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Six Easy Ways to Avoid Back Pain

1.     Before you leap out of bed in the morning….beginning at your feet, simply roll your ankles in both directions then flex your feet (hold that position) and roll your legs in and out to open your hip joints.  Bend your knees with your feet on the bed and gently move your knees side to side to bring movement to your lower back (make the movement smaller if you are experiencing pain).  Then, roll your shoulders in both directions and your wrists – letting your elbows be loose.  Finally, roll your head easily left and right.  Now that you have greased your joints, roll, and I mean ROLL, out of bed and get on with your day.

2.     While standing in line…..simply shift your weight from one foot to the other – putting your attention on how the movement travels up your spine – then put one foot in front of the other and repeat.  Switch your feet around – pay attention to your breath, to your shoulder movement, your head movement.

Keeping your weight on one foot, turn around yourself in both directions – then repeat this on the other side – which way is it easier to turn?  Not only will your legs and spine feel better but standing in line won’t be such a hassle


3.     While sitting in front of your computer…move back from your desk a little, then put your palms together, like praying, in front of your chest and begin moving them from side to side in a straight line while looking forward.  Then, turn your head to follow the movement of your palms a few times and then move your head and palms in opposition – pay attention to the movement of your ribs.   Stop in the middle and begin to rotate your hands (still with your palms together) so that your fingertips move towards your chest and away from your chest – notice what your elbows are doing!  Stop, drop your hands, shake your wrists out and notice the changes you sense when you begin typing again.

4.     To keep your spine moving easily while sitting… begin by rounding your spine, letting your pelvis move backwards and your head fall forward, and then go in the other direction, moving your pelvis forwards, letting your spine extend and your head move backwards (carefully and only where it is comfortable to go).  Think about changing which part of your spine you begin the movement from – this breaks you out of what is your habitual pattern of movement and gives your brain and spine other options.  When you are moving into extension, keep your chin lowered until the moment when it makes sense to allow it to lift and your head to go backwards.   Throughout all this, can you follow the movement of your shoulders at the same time?  Put both your hands on your right thigh and keep moving your spine – change to your left side and repeat.  Then stop and repeat this in the middle – any easier?  Now, stand and notice how you and your spine feel!

5.     Bending through your hips – not your back!   Put your hands into your front pockets (or imagine you have pockets), feel the crease where your legs meet your torso and find the deepest point along that crease… that is really your hip joint!   Then, push your fingers hard into those points and sweep your fingers outwards – this will cause you to bend through your hips, not your back.  Notice how, when you bend from this point, your tail-bone tips upwards and how your back remains long saving you from the possibility of injury through over-stressing individual vertebral joints.   This trick will save your low back big time!

6.     To end your day….take 5 to 10 minutes to lie on the floor – first with your knees bent – feet on the floor - slowly and easily rock on your tailbone.  Go back and forth gently, gradually making the movement larger until you can feel your head moving in time with your tailbone.   Stop and rest for a moment and then, with the image of being a kid with all the time in the world, begin moving your knees from side to side allowing the movement to travel up your spine until your neck and head feel invited into the process.  Breathe easily, letting your head roll in the same direction as your knees and then opposite.  Then, bring your knees over your chest, hug them lightly and continue rolling side to side – only going as far as is comfortable.  Finally, let everything go – lengthen your legs, rest your arms by your sides and notice the difference in the feel of your body now to when you first started, the change in your breathing, how quiet your mind may have gotten.   I prefer to do this as soon as I get home as it gives me the opportunity to leave all the tension that I gathered throughout my day behind so I can enjoy whatever activities I have lined up in the evenings.      




Copyright 2010© Lou Kurjata