By Adena Mai-Jardine BA, PFT, RMT
Ideally, you want to stop back pain from developing by taking some simple steps to reduce strain to your back.
Many chairs don’t offer sufficient support for your lower back. Even well designed chairs can be used improperly. For example, most people sit in the middle of the seat and then slouch backward against the back support.
It is important to maintain the natural lordosis of your lower back (the curve in your lower back) while sitting. You can use a specially designed lumbar support that can be attached to your chair or simply roll up a medium sized towel and place it between your lower back and the backrest of your seat.
As well, stand up regularly, put your hands on the back of your hips and bend backwards five or six times.
Many activities around the home like gardening, making the bed and vacuuming cause you to stoop forward. Make sure that you stand upright occasionally and bend backwards to relieve the strain on the back ligaments. If you are doing any lifting, make sure to keep your back straight and bend from your hips and knees.
In the event that your back starts hurting be sure to see your massage therapist right away. They’ll be able to help you out or refer you to a qualified medical professional.
Here are several extension exercises you can do to recover from low back pain, specifically acute episodes of back pain when your back “goes out.” They put the vertebrae in a position that pushes the soft centre of the disc forward so it stops pushing on the ligaments or nerves in the low back.
Before beginning, consult with your massage therapist to be sure that they are appropriate for you. Do them in the or- der outlined. When doing these exercises you should move until you just start to feel discomfort and then return to the starting position. If you do these exercises every two hours, about six to eight times per day, you should notice a significant change in pain within one to two days.
Closely observe the location and intensity of your pain. If your pain becomes less diffuse and localizes to your back or if the pain becomes less intense, you’ll know these exercises are working. If the pain intensifies or starts to spread further from your spine, especially below the knee, stop exercising and get advice from your massage therapist.
Lower Back Exercises
Printed with permission of the Author: Adena Mai-Jardine BA, PFT, RMT
Massage Therapy & Holistic Centre 780-738-4769