How a Simple Leg Stretch Can Help Your Back Pain Part 2
Yoga is a wonderful way to find relief from everyday aches and back pains. And developing such symptoms from working out is quite different from the discomfort that results from sitting at a desk. If you get lower back pain after working out, you're probably tightening the muscles in your back during your exercise routine and neglecting to stretch them. A simple Cat-Cow Stretch will help create space in the spine and release tight, post-workout, muscles.
Kneel on your hands and knees and spread your fingertips, making sure your wrists are directly beneath your shoulders. Place your knees underneath your hips, hip distance apart, with your toes pointed back. Inhale, with your face reaching up to the ceiling. Allow your waist/belly to drop and look up. Exhale, tucking your tailbone under and arching your back like a cat; gaze toward your navel. You can make this pose stronger by using your breath and adjusting the pose accordingly.
This exercise is to contract your back muscles is common in most back strengthening and back pain reduction programs.
Lie facedown; hands at your sides and off the floor. As you exhale, gently lift your upper body an inch from the floor. This is called back extension. Don't tilt your head back, just keep your head in line with your body. If it is easy try a bit higher, without forcing. Then lower to the floor. If it's too much try it again but lower, remembering not to force. Start with one or two lifts. Feel your back muscles working, but nothing should “pinch" or grind. See how you feel the next day. Gradually lift more and move your arms from your sides to overhead. Increase to at least ten every day and your on your way to be back pain free.
With repetition, or if great force is applied as in heavy lifting, the ligaments weaken and may “bulge" like a bubble in the wall of a tire. Or the ligaments may tear, allowing the gel-like inner disc to leak out, resulting in a herniated disc. The bulging or herniated disc may cause lower back pain, or if it is pressing on an adjacent nerve, pain can be referred into the hip and leg. Bulging and herniated discs may be treated conservatively, with physical therapy, exercise, and other non invasive treatments, but a badly herniated disc is a serious medical problem which may require surgery and a lengthy recovery period.
Glen Wood - The Yoga Teacher, dedicated to unlocking the Real Secrets of Back, Shoulder and Neck Pain.
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