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The Best Stretches for Relieving Lower Back Pain

As an Osteopath in Doha, I encounter many patients suffering from lower back pain. One of the leading causes of low back pain is sedentariness and a lack of physical activity. The most effective treatment for lower back pain in Doha, and the rest of the world, is regular physical activity or ‘movement snacks’.

Physical activity is now recommended as a first line approach for lower back pain treatment.

In this short blog you will find some of the very best stretches to relieve and resolve lower back pain. I have used these for the last 15 years to successfully manage and resolve lower back pain. I currently use them as an important component of my lower back treatment in Doha.

So let’s get straight to the point. You’ve probably heard much of this before but it’s always good to be reminded and nudged into action. A very successful friend once told me that in order to communicate an important message you need to keep repeating it over and over again!

So we know that most of us will experience low back pain at some point in our lives, and it is the leading cause of disability worldwide. The prevalence of low back pain has increased 50% since 1990 and still set to increase as we become better at living longer and are faced with more sedentary personal and professional lives.

The majority of us spend most of our day in sedentary positions and on average 7.7 hrs a day sitting on our butts! Sitting instantly increase pressure in our lower back and slouching increases this pressure by as much as 35%!

This can put pressure on discs, stretch ligaments and lead to stiffness and pain which can become more difficult to manage the longer it continues.

So what to do?

If you’re deskbound for the majority of the day, improve your productivity and reduce your lower back pain by getting up out of your chair for 5 minutes every half hour. The Pomodoro principle states that you will be more productive throughout the day by taking regular breaks from your screen, which will also give you an opportunity to stretch, go for a quick walk and use those big lower body muscles for a few minutes- Apps like Stand up are free and can help you set regular alarms that remind you to get up move more and ultimately improve your health!

The exercises and stretches below are a great way of providing instant relief from lower back stiffness and over time improving the condition of all the supportive structures around the spine.

If any of these movements cause any increasing discomfort stop that particular movement and do the others. Discomfort or stiffness that subsides during the movements is ok.

Remember to continually breathe (don’t hold breath) as you perform the movements and don’t strain yourself trying to stretch further than is comfortable.

Most importantly ENJOY them, this is YOUR time for YOU and your precious health.

1- Superman ( 5 sec holds)
Keep your lower back still whilst lifting opposite arm and leg together and squeezing buttock of straight leg, hold for 5 secs each repetition.

Breathe in

Breathe out

2- Cat/Camel stretch
Breathe in as you arch your back, breathe out as you push back up to ceiling and look into tummy; 20 times

Breathe in

Breathe out

3- Child’s pose
Breathe out as you sit back towards your heels and drop your head to the floor, inhale and return to box position.

4- Knee Pendulum
Breathe out as you allow knees to slowly fall from side to side keeping shoulder blades in contact with mat, repeat 2 x 10 per side.

5- Lumbar Spine and Hip Rotation Stretch
Hold outside of knee with opposite hand and as you breathe out pull knee across body and look in opposite direction, keeping shoulder blades in contact with floor

  • Start with 5 minutes a few times a day, we can all find 5 minutes!
  • Do as many of each stretch as you feel comfortable with, there are no set numbers, and any number is better than 0!
  • These movements are your medicine, and if you don’t take your medicine there’s a chance that you won’t get better!
  • Make it a group thing- Try to involve your colleagues at work to do these stretches as a group during the working day. This will help form the habit and improve engagement.
  • Don’t waste time and money looking for the magic treatment. Being proactive with low back pain is the best approach. I
  • View your back pain as a request from your body to take some form of healing action.  The most effective action is drugs, massage or manipulation, it is movement! 

If you suffer from joint pain or lower back pain and you’re looking for effective treatment for lower back pain in Doha, drop me a message and I’m sure I will be able to help. 

Yours in Health and Happiness

rickybrownhealth

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