Low Back Pain disturbs the ability to accurately determine the position body parts in three dimensional space. People in back pain often position themselves in pain producing postures without being aware of their position. Typically, sitting with the low back bent (flexed) when the back is painful in flexed positions.
Perception (proprioception) exercises to restore the 3 dimensional awareness of how to move and position the back.
With this awareness, it becomes easier to adopt positions that are stronger, more functional and more comfortable. Perception exercises are designed to train the brain to recognise the position the back. Training the brain for proprioception begins with carrying out small, slow and smooth movements that are without pain or unnecessary muscle activity. These movements should be progressed towards more difficult movements to perceive and require your complete focus of attention to complete.
Training movements close to the center of zone 1 helps the body build an image of the movement in the brain.
Large and fast movements are easier to feel and may be necessary in the early stages of rehabilitation.
If movements become automatic, they offer minimal rehabilitation as they involve no learning and are easy for the body to perceive.
Movement exercises for improving perception are detailed in the Back-in-Rehab Programme.