Lower Back Pain: Stretch and Exercise

Have you ever experienced lower back pain? Did you know that four out of every five people will have back pain in their lifetime? Did you know that I am one of them?

Since I have a lordosis (deep lower back curve) related to too many years as a competitive gymnast, my back can become painful and stiff. I am glad I know what to do to keep my spine healthy and flexible.

If you are working behind a desk all day long, your chance of getting lower back pain increases. Constant sitting fatigues your back muscles and puts stress on the spinal discs. The body is not meant to spend that much time seated. It likes movement and different positions (twist, forward fold, back and side bend). Obesity is another factor that can lead to back pain. Arthritis and osteoporosis (join my classes here) can also lead to persistent back pain.

What is chronic pain?

  • When pain lasts for more than 3 months
  • It is associated with emotional distress (fatigue, stress, anxiety, frustration, lack of sleep, depressed mood)

According to Statistics Canada, millions of Canadians live with moderate to severe chronic pain. An estimated one in five Canadians lives with chronic pain. The majority of them are female and are 65 years of age or older. Two thirds are living with moderate to severe pain while 50% have lived with chronic pain for over ten years.

In 2016, a study has estimated that the annual cost to manage chronic pain is about $7.2 billion (Hogan et al., 2016). Ouch!

The best ways to reduce back pain are:

  • Physical: “Exercise is your best medicine“.
    I can always modify your exercise program if needed
  • Psychological: meditation, support group
  • Pharmaceutical: medications, cannabis

It has been proven many times that a strong core and a flexible spine help to reduce or even eliminate back pain. That is why I focus so much on the Transverse Abdominus, TrA, (stabilizer ab muscle) in all my classes such as Pilates, Yoga, Chair Yoga, HIIT, Bootcamp, Osteofit, etc. In fact, it is one of the first muscles area I teach to my clients to exercise. I show them how to engage their TrA properly!

Are you ready to learn some stretches to do at work and at home to get your spine “back into shape”? My proven exercise programs may also include foam rollers and different therapy balls. Stretch and strengthen with me. I have your back!

Forward Fold: hold it for 30-60 sec.
Do this stretch for 1 minute only if you don’t have problems with your knees
Figure 4: hold the stretch for at least 1 minute
Seated twist: hold the stretch for 30-60 sec.

I have included one of the STRETCH VIDEOS (buy the video package here).

Yoga Stretch to Release Lower Back Pain

Read more here:
Do You Have Pain or Health Condition Related To Your Workplace? by Mel and Abstract Fitness
10 Benefits of a Headstand in Yoga by Mel and Abstract Fitness

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