I have a few friends/clients who are currently experiencing back pain.  Some of them have been to physiotherapy in the past for the same issue and they are doing their exercises at home as prescribed by their health care professional.  Others have taken time off of work to rest and be able to go to physiotherapy two or three times a week. It is so important to listen to your body!  Bravo!

If you have ever had back pain you know how uncomfortable life can be.  Just doing daily activities can be quite a chore.

This past Friday, Dr. Oz did a segment to address the problem of long lasting back pain. So many people suffer with this that he had a physiotherapist come on and give some helpful tips.  I am happy to say that the exercises she demonstrated are some of the exact ones that I do in my yoga stretch classes.

First, you must determine what the issue is with your back so that you do not make it worse.  A qualified physiotherapist can tell you which movements to avoid, and what exercises you need to do to strengthen the weak muscles that added to your problem in the first place. I cannot stress the importance of a proper diagnosis enough!You do not want to aggrevate the situation, you want relief.

The following movements were show on Dr.Oz and they happen to be a part of my classes. She suggested doing them before you get out of bed but most of us sleep with a partner, so this would be difficult for a lot of us.  If any of these cause you pain stop immediately and ask your physiotherapist if these exercises are safe for you.

1. While lying on your back, gently draw one knee into your chest, hold and release and repeat with the other leg. This loosens up the hamstrings and stretches the lower back. This is the first motion that I do with my gentle yoga stretch classes. Do not forget to breathe.

2. Lie on your stomach with one hand under your chin and the other arm up beside your ear. Lift the opposite arm and leg and then repeat on the other side. We do this in class on all fours. This strengthens the back, butt and also stretches the front of  the body. We inhale as we lift and exhale as we lower.

3. While lying on your back, with legs straight, draw one knee up until it is over the hip, take the opposite hand and push against the knee. Switch sides. Exhale as you push, inhale as you lower.  Just do not hold your breath. This exercise strengthens your abdominals without flexing your spine. We do a variation of this isometric work in class but I usually save this exercise for individuals suffering with pain who are in my Chair Muscle condtioning classes.

So there you have it.  I hope that this will provide a bit of relief. It is nice to see that I am on the right track. Ultimately you have to listen to your own body and do what feels right for you!

Have a great day.