Did I want to go through a video for you on How to decrease the pressure in your back?
What Increases the Pressure in Your Lower Back?
After we wake up and get moving and do our things, work, living, etc., the pressure increases on our backs. As we move from lying, to standing, to sitting or being at the computer or work, we end up having an increase in the pressure in the spine.
What Can Decrease the Pressure in Your Lower Back?
Now a lot of people end up benefiting from that pressure being relieved. One way of doing that ends up being traction, the light pulling in the low back to decrease that pressure in the back.
How to Decrease the Pressure in Your Lower Back?
There are different ways of getting that traction or light pull in the back:
- You could go to a therapist, and the therapist can pull on your legs or your upper body to decrease that pressure in the back.
- You could go to that therapist again, and they hook you up to a machine, and that machine lightly pulls you in the hips and low back, or they can end up pulling the upper body to off-load that pressure in the back.
- What was popular in the 80s and is coming back when it comes to this rise in Cross Fit are those inversion tables where you strap yourself up to a table, flip yourself around upside down, and then get traction throughout that low back area.
Now, if you had that traction and you’ve benefited from that, I am going to go through some things you can end up doing on your own when it comes to relieving that pressure on the back, especially from sitting for a long period.
If you had traction and it hasn’t worked for you or has irritating things, I recommend not doing these exercises. But from my experience, about 80% of people will benefit from some traction in their back.
I like starting light and progressing more, progressing harder, and progressing even more. The key thing to remember, and I will go through it when it comes to the exercise. I will give you four progressions when it comes to the exercises.
Going lightly, you will see if you will benefit from the exercise and have no adverse reaction. And then we can progress more and more and get more and more benefits from the exercise.
Let’s start with level 1 and work your way to level 4. And if you get to level 4 and you like this stuff, then the next step ends up being some self traction, which there are options that you can do in the gym, which I will go through in another video, or you can do the inversion table.
Now let me show you the four progressions you can do from sitting.
If you end up sitting for a long period, you can off-load that pressure in the back by simply sitting with good posture. With good posture, we have 90 degrees on our foot, ankle, knee, hip, upper body, and shoulder.
I will move my palms forward and just reach for the sky and relax.
I can incorporate breathing, so I take one breath in and reach for the sky. Palms forward, breathe in, and back down. I am looking at doing five repetitions. I am using my upper body muscles to relieve that pressure in the low back. So that’s option number one.
Moving on to option number two, I am going to step back a little bit more, and while standing, I will have those palms facing forward, and I will reach up for the sky and relax. I can start by reaching up for the sky, and I can add a breath as well. So breathe in as I reach for the sky and then relax.
Do this in 5 repetitions.
And then I can see how that ends up feeling if that ends up feeling better, worse, or the same. What I want to do is end up building on better.
My back ends up feeling better when I do that exercise.
Now the third one is I am going to change the shoulder position and the hand position. I will have the hands facing forward and externally rotating the shoulder. I am opening up the shoulders, and then I am externally rotating the shoulders.
Now my hands are facing each other, but more importantly, my shoulders are opening up. I am reaching with my hands forward, and my shoulders are in a good position.
Do this in 5 repetitions.
With the shoulder in a good position, I bring in more lats or latissimus dorsi, which is a huge muscle in that mid-back area. It can end up helping when it comes to that traction in the back. Now you check to see how the back ends up feeling. Does it feel better, worse, or the same? We want to build on better.
Go back and make sure that you have done the technique right. If it ends up being the same, you can check to see if you have done the exercise correctly. And if there’s still no change and it’s not getting better, you don’t need to do the exercise.
If it ends up making it worse with more irritation or pain, and if it is minor, step back and make sure you have the technique right. If that doesn’t improve the irritation or light pain, then discontinue the exercise.
Now with level 4, this is what I call “Raising the Roof.”
I will raise my hands like raising a roof and pushing it up and back. I am coming up, reaching back, and taking that breath in. And then again roof, reaching back and then breathe in. And then see if it’s better, worse, or the same. Make five repetitions of this exercise.
For me, it ends up feeling better. With each of them, it ends up getting better. Because my body likes that traction, and it also likes that arching with each one. It ends up feeling better in my back.
Give those exercises a go. Pick the right progression for you and what levels work for you. I recommend you go from level 1 and work your way to level 4 and do five repetitions. You can increase it to 10 repetitions. And you can do these several times throughout the day, I would say under five times, so one to five times a day. Do not do these 50 times a day. Because then you kind of pass that exercises threshold is beneficial to being irritating, painful, and causing re-injury.
That is it. Soon, I will be releasing a program to help with back pain. It is called Fix My Back Pain. It will be coming out soon. Watch for it.
Rick Kaselj, MS