Monday, November 30, 2009

Stretches for Rehabilitating Lower Back Problems.

Are you dealing with lower back problems? The following are two simple stretches. They are not miracle cures. You should not have a miracle-cure mentality or a one-pill approach. Such an approach will not rid your problem and will lead to frustration. As I've often told my clients, there is not any one thing that will help you. You have to combine many things (such as proper rehabilitative exercises, posture, acupuncture, physical therapy treatment(s), and others.) However, treatments you choose must be reliable and should not have more risks than benefits.

Take it from me (someone who has his lower back problem under control for years.) Instead of trying to find one thing that would rid your back problem, you need to develop a habit of a number of things. These stretches were part of my rehabilitation program. The good news is this. You will only need to do more in the beginning. For example, I did these stretches (along with other things) daily when I had my lower back injury seventeen years ago. However, I now only need to do these stretches before and after my workouts (two to four days per week.)

Here are the exercises.

1. Lying on the floor face-up (supine), pull one knee to your chest.
2. Hold for a count of 30. Be sure to keep both hips down (squared).
3. Do the same for the other knee.

1. Stand at close proximity to a wall (or a steady object.)
2. Standing on one leg, grab your other ankle pulling your heel toward your butt (as much as it's comfortable.)
3. Keep the hips squared and keep a good posture. Keep the knee of the standing leg bent (unlike the woman in this picture.)
4. Hold for a count of 30.

Some of you may be wandering why I included a stretch of the quads here for the lower back. There is a good amount of evidence showing that tightness of muscles in the front of the leg may contribute or aggravate lower back problems (by increasing an anterior pelvic tilt.)

As health and fitness professional educated at the University of California, Davis and certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, I provide one-on-one consultation and/or training sessions. I also teach seminars. For a free consultation or training session, feel free to email me at

Disclaimer: Please consult your doctor and physical therapist before trying any stretching program. The author does not assume any liability.

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Copyright: © 2009. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at and

Shu Chan 陳樹中 Terence Chan LIU