Getting Mobile: Low Back & Hip
So you’ve seen your chiropractor and know you have mechanical lower back &/or hip pain. You’re using all your self-care pain control strategies - now is the time to take advantage and get the area moving. But first, always remember that these movements are:
There to help not hurt - mild discomfort is OK, but if the movement is making your pain worse you need to stop and try again tomorrow and/or consult your chiropractor
Meant to be used regularly and consistently - doing them ‘once in a while when I remember’ isn’t helping anyone
Not to be rushed
Phase One: Stretching & Mobilizing
Perform these (or just those recommended by your chiropractor) 2-3 times per day (or more if you feel that it helps) for 2-3 sets per movement to get the best results
Use the order provided, but skip any that aggravate your condition
Only do 3a, 4a, and/or 5a when you are comfortable with 3,4, & 5 respectively
Once you are comfortable with these, it is time to move on to Phase Two.
1. One-Knee-to-Chest Stretch
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Slowing pull one knee towards your chest with your hands until a stretch is felt in the lower back/buttock. Hold this position for 30-40s. Slowly lower that leg and repeat on the other side.
2. Supine (“on your back”) Twist
Lie on your back and slowly pull one knee into the chest. Keeping the shoulders on the floor, use the opposite hand to pull that knee to the opposite side creating a gentle spinal twist. Hold for 30-40s then slowly release. Repeat on the other side.
3. Both Knees-to-Chest Stretch
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Slowing pull both knees towards your chest with your hands until a stretch is felt in the lower back. Hold this position for 30-40s. Don’t be put off if the initial movement is uncomfortable - it usually eases off.
3a. Knees-to-Chest Mobilization
Perform stretch as above. Hold the stretch position for a breath, then very slowly rock your knees away from your chest then back in a smooth, controlled fashion. Repeat for 8-10 repetitions. Don't move faster or further than your lower back allows - mild discomfort is fine, but sharp or increasing pain is not.
4. Cobra Stretch
Lie face down with your hands flat on the floor beside your shoulders ("pushup" position). Keeping your hips on the floor, slowly lift your head as far back as is comfortable. Now use your arms to lift your chest and shoulders off the floor as far as is comfortable creating a gentle backwards bend. Hold for 30-40s and slowly release.
4a. Cobra Mobilisation
Perform stretch as above. Hold the top position for one breath, slowly lower yourself back to the start, and repeat the extension for 8-10 repetitions. Don't move faster or further than your lower back allows - mild discomfort is fine, but sharp or increasing pain is not.
5. Prayer Stretch
Kneel with both hands on the floor. Slowly sink your hips back towards your feet until a comfortable stretch is felt in the lower back. Hold for 30-40s, then slowly release.
5a. Cat/Camel Mobilisation
Start on your hands and knees. As you inhale, tuck your chin into your chest while you arch your back up and hollow out your abdominals. As you exhale, lift your chin up to the ceiling and let your abdomen sag down towards the floor while lightly arching your lower back.
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