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Stretches for low back pain

Started by wkp418 on 01/15/2010 3:01pm

Can anyone recommend a series of stretches for chronic low back pain? I am diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis and when I wake up every morning I am ridiculously stiff.

Appreciate it.

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This site has some good stretching videos for back pain.

Degenerative Disc Disease Center

Spinal Stenosis Center

The videos are right in the middle of the page of both.

Good luck!

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You can do the Cat stretch,go on all fours, arch your Back up as far as you can and hold it for a bit and then lower it as down as you can and hold it for a bit,Do these for a few Times and they should loosen your Muscles up quite a bit.I also have an Inversion Table,which helps with the pain a lot.It tilts you at an angle up to 90 degrees, if you like ,really stretches out the Spine and allows the Vertabraes to get blood and Nutrients,Feels really great and helps a lot..
Take good care!

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This may be excellent advice for some persons, but for me it will not work because I have two TKA's and cannot kneel. It is also very difficult for me to get down onto a mat or to get up from a mat. Any exercising needs to be done from a chair or standing. Standing for more than 5-10 minutes is totally impossible unless I am bending totally at the waist and then I have very limited movement. I have always been a very active person...tennis, field hockey, etc. Swimming works but takes up a large portion of my days.

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Has your doctor suggested physical therapy yet? If not, you may want to ask him/her about a course of physical therapy.

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I know of no stretching whatsoever. I wish I did. Mornings are the worst. I try to be as active as possible in the morning; I take a hot shower and walk about three miles every morning at 5:30. It sounds crazy, but it gets me moving. My doc at the pain clinic doesn't think that walking is the best thing for me, but I wear orthotics with very cushioned walking shoes and I walk on a cork floor as often as possible. (I also drink coffee, which probably isn't recommended, either). Just STAY ACTIVE. I am 65 years old, have had several RFA's and I am going strong. Keep a positive attitude.

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I know of no stretching whatsoever. I wish I did. Mornings are the worst. I try to be as active as possible in the morning; I take a hot shower and walk about three miles every morning at 5:30. It sounds crazy, but it gets me moving. My doc at the pain clinic doesn't think that walking is the best thing for me, but I wear orthotics with very cushioned walking shoes and I walk on a cork floor as often as possible. (I also drink coffee, which probably isn't recommended, either). Just STAY ACTIVE. I am 65 years old, have had several RFA's and I am going strong. Keep a positive attitude.

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I've been dealing with back trouble on and off over the years and identify with the morning stiffness or just stiffness from not moving in a while. I do hamstring stretches, performis stretches, groing, high knee as well as stretching my psoas. These really help ease some pressure on the low back. Regular core exercises help a lot too. I also have an inversiontable, however I am almost 300lbs so I don't go all the way over. I recommend seeing a dr. to get specific stretches and exercise for your situation.

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I am a physical therapist and have specialized in treating spine problems for 24 years. The idea that someone can suggest exercises based on a description of their symptoms is not supported in any way by any research. You can certainly try a lot of different exercises and see what helps. I would suggest starting with 1 or 2 exercises and if they don't make you worse, add to your regime--but this is really a random approach. Typically I do tell patients that the one thing I can recommend ALMOST without exception is walking--except one of the typical complaints with symptomatic spinal stenosis is pain and/or heaviness in the legs with walking that is relieved with sitting. Also, in my experience, dis problems and spinal stenosis are better with lying down. And, again, just based on my experience, stiffness usually has more to do with the joints in your spine--actually, any irritated joint (knees, hands, shoulders as well as spine) typically are stiff after not moving them. So, my recommendations are to search for a physical therapist in your area that has advanced manual therapy training and a track record of treating spine problems. You can try the APTA website www.apta.org) and search under "find a PT." Call the PT and find out if they treat one on one (don't go to a place were the therapist is working with someone else at the same time they are working with you. Also, ask what their background is with manual therapy (joint mobilization) techniques for the spine. Some therapists combined manual therapy with other interventions such as dry needling. You just need to find someone with extensive experience in a practice where they can guide you through your rehabilitation.

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Thank you so much for your response. I have degenerative disc with spinal stenosis in my thoracic area. I also have bulging between C6 and C7. They both cause horrible pain. My DO sent me to a physical therapist as a last resort before surgery. He was licensed in dry needling. It was the best thing for my condition I have ever had. The ESIs only lasted a few months, but the therapy with the needling were working great. I assume you, as a physical therapist, recommend dry needling? I haven't been able to find a new physical therapist who does the needling since moving, but I am on the hunt. Thanks again for the information. I hope it helps others!

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Dry needling: You can find a PT through two main groups.
http://www.kinetacore.com/physical-therapy/Find-a-Therapist-TDN-IMT/page62.html
and maybe through this group:
http://www.bethesdaphysiocare.com/seminars.html

Yes, dry needling performed by a PT as an adjunct to other interventions is quite helpful.

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Where do you go to get the treatment for the artificale disks for the lower spine?

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I advise to lay on exercise mat and push lumbar muscles toward floor. Push for 20 seconds. Repeat five times
Planks are also good I also get into squatting position for 20 seconds

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There is a book that I highly recommend: Eight steps to a pain-free back by Esther Gokhale. This book teaches how to lie down, sit, walk, stand and bend in a way we were designed for. There are free online classes offered by Esther to introduce people with all kinds of back, neck and posture problems to her method. Her website iswww.egwellnes.com Give it a try!

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After many mornings of pain and stiffness I noticed that sitting at the computer or sitting and playing my guitar provides much relief ... so I started a very simple exercise. The first thing I do in the morning is fire up the computer; sit my but down in the computer chair; and start the process of slowly bending forward and then arching backward (I also do work on the computer). This is initially painful but soon the tight muscles start to warm and the pain subsides. I have also started twisting my torso (while sitting) from left to right, pausing on each full right and left twist. I do this while holding my fore arms in the U position - upper arms are parallel with the floor. I have stopped the exercises recommended by the therapist and have also curtailed many of my daily stand up chores. Glad to say that the pain has been steadily decreasing - from a very high 10 to about a 3. Yesterday I did the therapist's exercises to see if they would cause the pain to return. The pain did return and I had to take ibuprofen before going out with my wife to a music concert.

I am sure that each of us will experience different responses to different therapies. I suggest doing little experiments with the exercises until you find your positive zone. Just don't do harm by pressing an exercise that causes extreme pain.

I have done physical therapy (6 professional sessions and on my own for 4 weeks), tried the drugs (ibuprofen is effective but risky), and have also had an epidural. Nothing has helped like a little rest and the very simple morning exercises described above.

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