I see a lot of patients who come to our showroom looking for a massage chair that will remedy their low back pain. Massage chairs, by the way, are a great therapy for low back pain. Many of my patients who get a massage chair don’t come back to my clinic nearly as often as they did before the invested in a massage chair. Anyways, I have had a lot of experience with low back pain and I am going to give you a couple of very good home exercises that will assist you in alleviating your low back pain.
Our experience with low back pain is that folks that present with it typically have tight hamstrings and hip flexor muscles. These muscles are main movers of the pelvis and, therefore, the low back. Here is one step-by-step exercise for each of these muscle groups:
1. sit on the floor.
2. straighten out both legs.
3. if stretching the left hamstring, bend the right leg at the know and place the sole of the right foot against the inside of the left thigh.
4. bend forward towards the left knee.
5. hold a sustained stretch for 10-20 seconds without bobbing up and down. You will feel it behind the knee and thigh.
6. repeat twice.
7. repeat for the right hamstring.
1. kneel down with one foot flat on the floor.
2. make sure the foot that is flat on the floor is ahead of it’s knee (in other words, the angle between leg and thigh should be greater than 90 degrees).
3. if you are stretching the left leg, make sure to hold onto something like a wall or chair with your right hand for balance.
4. reach back with your left hand and grab your left ankle. If your muscle is so tight that you can’t grab your ankle, then grab your foot. If the foot won’t work, then put a finger in the back of your shoe. If that doesn’t work, then grab your pant leg. And, finally, if that doesn’t work, use a small dish towel around your ankle and pull that up.
5. look straight ahead with your chest pointing forward as much as possible.
6. now rock forward on your left knee KEEPING YOUR TORSO ERECT. If you lean forward you will lose the effect of the stretch. Imagine that a string is pulling you toward the wall from your chest.
7. hold this stretched position for 10-20 seconds. Do not bounce. Keep the stretch steady. You will feel it pull at the front of your thigh.
8. repeat twice.
9. repeat on your right leg.
Once I get some video made of these exercises, I will post them on this blog for your instruction.
Exercise combined with your massage chair will be a powerful combination for your better health.
Dr. Alan Weidner
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