Lower Back Pain
If you have an occasional spasm in your lower back; acute lower back pain with inflammation, swelling, and heat; or a slipped or
protruding disk in your lower back, I suggest starting with the following abdominal routine instead of the basic back routine. We
frequently hear talk about how important the abdominal muscles are for a healthy back. This routine will release the psoas, an
important abdominal muscle that attaches to the front side of the spine and is often so tight that it causes pain in the lower back.
Working the abdomen will take the tension out of the psoas and the other abdominal muscles and elongate them, which by itself will
often relieve pressure in the lower back and relax the lower back muscles. Constipation and the tendency to hold tension in the
abdomen can also cause lower back pain, so this is another reason that the abdominal routine is the best place to begin correcting
lower back discomfort.
If your back feels okay after you do the abdominal routine, you can then move on to the basic back routine.
One type of sciatica is due to tight muscles in the buttocks and thighs that press into the sciatic nerve, causing pain that shoots down
the leg. The following routine will help relieve this type of sciatica. However, it may not help the second form of sciatica, which is
caused by compression in the lower back that irritates a nerve root. If this routine fails to relieve your pain, try the abdominal routine.
If neither routine is effective, consult a health-care professional. As long as pain from sciatica persists, avoid the basic back routine.
1. Lean back and place the ball at the top of your right hipbone, touching the right side of your spine. Your weight should be
distributed equally on your feet, hip, and hands. Your hands are on the floor behind you.
2. Now shift more weight onto your left arm. Roll the bj below the top of the hipbone, then roll it out toward the angling down
toward the point where the right thigh bone.
into the pelvis (the hip joint). Roll slowly out toward this point, breathing and sinking at each point, until the ball reaches the hip
3. Bring the ball back to the starting position, then roll down an inch, so the ball is on the upper part of your sacrum. Stay here, sink,
and breathe. Shift your weight to the left again and roll sideways down to the right hip joint, sinking and breathing at each point.
4. Bring the ball back to the starting position, roll it an inch farther down the sacrum, and roll out to the hip joint again.
5. Bring the ball back to the starting position once more and roll it another inch farther down until it's close to your tailbone. Now roll
the ball to the right, out to the hip joint.
6. Repeat on the left side.
CAT BACK-OLD HORSE STRETCH EXERCISE AND TRIGGER POINT ERASURE FOR SCIATICA
Get on your hands and knees and press your back upward like an angry cat while dropping your head down. There is a tendency to
bend the arms slightly. Don't let that happen.
Next, let your back fall in as though it belonged to a tired old sway-backed horse. Bring your head up and be sure your arms are still
Do this exercise four times, always slowly and with great concentration, searching out all the tight spots that need to be stretched.
Now cross over to the other side and have someone erase trigger points in the belt area on the opposite side, mark your x's, and repeat
the stretch exercise. Then erase the trigger points on the other side. If you had the condition called "sciatica," in which there is pain
radiating down either or both legs, in all probability it is gone. Sciatica is thought to be caused by a nerve being "pinched." A nerve
is indeed being pinched, but in most cases not by the spine. The nerve has it little tail in a crack all right, but a muscle in spasm is
doing the pinching. We have not had a single case of sciatica in five years that didn't get better when we did what you have just done.
The last island of trouble in the belt line area lateral to the Iliocostalis lumborum area and medial and supine to the external oblique
(love handle) area. Use the same type of pressure as that used for the belt line areas.
ABDOMINAL ROUTINE for the LOWER BACK
Use a soft ball (equivalent to my yellow ball). If you only have a harder ball, deflate it a bit to make it softer.
1. Lie facedown with the ball pressing into your pubic bone (the bone between your legs at the bottom of the front of your pelvis).
Your weight should be equally distributed on your knees, feet, and forearms so not all your weight is pressing into the ball.
2. Stay here for a minute or two, breathing and relaxing. Then slowly slide your body backward so the ball rolls partly up into your
abdomen while still touching the top of the pubic bone. Each time the ball sinks deeper into the abdomen, curve your pubic bone
down around it toward the floor to take the ball in deeper toward the spine. You aren't moving the ball any farther toward the
ribs—you want it to stay low in the abdomen. This routine isn't about moving the ball up to the ribs but about sinking deeper into the
lower belly. Imagine you are pushing the ball toward your lower back.
Tip for step 2
The key to doing this routine successfully is the breathing. On the inhalation, your abdomen expands and pushes the ball out. The
challenge comes with the exhale: letting yourself sink into the ball as much as possible. The moment you feel uncomfortable, you
inhale, which releases the pressure. In this way you can use your breath to keep any discomfort at a level you can tolerate
3. Now move your body to the left, so the ball rolls into your right hip and pushes against that hip bone. Extend your right leg and
arm out from your body as far as possible, inhale, and let the ball sink into your abdomen as you exhale.
Tip for step 3
This is an active stretch. You're working to achieve as much length as you can on your right side. As you stretch out your right arm
and leg, you can feel how the abdominal muscles connect to both arm and leg. The more elongated the abdominals, the freer your
arm and leg become.
4. Roll the ball to the left hip and repeat step 3.