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Understanding Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can be caused by various factors such as muscle strain, poor posture, herniated discs, or even stress. Regardless of the cause, dealing with lower back pain can be debilitating and have a significant impact on one’s quality of life.

To effectively manage and alleviate lower back pain, it is crucial to understand the underlying causes. By identifying the root of the problem, you can take appropriate measures to address it and prevent further discomfort. Seeking professional guidance from experts like Rianne Wolswinkel, who specialize in holistic health and personal development, can provide valuable insights into understanding, managing and reducing lower back pain.

Why Movement is Important for Lower Back Pain

When it comes to managing lower back pain, movement plays a vital role. Engaging in regular conscious physical activity can help strengthen the muscles that support the spine, improve flexibility, and promote overall well-being. Exercise also helps increase blood circulation to the affected area, which aids in the healing process.

One effective modality for alleviating lower back pain is yoga therapy. Yoga combines gentle movement, breath awareness, and mindfulness to reduce pain and improve flexibility. With a focus on relaxation and sensing your movement, yoga therapy helps release tension in the muscles surrounding the lower back, promoting healing and relieving discomfort.

Additionally, Thai bodywork is another holistic approach offered by Rianne to address lower back pain. Thai bodywork involves a combination of acupressure, assisted stretching, and energy work, targeting specific areas of tension and promoting relaxation and pain relief. Thai bodywork helps restore balance and harmony in the body, creating a foundation for holistic healing.

Top 5 Lower Back Pain Movements

1. Breathing in the ribs: You can apply this in most poses, but start lying down or seated. Place a belt around the lower ribs below the chest, to feel the ribs move in all directions. Breath like your normally would, so don’t deepen your breath, but direct it towards where you feel the belt. Trying to gently push into the belt with your lower ribs. Your belly can stay relaxed and move with your breath, but focus on the rib area on the sides, front, and back of your body. Notice what you feel. In this way, you will move your diaphragm (which is attached to the ribs) and expand the area of the lungs in all directions. If you’re sitting, note the sit bones in the chair or cushion, while noticing the back of the skull which can float up, taking the breastbone along and allowing the lower back to soften as you sense the lower ribs in the back.

2. Knee to chest: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the ground. Move one knee towards your chest and notice if you can feel the movement of your legbone in your hip. Also notice if you want to move more than just your leg and allow that to happen. What can you let go of or soften to still that extra movement?
With belt: Place a belt around your thighs, keeping your legs hip-width apart. Gently push your legs into the strap (without engaging your hip flexors (the muscles at the front of the upper leg), then bring your knee toward your chest. Note if and how that is different.

3. Figure 4: Lie down on you back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Bring one bent leg up, turn the knee out and rest your foot \ ankle \ lower leg on your other thigh. And move back to placing your foot on the ground. Notice what happens when you make this movement of your leg in the hip in your back and pelvis. If you feel your pelvis tilt or move toward your ribs, make the movement smaller. See if you can find support through your torso and the foot that is still on the ground.
If you can’t get your foot up on your leg, just focus on making the movement itself, raising it and turning it. If you can rest your foot / ankle / lower leg on the other leg, you can play with turning the knee away and what happens with it around your pelvis, back and the rest of your body.

4. Side lying pelvic movement: Roll a felt mat or blanket into a sturdy roll that is not too thick. Lie on your side with the roll just over the edge of your pelvis (towards your ribs) on your side and support your head so that your head is in line with your spine. Also, make sure your head, shoulders and pelvis are in a straight line, your knees are bent, and your shoulders and pelvis are well stacked.
From here, move your upper hip away from you (toward your heels) and relax it to neutral. Let your torso be still and notice the movement of the pelvis. Make sure that this movement is sideways and that you don’t go any further if you notice you are turning your pelvis or arching your back.

5. Tennis ball rolling: Use a tennis ball to roll out or apply pressure on the sole of your foot. Breathe and notice any sensitive areas. Explore how much pressure you want to give and try not to overdo it and torture yourself.

Exercise Precautions for Lower Back Pain

While movement is beneficial for managing lower back pain, it is essential to take certain precautions to avoid aggravating the condition. Always consult with your medical doctor if you have any doubts. Always listen to your body and avoid movements or poses that cause pain or discomfort. Start with gentle exercises and gradually increase intensity or duration as your body adapts and gets stronger.

It is also advisable to seek guidance from a medical doctor, or a certified yoga therapist like Rianne Wolswinkel, who can tailor an exercise program specific to your needs. They can support you in increasing your body awareness, and understanding how to move, preventing further injury and maximizing the benefits of you routine.

If you have any questions regarding the movements describes above, feel free to send a message to rianne@riannewolswinkel.com and I’d be happy to answer. You can also visit my youtube channel where I share different therapeutic yoga practice to support you in reducing pain and increasing your well-being.