Tag Archives: back pain

Simple Exercise to Decompress Your Spine

Are you stuck at a desk job, sitting all day long?  That’s probably THE biggest complaint I hear on a daily basis.  You go to work and sit for eight hours, getting up just long enough to fetch lunch (if you’re lucky) and then right back to sitting again.  And at the end of the day, you’re so tired from sitting, you collapse on the couch and sit some more!

Believe it or not, sitting still is exhausting, especially if you’re doing it wrong.  I definitely know all about this.  Before I went off to Rolfing School, I pretty much worked exclusively in offices, answering phones and managing a never ending tornado of paper.  My back has never hurt so much as it did daily when I was working in front of a computer all the time.

Of course, you should have a good strength and stretching program in place to make sure all your muscles are getting worked on a regular basis, but if you need a little quick relief for your aching back, try this simple stretch.

Sidenote: the brilliance in this stretch (called Child’s Pose in yoga) is not in flopping down into it, limp as a noodle.  Reach out behind you with your tailbone while at the same time stretching your fingertips further in front of you on the mat.  This gives your spine a gentle traction and creates space between each of the vertebra.

And for an extra bonus, I show you how you can get some very gentle spinal traction just using the ground and nothing else.  Basically, you start from a seated position and roll your back down on to the floor, imagining that you’re setting down one vertebra at a time and then stretching as much as you can before setting the next one down.  By the time you’ve got your back all laid out on the floor, you’re getting a gentle stretch down the length of your spine that you can hold for five to ten minutes, or longer if you like!

Of course, if you have spinal injuries of any sort, check with your doctor before doing any type of exercise, including these.  You don’t want to put yourself in danger of further damaging your back!

How to Fix Rib Pain with Self Myofascial Release

Do you ever have a sharp pain in your side when you breathe?  Do your ribs ache after you sit for a long period of time? Ribs are actually very  mobile little bones.  In fact, they’re supposed to roll around when you breathe just like venetian blinds open and close; however, if you’ve injured yourContinue Reading

How to Stretch Your Inner Thighs (a.k.a. Adductor Muscles)

Most people are well versed on the fact that they need to stretch their hamstrings, and some people regularly stretch their quads and hip flexors (the muscles along the front of the leg and hip), but few people – save for elite athletes and dancers, really – dig into their adductors. The adductor muscles areContinue Reading

Do Not, I repeat, DO NOT Waste $869 on an Ergonomic Desk Chair

We’ve all been there.  You’re on a lightning streak of productivity.  You’re camped in front of your computer, coffee mug steaming up an inspirational storm next to your laptop, fingers floating over the keyboard like a concert pianists’, pages flowing onto your screen almost as fast as you can get the words into your head.Continue Reading

What To Do For Pain in the Neck and Mid Back

Your neck is so stiff you can barely look over your shoulder. The space between your shoulder blades feels like someone’s got your spine in a vice grip.  Your shoulders are so close to your ears it looks like you’re trying to start a new fashion in earrings.  This is not a pleasant situation. AndContinue Reading

If You Must Sit at a Computer, At Least Do This…

I hope you’re sitting down for this because I have some news….your office chair is killing you.  No, seriously, it is.  Sitting is now a proven health risk, as you might have guessed from the chronic aches in your back, neck and shoulders. Peter A. Levine, an obesity specialist at the Mayo clinic, states, “WhatContinue Reading

Arnica: The Pain Reliever No Household Should Be Without

Aches and pains happen, especially when you’re training at the gym or exerting yourself in any heavy lifting activity, like moving. And as we age, we’re prone to other painful conditions like osteoarthritis. But you don’t have to suffer with muscle soreness and stiffness. You can get relief without risking some of the frightening sideContinue Reading