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TOPIC: Good stretches and maintenance for low back

Good stretches and maintenance for low back 3 years, 3 months ago #9131

HI all! Really glad after a couple years of injury to be fired up about moving my skiing again! I am working particularly on developing good speed across the wakes with less stress on my back and a lighter line, and being in better position. I used to be a little back and get pulled over some.

A couple years ago, I blew a disc between L4 and L5, and did not ski the rest of that summer, and not much the next one due to a different injury. My main symptoms were sciatica, and some foot drop that thankfully resolved. I did not require surgery, but just time off, an epidural to manage pain and help bring down inflammation in the area, less sitting, and PT which focused on core strengthening, and re-building my natural curve in my lower back. I had had a habit from the 80's of reducing that curve (bringing spine to floor) during crunches, etc. But as I said, now getting back into it after working on some good basic core exercises as advised by my PT. One stretch that has been important is a cobra like stretch, in prone position, up on elbows, then lifting up 10 times with my arms, leaving hips on the floor. I also have pretty tight IT bands particularly on the right. After injury, I was advised NOT to do a lot of touching my toes type stretches to

Putting more into my skiing this year, I have felt very strong. But just in the last couple days, I got a taste of some old stiffness across the back of my pelvis and lower back. I probably have been sitting a little too much at work again, and have not been very good about stretching. I iced, saw my chiro (my wife), and did my cobra stretch. But I never was given many other good stretches for the area or surrounding areas. A few, such as bringing alternate knees to chest while lying down, bringing both knees to chest and rolling over side to side, but that is about it. And of course the prone cobra one.

Anyone have any other suggestions? I am trying to figure out how to loosen my quads/IT bands, and ham strings, without bending over a ton, which still is not advised.

Re: Good stretches and maintenance for low back 3 years, 3 months ago #9132

  • BudDavis
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  • Today is a gift, so ski. No promise of more.
Would bringing your knees to chest have a similar negative effect on your disc as touching your toes?

I like to hang upside down on an inversion table while working out with hand weights. My feeling is; I get an upper body workout, without adding weight to my bulging disc.
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Re: Good stretches and maintenance for low back 3 years, 3 months ago #9133

BudDavis wrote:
Would bringing your knees to chest have a similar negative effect on your disc as touching your toes?

I like to hang upside down on an inversion table while working out with hand weights. My feeling is; I get an upper body workout, without adding weight to my bulging disc.


Hmm. Interesting point. When I bring knees up, I am lying down and not bending my spine over extended legs such as touching toes while standing or seated. And I can focus on keeping a curve in my lower spine while lying down doing it. But that exercise does not replace a stretch with extended legs for work on the backs of my legs.

I like the inversion table idea. I used to have some ankle things that allowed me to hang upside down. Will see if one of the local gyms has an inversion table to try.

Re: Good stretches and maintenance for low back 3 years, 3 months ago #9143

quite often what people need to do is to stretch the hamstrings and strengthen the quadriceps. we tend to have our patients keep the flat in the back and bending primarily forward from the hips. This concentrates much more stretch in the hamstrings and buttocks muscles and keeps you from pulling so much through the lower back. I like doing slow, gentle, stiff legged deadlifts squeezing the buttocks and the hamstring muscles and putting almost no pressure into the arched to flat back. (Do not round the back. During that exercise) too many people around their low back when stretching or lifting lead to possible permanent disk damage. The inverted moves. Sounds like a wonderful idea, because it is a decompressive therapy. And discs respond well to decompression.

Was in a seminar over the weekend. Teaching Kinesio taping. Using a star pattern with 10% stretch centered over the disk causes a decompressive anti-swelling protocol that the teacher claims to be highly beneficial. And showed several pictures showing results. I have not used it yet in my office to verify but sounds like a good idea. The Kinesio tape comes in strips attached paper and that is the 10% stretch. You put a horizontal stripe, vertical stripe, and diagonal in each direction, forming a star with the center over the disk or SI joint supposed to be tremendously pain relieving and fairly healing. May be worth a try. I buy tape at a local store for about $11 a roll. If you get to try it before I do. Give me a shout back.
The following user(s) said Thank You: sunvalleylaw

Re: Good stretches and maintenance for low back 3 years, 3 months ago #9149

ChrisDugas wrote:
quite often what people need to do is to stretch the hamstrings and strengthen the quadriceps. we tend to have our patients keep the flat in the back and bending primarily forward from the hips. This concentrates much more stretch in the hamstrings and buttocks muscles and keeps you from pulling so much through the lower back. I like doing slow, gentle, stiff legged deadlifts squeezing the buttocks and the hamstring muscles and putting almost no pressure into the arched to flat back. (Do not round the back. During that exercise) too many people around their low back when stretching or lifting lead to possible permanent disk damage. The inverted moves. Sounds like a wonderful idea, because it is a decompressive therapy. And discs respond well to decompression.

Was in a seminar over the weekend. Teaching Kinesio taping. Using a star pattern with 10% stretch centered over the disk causes a decompressive anti-swelling protocol that the teacher claims to be highly beneficial. And showed several pictures showing results. I have not used it yet in my office to verify but sounds like a good idea. The Kinesio tape comes in strips attached paper and that is the 10% stretch. You put a horizontal stripe, vertical stripe, and diagonal in each direction, forming a star with the center over the disk or SI joint supposed to be tremendously pain relieving and fairly healing. May be worth a try. I buy tape at a local store for about $11 a roll. If you get to try it before I do. Give me a shout back.


Thanks Chris! My wife is a chiro, and she has some tape I think is like that, that she has used on my kids. Will ask if it could apply to me. I am a life long alpine skier and have long had what some PT a long time ago told me were overdeveloped quads relative to hamstrings. I tend to get tight IT bands, particularly on my right side, after an injury running the corner during track workouts as a young adult. I loved to drive the corners! So, I tend to stretch those quads with the typical standing stretches. The difficulty for me is stretching the hamstrings without a lot of bending over, which I was advised not to do. Your ideas above sound like good ones and I will try them. Thanks!

Re: Good stretches and maintenance for low back 3 years, 2 months ago #9173

Sunvalleylaw, do you have a foam roller? For me it really helps to just roll on top of it with my hamstrings and butt. Helps the IT band pain and tightness. I was having a lot of lower back pain one spring when I was in the gym a lot and the PT I went to recommended that. Also recommended a baseball in a hot bath. Just sit and roll around on it. You will find the IT band pretty quick. This really helps when my lower back and hamstrings are tight.
The most important thing is to have fun.
The following user(s) said Thank You: sunvalleylaw

Re: Good stretches and maintenance for low back 3 years, 2 months ago #9174

TravisTorley wrote:
Sunvalleylaw, do you have a foam roller? For me it really helps to just roll on top of it with my hamstrings and butt. Helps the IT band pain and tightness. I was having a lot of lower back pain one spring when I was in the gym a lot and the PT I went to recommended that. Also recommended a baseball in a hot bath. Just sit and roll around on it. You will find the IT band pretty quick. This really helps when my lower back and hamstrings are tight.


Yes, I have that. And that is a good idea. As an alpine skier/ski coach, I have pretty tight IT bands.
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