Blog posts tagged with 'back pain stretches'




                         Figure 1                                         Figure 2

Standing up correctly from the seated position is one of the most important things I tell patients they can do to spare their backs. It is also one of the easiest. Most people use their low backs to assist them in getting up from the seated position. This is wrong! Think about how many times you get up from sitting. Every time you use your low back to stand, you are flexing your spine and placing unnecessary stress onto it. Here is the easy solution:  before you get up from sitting, scoot all the way to the edge of your seated surface, keep your back straight, and get up using your legs, as in FIGURE 2. This may feel strange at first, but should become second nature after a few days. One tip to get started:  use your arms to assist your legs in the process (FIGURE 2). Place your hands into fists and use them to push up off the seated surface, while using your legs. Do not place your fists on your legs. Again, at no time will you flex the low back or use it to assist you in the standing process.

            Be sure to not bend your spine—keeping it neutral, as you sit down, too. Simply reverse this standing process, and use the same technique to sit down properly. 

STRETCH EVERY 20-30 MINUTES- Sunday, February 7, 2016



                       FIGURE 1 – REACH                     FIGURE 1A – SQUEEZE

Stretching every 20-30 minutes combats the effects of excessive sitting. It helps avoid the physiological effects of excessive sitting and the associated spinal memory. To perform the appropriate stretch, stand up and reach toward the ceiling (FIGURE 1). Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. During exhalation, stretch higher toward the ceiling.  Next, with your palms pointed up, bring your arms down to the side of your body. Then, pretend you are holding a pencil between your shoulder blades and squeeze them together to prevent the pencil from falling. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. During this exhalation, hold the contraction of your shoulder blades together for 10 seconds (FIGURE 1A).  Relax. You have successfully completed the basic stretch needed to combat the effects of prolonged sitting. The entire stretch break will not take more than 30 seconds, yet its benefit will last exponentially longer. Repeat this stretch every 20-30 minutes, or as needed.