and return it to the ground. Repeat this once for each leg.
The Single-Leg Dip strengthens the muscles in your thighs while also working the glutes. You will want to start out by standing between two chairs. Hold onto them in order to maintain your balance. Next, raise your left foot about a foot off the floor, stretching it in front of you.
While your leg is straight, start to bed the other leg while lowering your body a little bit. You want to pretend that you are sitting down. Maintain this position for five seconds. Then, come back up. Repeat this exercise four times on each leg.
Besides doing a leg dip, you should also do a leg raise. Doing so will strengthen your quads, which is the biggest muscle group on the front of your thighs that is connected to the knees.
To start, lay down flat on the floor while your arms are at your sides. Straighten your left leg as you engage your leg muscles, keeping your toes pointing upward. Lift your leg a few inches off the ground while engaging your core. Hold this for five seconds. Then, bring your leg back to the ground. Repeat this four times on each leg.
A half-squat is similar to a squat, except it is not as intense. You will be strengthening your thigh muscles and working the glutes.
Start out by standing with your feet at shoulder-width apart. Stretch out your arms horizontally in front of you. Begin bending your knees slowly until you look like you’re sitting. Keep your back straight while doing the exercise. Hold the pose for five seconds. Next, start raising your body back into a standing position, keeping your back straight the entire time. Repeat this ten times.
The last exercise for knee pain is a leg stretch. This is an easy physio exercise to do that will strengthen your quads, reduce stress, and increase blood flow throughout your body. Start off by sitting down on the ground while keeping your legs stretched out in front of you. To maintain stability, you can put your hands on the ground on either side of you. This is going to help you keep your spine straight.
Next, start bending your leg slowly until you feel a nice stretch. Go up to the pain but not into the pain. Hold this position for five seconds. Then, straighten out your leg and hold that position for five more seconds. Repeat this exercise ten times for each leg.
Physiotherapy is an excellent way to improve your mobility, recover from sore or injured muscles, and increase your overall health and well-being. Massage modalities like sports massage can be part of a physio program you follow that can speed up the recovery times you will have when you go hard at the gym. Now that you know all about physiotherapy, it’s time to give your body the TLC it needs. Feel free to book a free consultation in our Canary Wharf studio.