Lumbar Stabilization

Lumbar Stabilzation is an active form of exercise used in physical therapy. Research indicates an association between chronic low back pain and muscle weakness and tightness. The trunk and pelvic muscles are most affected. Lumbar Stabilization training can improve the strength, endurance, balance and control of these muscles to support the spine and help prevent lower back pain.

The patient first learns how to find the "neutral" posture. The neutral position is somewhere between an arched back and a flat back. Ideally it is a position that minimizes pain. With the neutral spine posture, the patient performs a series of exercises. During the exercise the arms and/or legs are moved while the trunk and pelvic muscles work to hold the neutral position. A variety of exercise positions are utilized including on the stomach, back, all fours, sitting and standing.  As the patient improves, the exercises are modified to make them more challenging.  This exercise technique relies on proprioception, or the awareness of where ones joints are positioned. Performed on an ongoing basis, these exercises can help keep the back strong and well positioned.

Lumbar Stabilization is a multi-component program and involves education/training, strength, flexibility and endurance. It is generally used during all phases of a back pain episode and may be prescribed after a thorough evaluation of the patient’s specific condition.

The goals of Lumbar Stabilization exercises include:

• Reduce amount of back pain
• Gain control over the movements of—and forces acting on—the spine during
 daily activity  thereby creating a healing environment
• Help heal soft-tissue injury, such as muscle strain and torn ligaments  
• Reduce the chance of back injury due to repetitive motions or sudden movements or stresses

At Therapeutic Systems, Inc., we will evaluate your spine and prepare a specific Lumbar Stabilization program for you. The therapist will carefully observe you going through your exercises and provide correction to ensure the patient develops proper technique that then can be used at home, office or recreation. Once learned, the lumbar stabilization exercise program is designed to train the muscles to maintain this neutral spine position subconsciously, quickly and automatically

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