7 amazing exercises to relieve back pain

June 5, 2017

The 7 Best Exercises for Back Pain, Slipped disc and Sciatica

This post was originally posted here .

It’s estimated that 80% of people will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. A high percentage of these people will have low back pain and leg pain caused by a herniated disc. (Also known as a disc bulge, disc protrusion or ‘slipped disc’.)

People who sit for a greater part of their working day may be predisposed to back pain and sciatica. Sports that involve running, jumping, contact or twisting have an increased risk of back injuries. Lifting improperly is also a common cause of spinal and disc injuries, that result in nerve compression. 

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It starts from the spine in the lower back and travels all the way down the buttock, leg to the foot. Often the term “pinched nerve” is in reference to the pain that can be experienced when the nerves in the back, or the sciatic nerve is compressed. 

The best way to experience relief is to find out exactly where is the root cause of the pain. Is it a joint sprain, poor mechanics or a pinched nerve? This requires a visit to your back specialist chiropractor to get checked.

Of course, you can (and need) to help yourself too! Here’s seven of the best exercises to fix your bad back. If both the root cause is addressed, and you ease the muscles with these exercises, your spinal column will be well supported and stabilised. Best of all, you can say good riddance to your back aches and sciatic pains! 

Here are the 7 best exercises to relieve back pain, disc herniations and sciatica.

1. Knee to chest stretch. This exercise begins with you laying flat on your back on a mat, knees bent, and arms laying by your side. To begin, raise one of your knees as close to your chest as you can. You may use both of your hands to support your knee. Keep breathing, and hold your stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat with your other leg, and then repeat the entire set three times. 

A variation of this is bringing you knee to opposite shoulder and holding that stretch.

2. Back extension. While lying face down on the mat, stretch your arms forward in line with your torso. Next, press down onto the mat with both hands as you raise your head, shoulders and chest off the ground. Feel a gentle stretch on the stomach muscles as you lengthen your spine (by pulling your head away from your pelvis). Remember to keep both palms and both legs pressed firmly onto the floor. Hold your position for 8 to 10 seconds, then release and go back down to starting position. Repeat this set for ten times. 

3. Hamstring stretch. Sit on your mat with your one leg extended in front of you and the other leg bent with your foot against the inner thigh of the straight leg. Sit tall, then lean forward from your hips as far as you can, until you feel a stretch in your hamstring. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds, then repeat for the other leg.

4. Pelvic tilt. Lie on your back on your mat with your knees bent. Lift up your abdomen as high as you can (arching your lower back), while still keep your buttocks and your shoulders pressed to the mat. Hold for five to ten seconds, then relax. 

Next, flatten your back against the floor by tightening your abdominal muscles and bending your pelvic bone up slightly. Hold for five to ten seconds, then relax. Do a set of 10 repetitions. 

5. Piriformis Stretch Lie on your back with your knees bent, and both feet flat on the floor. Place the right ankle on top of the left knee creating a figure-4. Gently pull the left thigh toward your chest. You can grasp the back of the left thigh, or the front of the shin. Hold stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

6. Child’s pose (Prayer stretch) Kneel on the floor with knees about as wide as your hips and sit on your heels. Flex forward at the hips, bringing your heart and chest between or on top of your thighs. Keep your arms extended forward, remembering to keep your buttocks in contact with your heels. Allow your forehead to rest on the floor. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat. 

7. Cat and Cow pose Start on your hands and knees keeping your wrists directly below your shoulders, and your knees directly under your hips.

Step 1: Cow Pose: Inhale and tilt your pelvis so you back arches and your tail sticks up. Let your belly drop down, but keep your abdominal muscles engaged by drawing your navel in. Lift your chin and chest by gently gazing toward the ceiling without cranking your neck.

Step 2: Cat Pose: As you exhale, tip your pelvis forward, tucking your tailbone between your legs. Your spine will round naturally as you drop your head and draw your belly to your spine. The pose should look like a cat stretching its back.

Inhale, coming back into Cow Pose, and then exhale as you return to Cat Pose. Repeat 10-20 times.

Remember to do these 7 back exercises at least once per day while your back is in healing phase. Also remember to keep breathing throughout your exercise routine as you should never be holding your breath. Even if you experience a full recovery from upper and lower back pain, you should continue with a regular back pain exercises to keep your muscles strong and limber, and to prevent further troubles with sciatica. For additional exercises that can help cure back pain, see this slideshare.

Brief word from Dr Gary:
  If you have back pain and want pain relief treatment or to find and correct the root cause, follow these simple 4 steps to a better you. Of course, you can also book online to see a chiropractor in Singapore. 


Why do pillows exist?

June 5, 2017
Guest Post by Best Pillow!

Pillows can be a luxury, or a life (sleep) saver. A good pillow means a good nights sleep, good rest and a fantastic tomorrow. 

Why Do Pillows Exist?

Sometimes it is the most common things in our lives that amaze us most.  Be them fascinating in their simplicity, their function, their interesting facts, or some combination of all of that, they tend to be pretty incredible.  Take pillows, for instance.  It's not something you tend to think about past “Oh, th...

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Patience wins.

June 22, 2013
Of who they are.
Of reputations. Of status.
With noses up and backs turned.
Be kind. 
Of how they act.
Lacking respect. No courtesy.
Not bothered the least.
Be calm.
Of what happens next.
Painfully annoying. So irresponsible.
Integrity compromised.
Show care.
Of past experiences.
Of consistent setbacks. Repeatedly.
Without motivation.
Keep giving.
Sharing more. Sharing kindness.
Giving generously. Without exception.
Being calm. Always polite.
With compassion. And...

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Chasing Thoughts

May 9, 2013

So busy all around me.

Thoughts racing though me.

How do people see me?

Self awareness alerting me.

What's happened. 
It's over. 
It's out of your control.

It's not bad. 
Stop thinking. 
Delusion makes us suffer. 

I'm safe. 
I'm loved. 
I'm proud of who I am.

I'm sorry. 
Please forgive me. 
Thank you. 
I love you. 

+Dr Gary Tho
For J-R (JeeRafe)
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Happy 3 Frens

August 4, 2012

By +Dr Gary Tho
Laugh and Play,
When the week ends,
The excitement runs wild,
Happy 3 Friends.

Drinking night long,
Then somebody bends,
No, that's just me dancing,
Happy 3 Friends.

Sharing comfort and strength,
As our troubles mends,
Our friendship such a blessing,
Happy 3 Friends.

Struggling now to think,
Of a sentence ending with "lends",
And knowing how much sh*t I'm guna get for writing this poem,
Happy 3 Friends. 

Thanks for being great people, and fantastic friends! You know who you are. ...

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Listen up!

August 4, 2012
I have had the honour of speaking with some fantastic companies over the past few weeks. The bosses of the companies are so passionate about taking care of their employees, and giving them every opportunity. They encouraged all their staff to attend, and each session we had about a 95% attendence rate! Not only that, but they were interactive, enthusiastic and willing to participate (mostly anyway!) 

I am so glad to have been able to work with them, and offer some new knowledge that will assis...
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The Final Chapter

July 23, 2012

Thanks for

The friendships,

Our laughter,

The togetherness we shared.

The chatting,

It's always fun, best friends,

We could talk forever.

The company,

The time we spent so often together,

We’re inseparable and accomplished so much.

The touch,

Your hands holding mine,

The sweet kisses and hugs.

The love,

Such an unbelievable feeling,

Was always treasured.

May everyone experience the best life has to offer.

May everyone be well and happy.  

+Gary Tho

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What's the Difference?

July 15, 2012

What's the difference between TCM, physiotherapy and Chiropractic?

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is usually concerned with the  flow of chi through the body. Blockage, or an accumulation of Qi (chi), commonly called "wind" in the body is usually the culprit to people's health concerns, whether it is aches and pains, or chronic illness like digestive problems and diabetes. Methods used to alleviate symptoms include herbal remedies, acupuncture, cupping (occasionally removing "bad" blood), ...

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It's all about function!

July 15, 2012

It's all about Function!
+Dr Gary Tho

I did a talk about this years ago! I thought the world was ready for it. But it seemed to be ahead of its time.

Now we are ready. At least some of us, anyway. Athletes and trainers are, because new technology and research is changing the way we approach situations and events.

Everyday people are becoming more aware of their health and learning better practices. But the most common question is still being asked. "Why do I get this pain?" "Why does it co...

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Invest in Health

June 19, 2012
I'm too busy... 

It cost so much?

Any quick fix?

These are the common questions, and thoughts of humans. We are not programmed this way, however, society and lifestyle shapes our thinking. And when it comes to health, we tend to neglect our body, until we really can't stand it any more. 

We are happy to invest our time sitting at work for 8 hours, sitting at home for 2 hrs doing more work, followed by another 2 hours of sitting at the computer for social activities like blogging (ahem), facebook ...

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"Live. Love. Laugh." - my iPad 2

Dr Gary aka Gaz - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - I'm a ... Chiropractor. Philospher. Child. Romantic. Educator. Speaker. Writer. Designer. Musician. Dancer. Athlete. I just want to share my views, thoughts, and hope it may inspire, stimulate or provide humour for everyone reading it.