DO YOU SUFFER BACK PAIN?

When Your Back Hurts Every Morning, These Tips Are

What You Need

 

Upon Waking:

  • While still lying in bed, bring one knee slowly up to your chest and hug it with your arms. Hold for 10 seconds. Alternate with the other knee.  The other leg should be kept straight as you hold your knee. Keep your spine straight. Do not forcibly pull your knee up to your chest.  Keep alternating.                                                                                                                                                                                      

  • While still lying in bed, lie on your back.  Bend both knees at a 90-degree angle.  Cross your legs (one leg over the other).  Hold this position and only allow both legs to slowly fall to the side.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Repeat in the other direction.  Do not rush this as it will take time for any tightness to release.                                                                                                                                                                     

  • While on your stomach, bend both knees upward and tuck your thighs under your stomach and chest.  Hold for 1 minute.                      

  • Use gentle massage with your hands and knuckles around the muscular areas of your hips and lower back.  Avoid direct pressure on the joint so as not to cause injury to any sensitive nerves.

After Getting Out of Bed:

  • Sit on the edge of your bed.  Feet firmly on the floor.  Bend one of your knees and bring one foot up on the bed.  Your foot should be resting in front of you near your buttocks.  Hold this position for 30 seconds.  Repeat with the other foot.                                                     

  • Squat directly down on the ground until your stomach meets your thighs.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Get up slowly.  Hold onto the bed for support and balance or squat down on a stack of books to avoid falling over.                                                                                                       

  • Stand straight up and point both hands directly up to the ceiling while looking forward.  Your hands, arms, spine and legs should be in a straight line.  Hold for 20 seconds.  Push up as if you are trying to reach the ceiling.  Keep looking forward.                                       

During the Day:

  • Allow 5 minutes of brief standing, walking or lying down for every 25 minutes that you are sitting.                                                                  

  • When sitting, use a soft cushion and try to sit with as little lumbar support as possible.  Your posture should be similar to someone playing the piano while actively sitting straight up and unsupported.                                                                                                                       

  • Avoid arching or slouching whenever sitting.                                                                                                                                                                

  • When picking up any heavy items or items that are low on the ground, bring yourself down to the object while keeping upright.  Here you will be squatting into the position and not leaning over.                                                                                                                                     

  • Avoid sitting and slouching for extended periods of time 1-2 hours before bed.  (ex. TV, desk work).                                                               

  • Wear only clothing that provides a loose fit around your hips.  Denim jeans that do not stretch or tight pants can worsen your discomfort by limiting your flexibility.                                                                                                                                                                             

  • Drink sufficient amounts of water to keep your discs well hydrated and to avoid muscle cramps.                                                          

Before Bed:

  • Incorporate as many of the exercises and stretches suggested above before lying down.                                                                                   

  • If recommended by your doctor, take an anti-inflammatory or muscle relaxant before bed.  This practice should be minimized or done only if necessary.                                                                                                                                                                                                       

  • Lie sideways on your bed with your knees bent and a cushion in between your knees.  Avoid sleeping or lying on your back and never on your stomach.  If you must lie this way, elevate your knees with extra pillows.                                                                                                 

  •  Maintain a warm bedroom temperature.  Cooler temperatures can cause muscle stiffness and spasms.                                                       

  •  Learn the deep squat rest method. (see below)  It will test your stiffness.  Mastering this movement will help to reduce your pain as it helps to increase your lumbar and hip flexibility. If you have difficulty with this exercise, you are at risk of poor muscle conditioning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Deep Squat Rest Method

  • Step 1:  Stand upright with feet shoulder width apart.                                                                                                                                                      

  • Step 2:  Slowly lower your body to a full squat position while keeping your upper body vertical.                                                                          

  • Step 3:  As you come lower, bring your belly button to your thighs and relax while resting your arms in front. Your knees and legs should be tucked in.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

  • Step 4:  Rest in this position for 1 minute or until you feel that your stomach and chest are fully resting on your thighs.                                             

  • Tip: Contract your abdominal towards your thighs for 10-20 seconds at a time to strengthen them. This helps to counter the anterior pelvic tilt.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

  • If you can’t keep your feet flat on the floor, just put something under each heel to help you.  The more you stretch your calves, the easier it will be to get them flat on the floor.                                                                                                                                                                      

  • If you find it difficult to maintain your balance and posture while performing this movement, use a stationary support such as a post or a wall to avoid falling forward or backwards.                                                                                                                                                                        

  • Use a set of books to squat down upon (as a seat) to your lowest possible level.  Maintain this height and allow your joints to relax and settle into this position.  Remove a book or two when possible and settle into the next lower level.  Resettling time varies on your own degree of tightness.  This can take days to weeks.  Let your body decide the appropriate time frame.                                                                               

  • Note:  Initially, you may find that it is not possible to fully lower yourself down due to the limited mobility and tightness in your lower back and hips.  It will take time before your body relaxes, your hips open and the lower back becomes less stiff.  With time, it will become easier to lower into this position whenever you attempt it.                                                                                                                             

  • I practice with this squat because I noticed that many people who are able to do it have very little pain if at all.  It’s because it really help with your pelvic and lower back flexibility which we lose over time.                                                                                                                   

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