This article is part 1 of a 2-part series. For part 1, Click Here.
As previously stated, low back pain (LBP) can affect most (if not all) of us at some point in time. Learning what to do when the warning signs appear is important to prevent an LBP episode disabling you. We started the discussion in the previous article about providing ways to manage the LBP using activities to stop and reverse a potentially serious degree of LBP. We offered ways to stretch from a seated position that could be done in public. Here are some exercise options from a standing position…
EXERCISE C: THE HAMSTRING & GROIN STRETCH: from the standing position, 1) place your foot on a seat, bench, chair, railing pipe, or anything about knee level (it doesn’t have to be too high). If your balance is not very good, be sure to hold onto a wall or counter in order to maintain your balance. 2) Keep your knee bent 20-30 degrees and arch your lower back by sticking out the buttocks until you feel the hamstrings (back of the leg) pulling or stretching. 3) Slowly straighten the knee (keep the buttocks stuck out and the lower back arched) and you’ll feel the hamstrings getting tighter slowly. 4) Adjust the knee angle and/or the amount of low back arch / pelvic tilt to adjust the strength of pulling in the hamstrings. Continue this stretch for 15-30 seconds, or until the muscles are loosened. 5) Remain in that EXACT SAME POSITION and twist your body inwards (toward the leg on which you stand) until you feel the tug moving from the hamstrings to the groin (to the inside thigh) muscles. You may also go back and forth between the hamstrings and the groin (adductor) muscles and continue the exercise until the back of the leg and groin feel sufficiently stretched (usually 5 to 15 seconds / leg).
EXERCISE D: THE HIP FLEXOR STRETCH: 1) step forward with one leg and stand in a semi-long, steep stride position (one foot before the other). 2) Rotate the pelvis forward on the back-leg side until the hip lines up with the front leg hip (or square pelvis). 3) Add the pelvic tilt (tuck in the buttock / pelvis or flatten the low back). 4) Lean backwards (stretch low rear) holding the position above. When you extend backwards, feel deep within the upper front of the thigh / groin area for the stretch. You can alter the hip flexor to release and re-stretch between the third and fourth steps. Continue stretching for 5-15 seconds or until you feel stretched and repeat on the other side. This one takes a little work but you’ll understand why it’s so good once you feel it!
EXERCISE E: THE ADDUCTOR STRETCH: As an alternative to the second part of EXERCISE C (step 5 of the standing hamstring stretch), stand fairly wide apart with your legs spread. Shift your pelvis from side to side (left then right) and feel in the inner thigh / groin area for the stretch. You should increase the stretch by applying a lean to the side you shift the pelvic to. Try to hold the stretch for 5-15 seconds and alternate 5-10 times between the sides.
Such activities are intended to take place in public, WHEN you need to stretch. Stop the vicious cycle from getting out of control by STOPING, STRETCHING and, if you can, resume your activity!