Ironing your lower back!
So you have been sitting for much of the day or maybe standing. Perhaps you have been doing the housework or gardening or had a long car journey. Your lower back feels solid and achy You crave to pummel it with your knuckles but it doesn’t do a great deal. You know that tomorrow will be the same. You live with an gnawing low dull pain that life doesn’t give you time to concentrate on getting rid of. Some days it feels a bit better, others worse. In the back of your mind you wonder if it will get worse but hope by ignoring it things will get better.
Try ironing your pain away! Leave the iron in the cupboard and follow the steps below!
- Lie on the floor with your feet on the ground so your knees are bent. Your lower back should not be arching.
- Pull in your tummy and lift one leg up so the knee points to the ceiling and your hand is holding behind your knee.
- Repeat with the other leg so both legs are up with both hands behind the knees. The lower legs are relaxed, hanging down. Cross the ankles and let your knees open out slightly – find a relaxed position.
- Notice how your lower back feels on the floor – does it feel like a solid lump with no give? Does it feel raised in some areas – not flat? Feel the weight of your legs pushing down on the lower back.
- Start to rotate one way and then the other, move backwards and forwards and side to side in small movements on the area where your lower back is on the floor. Do not lift your head, neck, shoulders or any part of your back. Do not move your legs past the vertical (backwards) away from your body. The back will arch if you do this and can be painful.
- The idea is to ‘iron’, or massage away any tension in your lower back. Keep doing these gentle, small movements until you feel your back flattening and softening. It may take 10 minutes or more or could happen quicker depending on the tension in your back. Experiment with how big the movements are. Get to know your lower back!
- Relax as much as your body as you can – no tension anywhere whilst you are doing this. Enjoy the ironing!!!
- Just before you finish, take a few seconds to feel how different your lower back feels – flatter? softer? more mobile?. Compare this to how it felt before you started ironing. This will give you a quick and easy indication each day as to how much muscle tension your lower back is holding and how much ironing you have to do!
This is just one example of how a little daily back care (see post ‘Backs and Teeth!’ and ‘Cure No. 2′) can help target pain many of us experience.
(Nov 2012 – Sarah Key has now ‘adopted’ the term ‘Back Ironing’ when she is treating her patients).
(Sarah does not have a medical background so it is emphasised that her blog is the result of her experiences and listening to others only. Before doing any of the suggestions contained in her blog, check with your doctor if you have any concerns on how they may affect you)
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Just tried this technique, and wow, it really works! With your permission, I’d like to reprint this article on my website backpainrevealed.com
Great technique. A few years back I was in so much pain, I thought I had slipped a disc. I hadn’t. It was just a muscle spasm. Had some physio and acupuncture which worked but it took quite a while. I now run a health and beauty clinic and when my back played up again our Osteopath got me to something something similar to this. It certainly worked quicker than physiotherapy!
I LOVE the term ‘back ironing’! I use this exercise a lot on my website (www.backpainkey.com – hope that’s okay to mention?) It is such an effective technique and ‘back ironing’ is the perfect way to descibe it! Thanks for your site! I am really enjoying it 🙂
This is a great technique! It really helps with tension in your lower back, it feels so much better afterwards, you can really feel the difference. And I too love the term ‘back ironing’!