Last week we included videos of the very basics of lower back stretching with knee hugs and knee drops. This week we are moving on to some more proactive ways to keep your back pain in check with the Pelvic Tilt – a subtle movement to engage your pelvic floor muscles (the same that stop your wee mid flow) and your gluteal muscles to stabilise your hips and pelvis and protect your lower back from too much shock as you walk.
The videos below are from our very own YouTube library again and are on our website for everyone to see so please share to all those who you think might benefit.
If you are struggling, then we are always here to help, whether that is on email, phone or in person.
A gluteal bridge is an exercise for the bottom and not the hamstrings on the back of the legs. Squeeze your bottom to lift your pelvis and hips off the ground and release to lower back down. Once you have mastered this and there is no wobbling, move onto raising one foot off the ground like in the still of this video, making sure your hips don’t wobble and stay level. It’s an exercise in control rather than speed and strength so SLOOOOW please!
A subtle movement of your pelvis – imagine you have a piece of string attached to your pubic bone at the front of your pelvis and it is being pulled upwards towards your belly button. Be sure to keep the abdominal muscles by your rib cage relaxed – this is an exercise for the lower abdominals and pelvic floor first and foremost!
Knee hugs are one of the staple exercises we give to our patients who are suffering with lower back pain. They are gentle but very effective at loosening off some overactive muscles and encouraging any inflammation to drain away from the spine.
The videos below are from our very own YouTube library. If you like these let us know as we have lots like them to show you!
Neck pain strikes most of us when we least expect or want it, ok, no one ever wants it. But what do we need to do to get rid of it as quickly as possible? Symptoms range from stiffness and inability to move your head to one side to an accompanying headache, shoulder pain or even pain that radiates down your arm.
So what are the main three causes of neck pain and what can you do at home to help before you seek our advice?
Muscle Strain: Aside from a traumatic event that causes a whiplash, a muscle strain is usually caused by poor posture or awkward positioning can fatigue your muscles and send them into spasm.
Relieve this by avoiding these positions, trying to adopt a more neutral position when you sleep (no face sleeping!) and stretching regularly to improve blood flow to the muscles to heal any micro trauma before it becomes a bigger problem.
Cervical Spine Disorder: Joint strain, intervertebral disc (the cushion between the vertebra) and compression of the spinal cord canal can all cause symptoms arising from the bony tissue, the ligaments or the nerves that exit the spine at these levels.
These problems can be harder to self treat in order to remove the cause so please do consider a trip to see an osteopath. You can help relieve the symptoms by keeping the neck moving as much as possible, using an ice pack to reduce inflammation within the joints and gentle stretching of the shoulders, neck and upper back to improve blood flow around the spine and flush out any damaged tissue.
Infection: This is a rare cause of neck stiffness but understandably a more serious cause. If your neck symptoms are accompanied with fever, headache, nausea vomiting or other signs of infection seek medical help immediately.
Posture is something we all do – good, bad and ugly. So try these ten easy tips to improving your posture today.
Identify the warning signs of back pain caused by poor ergonomics and posture. Pain that is worse at certain times of day or week (such as after a long day of sitting in an office chair in front of a computer, but not during the weekends); pain that starts in the neck and moves downwards into the upper back? All these need to be addressed asap!
Sit Tall. Yes, I know you try but using things like post-it notes on your laptop or screen can help remind you periodically. Eventually you won’t need them. Distribute your body weight evenly, align the ears, shoulders and hips on roughly a vertical line.
Get Moving! Muscles that are over stretches which happens when you are sitting tire more easily, leaving us open to injury so keep moving little and often to prevent this from happening
Use Props. Footrests, lumbar supports and carrying your bag in the best way possible all help. Even the correct glasses prescription falls into this category so you don’t lean forward to squint at the screen.
Education and Feedback. This email is a place to start! Speak to people who have good posture, your osteopath and your family for feedback. Don’t just presume you are standing tall when you may actually be lilting over to one side. This also includes being conscious of when an episode of pain starts – does it coincide with a period of poor posture?
Exercise! Walking, cycling, swimming and other similar activity will help you stay aerobically fit, some specific exercises can improve your ability to tolerate poor posture for periods of time and prevent injury.
Check Your Feet. Poor footwear has a lot to answer for. Those trainers may be all the rage but if they don’t suit the anatomy of your foot you are literally walking into an injury. Some people can get away with incorrect footwear but these are few and far between…
Link Activities to your posture. Good posture isn’t just when you are sitting at your desk. It is drinking a coffee, sending a text message, driving a car, brushing your teeth and countless other daily activities. Start to think about this throughout your day!
Personalise. Within reason, you need to personalise everything to you – your computer screen height, desk height, car seat angle and everything in-between so that it is most appropriate to you. If you need help doing this, get in touch and we can help you!
Relax! Being too worked up about your posture can be as bad as neglecting it. We need the muscles to be able to relax and bounce ignored to protect us. Hard task in todays hectic society we know.
All these are small changes you can make but do them all and they make a big difference.