Tip of the Week: Stretch your hamstrings!
Show me a patient with low back pain and more often then not, that patient will have tight hamstrings. Your hamstrings are a large group of muscles that make up the back part of your thighs, they originate from your pelvis, and your pelvis articulates with the bottom of your spine. This means that tightness in the hamstring muscles can affect your low back and pelvis.
The hamstrings are muscles that are constantly working to hold the body upright and they function to help us walk and run. When these muscles get tight (and they often do) they pull downward on the bottom of the pelvis, causing it to rotate backwards. This prevents the hips from properly flexing during forward bending and instead forces the low back to flex, which puts added pressure on the disks of your low back, puts the joints in a compromised position, and places excess strain on the muscles…..all of which can cause pain.
Therefore, one of the easiest ways to prevent or manage back pain is to ensure flexibility of your hamstrings. However, flexibility does not happen over night, it is earned over time and through consistency. Stretch your hamstrings daily… your low back will thank you!!!!
Tip of the week: Drink water BEFORE you eat…
I like food just as much as the next person, but if I waited until I felt full and satisfied before I stopped eating, I would undoubtedly overeat and be overweight. People don’t give themselves enough time to digest and feel full, so they overeat. Experts say that it takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to “tell” the brain that it’s full. The problem is we eat large meals in less than 20 minutes. Think about how easy it is to scarf down an entire 12-inch sub in 5 minutes!
Here’s an easy way to help avoid that problem as well as improve your metabolism: drink 500ml of water 30 minutes before EACH meal. It will make a huge difference in your sense of fullness, digestion, metabolism and in doing so will help you keep the pounds off. It’s simple; try it and you’ll be amazed. It will also help ensure you are staying hydrated, need I say more?
And remember: what you eat is equally important!
Tip of the Week: Sitting at your desk… the right way!
There’s a reason why many people feel better while on vacation, and its not just because of decrease in stress. Occupational stresses and bad habits in the workplace are a big contributor to back pain. At the top of the dreaded list of reasons why people’s backs “kill” at work is sitting at a desk for hours during the day. So here’s a few tips we tell our patients:
1) Get up every hour! Even if its just to stretch out and walk around your office for 1-2 minutes..it will help you tremendously
2) Recline in your chair and use your back rest.
3) Keep your feet on the ground and avoid crossing your legs.