When you first find out you have back problems, you will often hear about treatments such as spinal fusions, disc surgery, and spinal injections. Not all cases, however, require such severe and invasive treatments. In addition, treatments such as injections will often only provide temporary relief and not actually address the real problem.
Instead of giving you a temporary cure or risk an invasive procedure which can sometimes take more than a year to recover from, we would like to offer you some treatments you can do in your own home that will help improve your flexibility as well as provide some relief from the pain you are currently experiencing.
Yoga is often associated with flexibility and stretching, and many of the “yoga poses” are at the basis for stretching exercises that help alleviate back and/or sciatic pain, improve flexibility, and stretch out muscles associated with back pain, such as your hamstring.
- Upward Facing Dog – this exercise helps to strengthen your core muscles and engages your back. Lie flat on the ground. Place your palms flat just below your chest (about even with your ribs). The tops of your feet and legs should be pressed into the floor. Use your back to lift your chest up off the ground and then hold the pose for about ten seconds. Repeat five to ten times.
- Child’s Pose – this is a very good exercise to stretch out your back and perfect to do at the end of the day. Get down on all fours and then stretch your arms out, palms down, out in front of you. Your glutes should be resting just above your heels, but not touching them. Hold for ten seconds. Repeat five to ten times.
- Downward Facing Dog – this is very good for your lower back and you should feel the stretch in your hamstrings. This is a classic yoga pose and very easy to do. Go down on your hands and knees and position your hands just in front of your shoulders, palms down. First, raise your knees off the ground and then point your rear upwards. If you really want to feel this in your hamstrings, press your heels firmly to the ground. Your body should resemble an upside down “V.” Repeat five to ten times.
These are just a few of the poses to get you started, but we highly recommend seeing a doctor or yoga instructor to ensure you are doing them correctly. In addition to these stretches, a chiropractor can show you additional exercises you can do daily to stretch out your back, finally offering relief of both back and sciatica pain.