In this video we talk about how the lumbar disc stretch is the perfect exercise to help your lower back. If you’re part of the Backinshapeapp.com membership site then this will be a familiar exercise for you but why is it great?
In short this exercise is the only real way to unload both the discs in your back & the muscles and ligaments at the same time. The lumbar disc stretch helps restore the curve in the lower back in the process too.
To do the lumbar disc stretch you only need to be able to lie on the floor, it doesn’t involve complicated movement patterns or extreme end of range movements. Once more, if you struggle to get onto the floor, it can be done on the bed as a second best option.
In the rest of this page we will go into why we find this such a great exercise, in spite of its simplicity so that you can understand the merits of this simple yet effective stretch.
Who Can Benefit From The Lumbar Disc Stretch
The great thing about this lower back stretch is that it provides benefits to everyone from the acute back pain sufferer who has just injured the back, all the way to the unfortunate individual trying to manage chronic lower back pain from home. In addition to this, we find that the healthy and active individual who is working out regularly can also feel benefit from utilising just 2-5 minutes of this stretch after a long stint at the desk or a tough workout.
Why Is The Lumbar Disc Stretch Good For Your Back Pain?
When you’ve injured your lower back, in our experience, it is much more commonly associated with forward bending injury than backward. In the event that it is related to backward bending, it is frequently the L5/S1 that is injured (last lower back joint).
The unique thing about the lumbar disc stretch is that it helps by moving your spine in the opposite direction of injury. In the case of the forward bending of the lower back being the mode of injury, it puts a gentle arc back into the spine. In the case of an extreme backward bend at the L5/S1, it helps by returning the joint to a more normal position when done with the knees bent (like in the video).
We use this stretch for patients in the clinic under our care, and having had experience with thousands of lumbar X-rays we understand the diverse applications this has to the majority of lower back pain sufferers.
Why The Lumbar Disc Stretch Is The Best Exercise For Low Back Pain Relief
The main reason we find that patients like this exercise so much is because it works. Typical exercises that are recommended to patients with back pain actually do the exact opposite. They often pull the lower back into more flexion and in our opinion disrupt the healing process through too much aggressive movement.
The knee hugs and rocking your knees left and right to twist the back are two common ones. These exercises are the equivalent of ‘picking the scab’. You may have heard us refer to back pain through the analogy of a surface wound, the healing process is somewhat similar. If we take this example of a graze or cut on your arm, excessive bending of the joints around this cut, or pulling of the skin serves to further pull the wound open – negatively impacting the healing process.
It’s not that these exercises are bad ‘full stop’, they just lack sensible application or purpose. Mobility exercises for the lower back need to be limited in the early days of a back problem – what we would call ‘Phase 1’. The lumbar disc stretch alleviates pressure on your lower back, alleviates pressure on the injured tissues without pulling the wound open more, it also takes pressure of your muscles which are normally trying to help but just making the problem worse.
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