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Let's Talk...Low Back and Sciatic Pain

Do you experience low back or sciatic pain on a day to day basis?


There are many factors that can contribute to low back pain, some of which include, poor posture, compensation, and decreased spinal stability. One or the most common reasons individuals experience low back pain is a result of weak core/abdominal muscles.


Experiencing low back pain and/or sciatic pain can be both frustrating and challenging, but there are exercises that work to strengthen your core/abdominal muscles as well as improve flexibility and mobility within the spine. As a result, proper exercise can also improve posture and stability, as well as decrease the likelihood of compensation. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise regimen, especially if you are experiencing pain.


Below are a few gentle exercises that will help activate your core/abdominal muscles and improve your mobility:


1.Core Activation: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat. Tighten your abdominal muscles, thinking of the motion of bringing your belly button towards your spine. Avoid holding your breath during this movement. Once abdominal muscles are activated, hold this position for 5 seconds. Make sure you keep breathing! Release, and repeat this movement 10 times.


2. Pelvic Tilts: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles and tilt your pelvis slightly upward, flattening your lower back against the floor. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then release slowly. Repeat this movement 8-10 times.



3. Piriformis Stretch: Sitting on the edge of a chair, cross legs placing your ankle on opposite knee - making a “4” with your legs. Sitting up straight, start to lean forward slowly until you are able to feel a pulling sensation in your glute. Hold this position for 15-20 seconds, then release slowly. Repeat this movement 4-5 times.

Piriformis stretch modification: Lie on your back, slide your foot up the inner side of the opposite leg, allowing knee to fall towards the table, again working to create “4” with your legs. Keeping sliding foot up your leg until you are able to feel a pull in the gluteal area. Hold this position for 15-20 seconds, then release slowly. Repeat this movement 4-5 times.


Remember to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of these exercises as your pain or discomfort improves. Listen to your body, and if any exercise increases your pain, stop immediately and consult with a healthcare professional. Consistency is key, so aim to incorporate these exercises into your daily routine for best results!



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