Lower back pain is by far the most common type of injury we see in our clinics. One of the most common types we see is back pain that radiates down the leg, this is often referred to as sciatica. True sciatica can be difficult to treat but there are some things that can help treat and manage radiating pain. Below are 3 simple things you can try to help manage your lower back pain.
The piriformis muscle is one of the deeper muscles around the back of the hip and is important in stabilising your back, pelvis and hip regions. It is a common muscle that gets tight and irritated with lower back problems and with sciatic pain. Try releasing this muscle using a firm ball (a tennis ball or lacrosse ball works). Lean against the ball on a wall with the ball positioned in the centre of the glute region. Walk your feet away a step to increase pressure on the ball then move side to side to release the tight points. It’s ok if you aren’t sure whether you are getting the piriformis, all the tight spots in this area are worth releasing and can help with back pain.
Lower back extension
This exercise has actually been shown to help those with lower back disc problems and is great in helping people with chronic lower back injuries. Start with lying on your stomach and then lifting yourself up onto your elbows while keeping the legs on the floor and hips and lower back relaxed. Hold this for 3 seconds then lay flat again. Repeat 10 times and perform for 3 sets. If this gets easier then try slowly raising yourself up onto your hands.
The bird dog exercise
It has a funny name but we find that makes it easier to remember. Start on your hands and knees and set a steady base with your back in a neutral position. Then raise one arm ahead and the opposite leg behind you, pause then return to the start position. Repeat this on the opposite side then try to complete 10 times and for 3 sets. While doing this try not to hold your breath and focus on maintaining a steady back position (and not falling over!)
Do these exercises every-day, especially if you have had long term back pain, have bad posture or sit in a chair all day. If you find that it is helping your back and leg pains then there are probably a lot of other things you can do to completely settle your pain. They are easy to do but if you have any problems then get in touch any time.
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