– Activities to avoid and change,
– Strategies for quick relief,
– Stretching for longer-lasting relief,
– Corrective Exercises, Yoga, and more…
Activities To Avoid or Change:
Use the arms of the chair to help push yourself out of the chair and keep your head back. As your head drops forward, you will find that your back feels more fragile and painful.
Avoid sitting with your knees above your hips. Having your knees flexed at more than 90 degrees will make it harder to get up. Look at the post below to set up a seating arrangement that works best or you.
Move. Many therapist suggest setting a timer that gets you out of your chair every 20 minutes or so. This really helps your neck and low back from getting “stove up.”
For Temporary Relief:
For relief on the go
or getting out of bed.
These topical patches offer relief from this stiffness. They boost your energy during the day. Stiffness and pain can rob you of energy. I’ve used these when traveling on vacation tours and it makes the day much better. When you put one on before bed, they can make getting out of bed much easier.
Put them where it is in this picture on the box. Feel for your ribs and hips in the back and center this patch in that area.
They are available. here on Amazon.
These self-care activities, like over-the-counter drugs, are not intended to replace appropriate medical attention. If you have concerns about these self-care activities, get help from a professional. Use these suggestions and strategies with discretion and at your own risk. See your doctor when your pain is severe, persistent, or doesn’t respond to these simple suggestions.
Stretches and Exercises for Longer-Lasting Relief:
This Upward-Dog position is good for starting the release. She does a great job of lifting moderately without pressing the hips into the mat. Pressing hips into the mat may create pressure on the discs and sharp pain in the low back.
Rectus femoris often contributes to this problem and is not strongly stretched in this pose.
This kneeling stretch for hip flexors is a classic because it allows you to target the problem and gives you lots of control.
Some people have a problem with knee pain and use a pillow but the knee pain goes away once the hip flexor muscles, especially rectus femoris, opens up.
If your knee bothers you too much, bridges are a good choice. Do them using the guidelines from Active Isolated Stretching or ice-and-stretch. They help build the opposing muscles in the low back and hamstrings.
Start out lifting just until you get tension. Hold each repetition for about 2 seconds and drop all the way back down. Do 10-20 twice a day or more. This will build the opposing muscles. Lift until your hips are arched above level.
These will be easier if you do 10 reps of the supine twist on each side before your bridges.
Core work to balance the abdominals and especially exercises the pull in the abdomen while twisting help. The tension in the iliopsoas and imbalanced abdominals can be directly connected to digestive issues. If you notice that the problem is worse when your digestion is disturbed, you should work with a professional to clean up your diet.
For the more active body.
Walking lunges, when done properly, do a great job of opening the abdomen, lengthening psoas and building the opposing erector muscles.
- Step forward so that the front foot is in front of the knee and the back knee is behind your hips.
- Keep your shoulders back over your hips.
- Lower your torso until the front is level.
- Keep your knee behind your toes on the front leg.
- Widen your stance, turn your front toe in a tiny bit and focus on keeping your hips between your feet if you are unstable.
- Step forward while minimizing how much your head and front shin lean forward.
- Do 6-10 reps on each leg.
I’d love your feedback
on how this works for you
and any suggestions you might have.
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Once you get the hip flexor muscles open with poses like Upward Dog, Cobra and basic bridges, you can isolate hip flexor muscles with poses like pigeon. In this particular photo, the practitioner has her trunk upright with her pelvis buried in the mat to create a strong stretch on the hip flexors. Look how the back leg comes off the floor a bit for the extra stretch.
Other patterns that may better match your pain pattern…
Other trigger point patterns
have similar areas of referral
and impaired activities.
There are many patterns in the low back and some other that are similar in how they make it feel stiff on one side. Look at this collection of posts on low back pain.
This site is undergoing changes. Starting in early 2020, we began improving the format. We are also adding more extensive self-care, illustrations, therapist notes, anatomy, and protocols. We appreciate your input and feedback. You will see us adding posts and updating older posts as time permits.
Weekly Featured Post
This post shows you how to press out the trigger points and stretch the infraspinatus muscle. It’s a small muscle on the back of the shoulder but creates a number of problems, including:
- shoulder pain when sleeping
- loss of grip strength
- upper neck pain
- pain along the inside edge of the shoulder blade
Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.
*This site is undergoing major changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make it easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and
will include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there may be inconsistency in formatting, content presentation, and readability. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.