Archive for the ‘Lower Back Pain’ Category

3 Simple Back Pain Relief Techniques when Sitting for Long Hours

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Most people fail to recognize how rudimentary activities such as sitting play a significant role in your back pain and how simple stretches can not only relieve the symptoms of back pain, but actually prevent them from occurring.  Sitting for long periods of time can one of the major reasons why people experience upper and lower back pain daily.  When you sit in one position for a long period of time, your hamstrings and hip flexors will start to tighten as well as your chest muscles. The tightness in these muscles can happen as quickly as 15 minutes.

When the hamstrings and hip flexors tighten, they pull on the pelvis creating stress into the lower back.  Once the pecs start to tighten, they pull the shoulder blades forward, causing stress on the neck.   Once those muscles tighten up, your  posture begins to become worse and the pain begins to increase.  The surface that you are sitting on can make the problem even worse if it is not supportive of your neck and back.

As a matter of fact, while I was sitting in the waiting room on jury duty the other day, I started experiencing some of this discomfort after sitting in jury duty today.  After sitting here for 45 minutes and  waiting for instructions, I started to notice how my leg muscles were feeling tight and my neck was starting to bother me.  At the onset of this uncomfortable feeling, I got up, walked around a little bit and then started stretching both my lower body and my upper body. Immediately I started feeling some relief in both my upper and lower body.

One of the things that stands out most to me, other than people not wanting to be here,  is their posture.  When we arrived this morning at 8, most people were sitting up tall, eagerly awaiting whether or not they were going to be called in.  Now that it is in the middle of the afternoon, people are slouching, rubbing their necks and squirming in their seats.  People’s sitting and standing postures are getting worse the longer we are in here.  I am noticing a lot of people who look uncomfortable and are hurting.  I have been able to stretch and walk around every 1/2 hour throughout the whole time I have been here.  I have been stretching my legs, pecs, biceps and neck.  I honestly believe this is what has helped me be able to make it throughout the day without having upper or lower back pain.

The three steps to help you avoid back pain when you have to sit for long periods of time are getting up and walking around, stretching your upper body and stretching your lower body.  Getting up and walking around whether to the bathroom or to get some water, it helps to get some blood flow through your body.  This simple amount of movement will help you when it comes time to stretch because the muscles will be less tense.

The second and third steps are stretching.  Stretching  the upper and lower body are equally important because they both are affected when you sit for long periods of time. Stretching the upper body consists of your pecs, biceps, shoulders and neck muscles.  Stretching the lower body consists of stretching the hamstrings, quads, calves, gluts and hip flexors.  All stretches should be light to medium in intensity and held for at least 40 seconds.

As you can see, the effects of sitting as related to lower back pain can be easily counteracted by applying simple stretching techniques in almost any environment.  I hope this gives those of you who sit a lot during the day some food for thought as well as a simple application for stretching while sitting in your chair.  I hope this gives those of you who sit a lot during the day some food for thought about stretching in your chair and how you can avoid suffering from upper and/or lower back pain.

Lower Back Pain Relief Tips While Sitting

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Sitting is an essential daily function that plays a major role in back pain relief.  For most people, their sitting position as, it relates to the lower back pain never crosses their mind.  It is essential that you gain a better understanding how your habitual sitting positions are can contribute to lower back pain relief.           

Sitting in the wrong type of position, wrong type of surface or for too long may be the reason why you are experiencing lower back pain.  Sitting with your feet dangling, back reclined too far, too much lumbar support, not enough lumbar support, chair too low are many reasons why people have lower back pain.  If your job requires you to sit for many hours, choosing the right chair and position you will be in is vital to your lower back health.

Choosing the type of surface you are going to sit on is important.  If you are going to sit for hours watching a movie, paying bills or even reading a book, sitting on a low couch with little support is disaster waiting to happen.  If you are going to be sitting somewhere for hours at a time, make sure you have adequate support for your lower back and legs.

The amount of time you spend sitting each day may be the main reason why you experience or continue to experience lower back pain.  Every 60-90 minutes, you should be getting up from your chair, moving around and stretching to ensure that your leg muscles are not shortening and creating undue stress on the lower back.  Simple 40 second stretches for the lower legs and getting up every 60 minutes will help to reduce and possible eliminate all of your lower back symptoms.

3 Treatments for Lower Back Pain

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

In this short video, Martin discusses the 3 main components to stopping back pain. 


In the video, you will hear about…

Modalities are outside agents that can help aid in the recovery from an injury. The two most common used are ice and heat. Ice will cause your blood vessels to constrict in the area you are applying the ice. That is important when a muscle group or joint is experiencing swelling. Ice should only be used on a treatment area for 10 minutes. Their are a number of commercial products for icing, but you could also use a bag of frozen peas or freeze a Dixie cup full of water and use it for an ice massage.
Heat creates the opposite effect of ice. It causes the vessels to dilate therefore allowing more blood flow to occur in the area. Heat is useful when muscles feel tight and stiff. Heat can also be used to help warm a muscle up prior to an exercise routine or event.

Correct Exercises
Correct exercises are important in maintaining a body’s health and also healing from an injury. The important part is “correct” exercises. Know why you are performing the exercises that you are doing. Understand what are the key muscles that are involved in the movement and make sure you are using them. Perform the exercises under control, don’t rush through them just to do them.

Use exercises to help strengthen the weak parts of your body. Our body requires a balance of muscle groups, so if one group or one side is overly strong, it will throw the balance off the body. When we have those discrepancies in our bodies, it usually promotes pain.

Strengthening Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

I get asked all the time how exercises improve lower back pain. When the correct exercises are chosen for the given lower back problem, those muscles that are exercised can create and enhance stability to the spine. The correct exercises can strengthen the muscles that surround the spine. Muscles need strength, endurance and flexibility.
Lower back pain can come from weakness of muscles, lack of endurance of a muscle or because a muscle group is too tight. When those muscles that support the spine are weak, like the glut medius, they begin to pull on the back and pelvis area initiating lower back pain. Another example would be if the abdominals does not provide sufficient support and endurance for the spine, lower back pain usually occurs.

The spine is like a pulley system. When there is not a balance between the muscles on either side of the spine, pain and weakness occurs. That is why it is essential to know what muscle groups you are strengthening.

Caution should be used while performing strengthening exercises.  If you fail to perform the correct strengthening exercises to relieve your lower back pain, is possible you may be making your situation worse.