Tired of the pills....the shots......the trips to the doctor....physical therapy......blah, blah, blah! All of those work for a little while, but then the pain comes back.
I get it.
Over the past 25 years I've treated hundreds of patients just like you. And this is what I teach all of my back pain patients to do in addition to their acupuncture treatments:
1. Hamstring stretches:
If you've got tight hamstrings, good luck in trying to alleviate your back pain! Depending upon your level of pain and your level of flexibility, you can try any one of these methods:
a. Put your foot up on the edge of the bathtub and slowly lean forward, towards your foot. Go only so far as you can - this isn't a competitive sport! You should feel your hamstrings stretching, but you are not here to injure yourself!
Now stand up again and lean forward, this time at a 45 degree angle to your leg. Your leg is off to the side a little, and your head and upper body are moving straight down towards the tub. You should feel this on your inner thighs - these are your adductor muscles. If you stretch both your hamstrings and your adductors, you will get better results.
Do this on the other side...
2. Alternate ice and heat
If you've just injured yourself, then use ice alone. If your injury is more than a few days old, you can alternate ice and heat. The ice will bring down the inflammation and the heat will increase the circulation. You can use ice in a plastic bag, then wrapped in a thin towel and for heat if you've got a heating pad, that will work great. (A hot shower also works well!
3. Strengthen your core
The best thing you can do for your back is to keep your core strong. If you're in acute pain, you won't want to be doing any crunches - that could prove to be damaging! Instead, if you have access to a pool, then get in to the deep end - up to your neck in water - and walk across the pool, so that the water level will remain the same....up to your neck. This will allow you to use all of the muscles on the front of your body with even pressure on your entire spine. It's a method that reduces the risk of re-injuring yourself!
If you can, then lie on the floor with your calves and feet on a chair or the couch. Place your fingertips behind your ears and lift your shoulders off the floor. Release them back down. Start with 10 repetitions and you can work your way up from there. The important thing is to keep your hips flexed so that you don't re-injure your back. You won't be able to lift your torso that high off the floor, but that's OK. You will be engaging your core.
I know, this doesn't sound like it has anything to do with a physical injury, but believe me, it does! Not sure how to do this? I've got a post coming up which will give you a simple - non-conventional way to meditate.