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  • Writer's pictureClaire Harrison

The effects of Gyrotonic expansion system exercise on chronic back pain

Lower back pain is one of the most commonly presented musculoskeletal diseases with about 70–85% of the population estimated to have experienced lower back pain at some time in their lives.

There are several causes of lower back pain, but the most common is nonspecific cause due to degenerative changes in the lower back structure and surrounding tissues. The symptoms of lower back pain include a burning or prickling sensation, usually felt in the hands, arms, legs, or feet, radiating pain in the lower limbs, pain during rest or exercise, decline in muscle strength and joint range of motion, and bilateral asymmetry of the lower limbs. Persistent lower back pain can cause abnormality in the movement patterns of the pelvis, spine, and lower limbs.

Exercises for lower back pain relief include pelvic tilt, muscle strengthening, flexibility enhancing, endurance enhancing and physical function enhancing exercises. However, since lower back pain sufferers generally have weak lumbar extensor muscles (the muscles attached to the back of the spine which allow us to stand and lift objects), it is useful to engage in lumbar extensor strengthening exercises to help build strength in that area.

A recent study of 26 people with chronic low back pain demonstrated the clinical effect of Gyrotonic exercise on back pain sufferers. The group showed significant improvements in lumbar stability. Using the Pulley Tower Combination Unit, the Gyrotonic exercise program consisted of a warm-up session, main exercise, and a cool-down session. Main exercise motions included four movements in the arch and curl series, eight in the hamstring series, one in the upper body series, and two in the abdominal series (for a total of 20 motions). Two movements were used during the cool-down session. The group performed these exercises three times a week for four weeks. The results indicated that Gyrotonic is an effective exercise for mitigating chronic low back pain caused by spinal instability.

The exercise performed using Gyrotonic expansion system uses three-dimensional (3D) movements and a special equipment to not only strengthen the spine but also develop the spine evenly. The core principle underlying Gyrotonic exercise is a movement that creates circles, spirals, and undulation curves, these natural movements improve muscle strength and flexibility along with breathing and collaborative muscle contraction that help stretch each area of the body.

Hayley Oxley has a great deal of experience in helping people with lower back pain and back injuries. If you're suffering from back pain and would like to find out more, please get in touch.

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