Mid Week Stretch Break

Do you experience sciatica or low back pain?

3 Main Causes

  • Herniated Disc: A bulge in the cushioning between the bones of the spinal column.
  • Bone Degeneration: Irregularities in the vertebrae
  • Tight Hip Muscles

6 Stretches to Provide Relief

Herniated Disc?

Press Up (top image)

Position body on stomach (prone) with elbows aligned directly under shoulders and forearms flat on the floor, parallel to one another. Lift chest and extend through the spine from tailbone to the top of the neck (allow low back to arch). Breathe deeply and hold for 30 seconds (for 1 repetition). If the leg pain reduces, perform 2 additional repetitions. If the pain does not decrease (or if it worsens), do not perform the additional repetitions and try the stretches designed for bone degeneration.

Press Up Extension (bottom image)

Position body on stomach (prone) with hands flat, next to shoulders. Press palms into the floor to lift upper body, keeping hips and pelvis on the floor. Extend through the spine from the tailbone to the neck (allow back to arch). Stop lifting chest if any pressure is felt in low back. Breathe deeply and hold for 10 seconds, slowly lower to the start position (for 1 repetition). If pain does not increase, perform 10 repetitions for 1 set (3 sets total).

Bone Degeneration?

Knees to Chest

Position body on back (supine) and slowly bring knees to the chest (allow low back to round). Breathe deeply and hold for 30 seconds (for 1 repetition). If this stretch reduces leg pain, perform 3 additional repetitions. If the leg pain does not decrease (or if it worsens), do not perform the additional repetitions and try the stretches designed for tight hip muscles.

Posterior Pelvic Tilt

Position body on back (supine) with knees bent and feet flat. Draw abdominal muscles in to flatten lower back into the floor. *Pretend a coin is placed on your belly button and try to pull this coin down towards the floor. Breathe deeply and hold for 5 seconds, returning to start position (for 1 repetition). If pain does not increase, perform 10 repetitions.

Tight Hip Muscles?

Knee to Opposite Shoulder

Position body on back (supine) with legs extended and feet flexed. Lift right leg and clasp hands behind the knee. Gently pull right knee across the body and toward the left shoulder. Breathe deeply and hold for 30 seconds (for 1 repetition). Perform 3 repetitions and switch to left side.

Figure 4 Stretch

Lie on your back (supine) with knees bent and feet flat. Cross the right ankle over the left knee (in the shape of a “4”). Grasp hands behind the left knee and slowly pull legs toward chest as the right knee is pressed away from the chest. Breathe deeply and hold for 30 seconds (for 1 repetition). Perform 3 repetitions and switch to other side.

 

 

Reference

Cassity, J. (2015). 6 simple sciatica stretches you can do in bed. Prevention. doi: http://www.prevention.com/fitness/sciatica-stretches-you-can-do-bed Accessed on July 12, 2015.

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About rrluthi

Certified fitness expert with a passion for educating and empowering the 55 and better "chronologically-enriched" population about the benefits of adopting and maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle, preventing injury, and feeling good. Proven strengths applying cutting-edge fitness/wellness concepts and research through roles as a health coach, fitness trainer, and group exercise instructor—in addition to promoting these concepts in a more systematic way through blogging and social media, community outreach, public speaking, corporate wellness program facilitation and senior fitness program support.
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One Response to Mid Week Stretch Break

  1. Pingback: Yoga Poses for Stress Relief | Your Yoga Buddy

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