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How to ease lower back pain

physical therapist massaging hertford

Many of us wake up with stiff, tight or sore lower backs. Often this is because we don’t do the right things during the day, we sleep in awkward positions and we don’t look after ourselves enough. I find the best way to combat these chronic pains or aches is to counteract the damage we do when living our day to day lives.

Lower back pain can range from severe debilitating muscle spasms, to a mild ache that eases as the day goes on but always returns as you are getting into bed. Often, I see that patients have bad posture habits, poor body control and they lack spinal mobility and strength. Starting a simple movement routine may aid your issue and improve your symptoms.

Please follow this link to see a video clip demonstrating the below routine.

I start with hugging my knees in to my chest. This allows me to see how stiff my lower back is, it also allows me to relax my shoulders and start to open the chest. I do a few hugs and circles in both directions. I then hold one knee to my chest and allow the other leg to straighten. I start to mobilise my hip and gentle stretch my gluteal muscles.

To start to engage my thorax I sit and so some gentle extension. Opening up the chest and supporting my neck. This movement allows my abdominals to feel a slight stretch and I can feel my spine start to move. I then do some gentle rotations, locking my fingers together allows me to engage some of my back muscles and muscles that support the scapula. To finish the spinal movement I always add some gentle backbends. These need to be performed carefully and with no pain.

Why are backbends good for us?

Many of us spend many hours in one position, often bent forward unsupported or leaning over. We don’t often think of stretching out the front of our bodies to aid with pain found on the back. Backbends can be a great way of releasing tension in our spines, chests and even shoulders. By encouraging spinal extension you can decompress the front of the vertebrae and allow a more fluid movement. You should not hinge from the lower back but preform a whole spinal backbend. As if you are trying to bend over a large beachball. In this position you can also start to strengthen your body, improve your breathing pattern and stretch the anterior chain.

Supported spinal extension can be a great way to safely encourage spinal extension, upper body, spinal and gluteal strength. To protect the spine you will need to squeeze your gluteal muscles, use your arms to support the movement buy try to engage your spinal muscles to perform the movement. It is all about learning how to move your body and feel muscles engage.

By taking 4 minutes to mobilise the spine and start to engage some of the right muscles you can get your day off to a good start.

Any questions please do get in touch.

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