Mend my Back | A Program to Relieve Back Pain | Laura Warf | Skillshare

Mend my Back | A Program to Relieve Back Pain

Laura Warf, Be healthy, happy and well

Mend my Back | A Program to Relieve Back Pain

Laura Warf, Be healthy, happy and well

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20 Lessons (50m)
    • 1. Mend My Back Class Abstract

    • 2. Introduction

    • 3. The 7 Causes of Back Pain

    • 4. Our Story | Why We Developed This Class

    • 5. Disclaimer

    • 6. Exercise | Power Posture

    • 7. Anatomy of the Spine

    • 8. Exercise for Neck and Shoulders | Arm-Circles and Hand-to-Wall

    • 9. Paced Diaphragmatic Breathing

    • 10. Exercise for Spinal Mobility | Cat-Cow

    • 11. Exercise for Core Stability | Table Pose

    • 12. Exercise for Core and Spinal Stability | The Bird-Dog

    • 13. Exercise for Stability of Hips and Glutes | The Clam

    • 14. Exercise for Flexibility | Quad Stretch

    • 15. Exercise for Flexibility of Hip and Glute | figure four stretch

    • 16. Exercise for Flexibility of the Lower Back| Knees to Chest

    • 17. Exercise for Crisis Mode | Elevated Legs

    • 18. Herniations? Why We Have Pain

    • 19. Summary Checklist for a Healthy Back

    • 20. You Are On Your Way! Final Notes

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About This Class

Have you ever experienced discomfort in your back or periods of chronic back pain? Perhaps you are struggling like many with lower back pain, sciatica or sciatic nerve sensitivity, neck pain, herniated disc, leg pain, upper back pain, back spasms and back problems in general. If you answered yes to any of these, then this class is for you.

Gain an understanding of the spine along with the 7 top causes of back pain. Learn a sequence of proven exercises to assist in promoting joint mobility and flexibility, along with greater strength and stability, surrounding the major joints that affect the health the spine. Find out how you can practice these moves and incorporate them easily into your day.

MAKE SURE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CLASS CHALLENGE. It's going to be fun and beneficial for everyone. The project will include the Top 10 Tips to cultivate a Healthy Back found in the Mend my Back class. (Look for the "Your Project" tab below the class videos)

The « Mend my back » program is based on scientific evidence documented by two top researchers in the field of back pain prevention and treatment. These exercises have been practiced successfully during Laura’s live version of the 4-week Mend my Back program at her studio. Try it out for yourself!

Meet Your Teacher

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Laura Warf

Be healthy, happy and well


Hello, I'm Laura. I am a fitness, yoga and mind-body movement specialist. Being healthy, happy and well is a passion and a way of life for me. I founded the School of Happiness ( and the Mend my Back Program ( to offer holistic techniques to assist others in their quest towards balance and well-being. As human beings, we all have our ups and downs. Through greater awareness, we can decode what our body is trying to tell us then apply holistic tools to restore balance and reclaim our vital energy. When we are healthy, happy and well, we perform better in everything we do. I am an outdoor enthusiast. Hiking in nature with my active golden retriever and life partner Ian is one of my favourite ways to recharge along with morning meditation to stay ... See full profile

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1. Mend My Back Class Abstract: so there are numerous ways to release tension within the spine and to cultivate a healthy back. There are so many exercise programs out there that exists already. There are mild national techniques that you can use, such as foam rolling or using balls that are designed to help release tension and deep tissues in your body and also manual therapy, like chiropractic, physiotherapy, osteo apathy, massage therapy and the list goes on. So it's important to find the right technique or exercise program for you. So this class is going to offer you the top 10 tips and techniques that can help you release tension in your spine. That air really easy to incorporate into your own date, and the idea is that they're safe and effective. Anybody can do them, and it keeps you in your neutral spine. So we're gonna learn how to stand tall, how to breathe well and how to move well and incorporate this any time you have a few minutes to help you feel better. 2. Introduction: hello and welcome to mend my back class. Have you ever felt back discomfort or chronic back pain at any point in your life? What were you doing when it happened? Was it something that crept up on you and then something as simple as sneezing or bending over to tie your shoes? Put your back out. Or maybe it was a sport related injury or playing with your kids are doing landscaping at home. So this class is going to address the seven main causes of back discomfort or back issues. Maybe you can find yourself within that list, and your class project is going to offer you 10 different tips and techniques that you could easily incorporate into your day to help keep your back healthy and strong. So the idea is not to spend hours in the gym during the week, but finding a tool that's really gonna work for you, that you'll be able to integrate easily and effortlessly, leaving you feeling more energized and giving you the freedom to continue doing what you love to do. So put yourself in that framework of imagining, Ah, life without that chronic discomfort or back pain. And what would that feel like on what would you be doing differently? Are you ready to get started 3. The 7 Causes of Back Pain: let's examine the seven common causes of back pain. The 1st 1 is poor posture. Poor posture can result from certain muscles tightening up or shortening, while others lengthen and become weak. This can occur as a result of your daily repetitive movement patterns or basically what you do repeatedly that may cause muscular imbalances. Second, biomechanics biomechanics is the study of loads motion stress or strain on your biological systems and the mechanical effects that has on your body's movement your size, your shape and your structure. So what does that mean? It's about how your particular body manages movement and its ability to function optimally for it to do all that you ask your body to do in a day. Modern living is making individuals move poorly by sitting too long having a rounded spine while using technology. The high use of technology and automation systems is negatively affecting our capacity to maintain proper biomechanical integrity, and it negatively influences. How are joints and tissues are functioning when we move number three compensation patterns . A pattern of compensation is the body's attempt to make up for the lack of movement in one area by adding a new movement somewhere else within human movement. We all have various patterns of compensation that create eventual movement dysfunction that can limit our capability to perform day to day activities or sports. For example, following an episode of twisting your ankle, your body would replace its normal walking mechanics with an alternate version or a strategy that would limit the amount of weight placed on that injured ankle. And if repeated for too long, that type of movement can create other pains or strains elsewhere in your body, which could dramatically increase the risk of a future injury. Number four. Acute injuries due to falls or lifting heavy objects with improper form. Number five. Degenerative changes. Degenerative changes in the spine could be examples of spagnolo, sis, osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis, which is an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal. Number six. Some medical conditions thes could be conditions like osteoporosis, where the bones become weak and brittle, or genetic conditions or even spinal deformities. Number seven elevated stress levels and unresolved emotions. This can create tension within your body, which also can lead to pain or discomfort 4. Our Story | Why We Developed This Class: this men, my back class and the four week program that we've developed is something that's really close to my heart. Why? Because I've experienced back pain most of my life, starting in my late teens, and I visited lots of osteopaths, physiotherapists, massage therapists, movement specialist and trainers to help me get me back on my feet. I've always been somebody who has evolved involved in sports and athletics and training. So looking back, probably there was some muscular imbalance within my body that created this deep tension that then led to some of the back pain that I was experiencing. Or maybe I was just doing a little bit too much and took along. Took a lot onto my shoulders. I work in the fitness industry as a movement specialist, as a coach, as a trainer, and I've been doing this for over 25 years. So I really understand the importance of movement and this is a passion for me, and I want to be able to share. This is with you as well, and some of these techniques that have not only worked for me and the back pain that I've experienced throughout my life to get me back on my feet when I've had those episodes, but also with my life partner. Ian, who woke up one morning, literally fell out of bed and discovered that he had five herniated lumbar disks. And that was a whole other process of being able to go through that rehabilitation process and find a protocol and a program that was going to help him get back on his feet. And today he's able to run to cycle to ski and do all the activities that he really loves to do with very minimal pain, because he's using these prevention tips to keep him healthy and strong. 5. Disclaimer: So now you know a little bit about my story and why this is so close to my heart. What do you do if you experience back pain or you have an injury or you've had a fall? Or you just have some kind of nagging discomfort and you're not quite sure where to turn? So, as with any program, it's really important to verify with your primary health care provider to be sure that whatever program that you've chosen to embark on is right for you, and in this class, I will be offering some different tips, techniques and exercises that can help keep your back healthy and strong. Now what do I do when my back goes out or I'm having some kind of a problem? So Number one what's really important is to have a proper diagnosis. So maybe it's your family doctor that can help start the process for you. If in your community you have a trusted and a reputation chiropractor, osteopath, physiotherapist, movement specialist, kinesiology ist these air all other health care specialists that you can see also that are equipped to be able to do a proper physical evaluation and to figure out exactly what the problem is. We're going to take a look at what the seven most common causes of back pain are. And then once you understand what the issue is, then it's easier to find the proper plan that will be best suited for you. 6. Exercise | Power Posture: The first thing we need to learn to do is how to stand tall. What is good posture? Let's examine this exercise called Our power Posture and power Posture honors the natural curves within your spine, so we call it our neutral position. Also called her anatomical position so that we're putting less strain on the spying. What does your daily posture look like? Is it at the computer or texting with head jetted forward, shoulders rounded, perhaps the lower back, overly arched or two flattened out? So this is great practice to do any time throughout the day. Maybe you're waiting for your water to boil in the morning to make your coffee or your tea , or you're waiting for somebody or you're sitting at your desk. So it's learning to stand tall and sit tall any time throughout the day where you cast yourself so we draw our chin in, roll the upper arm bones back so that you open up and expands for the collarbone area. Feel that your decompressing and creating space between your neck vertebrae and as you roll the shoulders back, the shoulders also draw down away from your ears and the shoulder blades air, drawing slightly towards one another. We draw the lower belly in taking the ribs inwards to create that open space through your upper mid back slight engagement of the abdominal muscles by pulling our belly button in and gently engaging the pelvic floor area are hips or knees and our ankles or in a nice straight line all the way down to the floor with our feet pointing forward. Notice that we have even weight distribution between the right foot and the left foot. And you can also pay attention to whether you have more weight on the balls of your feet or on your heels. So, learning to stand tall and to breathe well, you're gonna learn toe. Activate all the muscles that are gonna help you to maintain this position and the more upright in all your day to day activities, putting less strain on your spine. So try this one a few times during the day. Let me know how goes 7. Anatomy of the Spine: So let's take a look at the anatomy of the spying. It's important to understand. The spine contains 33 vertebrae that are divided into three sections, so the upper party or spine is considered the cervical section where there seven cervical vertebrae, then moving to the mid thoracic spine Your mid back. There's 12 vertebrae here, and your lower back has five lumbar vertebrae. That moves down into this triangular bone, which is called the sacrum, and the Kocsis, which is the very low base of your spine. And these air fused bones here at the bottom so we actually have 24 movable bones along the spine throat. This class were also going to take a look at the anatomy of the shoulder girdle, which is your scapula or your shoulder blade, the collarbone or the clavicle in the front part of your body, and the humorous the upper arm bone and the musculature that surrounds this area and the tissues when it gets too tight or taught, then that can also affect the mobility or the flexibility of this area. Or, if those muscles aren't strong enough, that can also affect our posture, which can also lead to discomfort or pain. We're also going to be taking a look at the area around the pelvis, so the iliac crest area and all the muscles that surround this area. So from your gluteal muscles to your hip muscles to your thighs. And if those muscles get too tight or taught, it can also pull the pelvis, either anterior forward or posterior back, which can add more stress to the lower back and that also can create some strain or some discomfort. So when we have strong and supple muscles along the joints that support the spine, such as your pelvic area and the shoulders and the muscles that are along the spine to strengthen them, including the deep abdominal muscles, when all those muscles are balanced and functioning optimally, then we're preventing these back pain or episodes of pain to happen, regardless of the activities that we're doing on a day to day basis. So let's check out how weaken work these muscles in our body in the next section, 8. Exercise for Neck and Shoulders | Arm-Circles and Hand-to-Wall: so our first mobility exercise is great. If you are the type of person that holds tension in your upper back, your neck or your shoulders, you can stand tall like we did in our power posture. Exercise with the arms extended out to the sides, palms facing down. Curl your thumbs underneath into your palms and close your fingers. Reach out towards your knuckles so your feet are close together. Your bum is a little bit engaged and so is your belly, and you draw large circles towards the front. You can do that anywhere between 10 and 20 times. It feels great. You feel that your lengthening the muscles in your arms and stretching out the connective tissue that Altach is up into your neck and your middle back near your shoulder blade area . Once that scent do the same thing. Mobility exercise with the arms going in the backward direction with the palms facing upwards, extend out through your knuckles, feel that you're getting a nice stretch in the arms at the same time, and you may notice that this version starts to stretch a little bit more through the pectoral areas Well and the shoulders we let that go. Then we move on to what we call the hand at the wall pose. This is a great exercise if you're somebody who works a lot of the computer during the day or repetitive movement patterns and again feels tensions for the upper back arms into your fingers. We stand sideways, nice and tall to the wall. Spread your fingers as wide as you can and place your hand up against the wall. Now your risk, your elbow in your shoulder all in the same line. You're pressing gently against the wall. Fear still close together, belly gently engaged and you just wait as you're standing sideways towards the wall and just notice the sensations in your hands. Maybe your forearms, your biceps or triceps. Area your shoulders so it really depends on where you hold the tension in your own body, where you might feel this exercise. But it does start to stretch the muscles and all the connective tissue from the tips of your fingers right to the very base of your skull and also into that area of the shoulder blade, and you are mid pectoral area. Once that gets easy, the next step would be to turn your head in the opposite direction of the wall, take a deep breath throughout the tin down towards the chest. How does that feel again? We wait for the signals of our body to tell us that it's safe to go a little bit deeper. If that's intense enough, meeting that it's pinching or pulling. Or you're starting to feel little pins and needles, which is normal If you have a lot of tension within your arms, just keep breathing and allow yourself to relax into the exercise. The next step would be to turn that opposite foot, the one farthest away from the wall outwards, and that will allow the torso to turn away from the wall. We could hold that for a minute or two minutes, again doing this any time throughout the day. When you think about it, come back to the center release, given a little shake out and do the other side 9. Paced Diaphragmatic Breathing: one of the most important exercises is learning how to breathe. Breathing is something we do every single day, but we don't necessarily do it correctly for optimal well being. Notice how your breathing changes When you're under stress or tension, it becomes shallow and more restricted. Conversely, when you're nice and relaxed, when you wake up after a great sleep or a nice news on the couch, your breathing is naturally more deep and more calm. So the exercise I want to share with you is the technique called the diaphragmatic breathing. There are so many breathing techniques out there, depending on what your goals or objectives are. This one in particular with the pace style of breathing, meaning that your breath is even will help restore your vital balance. The diaphragm is a big muscle underneath the rib cage, and when we inhale, it drops down and it expands. The rib cage it attach is several vertebrae in your spine, so if that muscle underneath gets tight and restricted, we could also be feeling tension within her back. So by learning how to breathe adequately, we're learning how to expand the rib cage and keep that suppleness of the deep connective tissues in our body, and it also massages all the internal organs, keeping our organs functioning optimally as well. So try this out. Find a comfortable seated position. I like to sit on the ball. You can also sit on the chair or any other surface where your spine is nice and tall in long, I'll invite you to close your eyes, drop your shoulders down and take two deep breaths. It might be an inhale through the nose. Exhales for the mouth and just let go of wherever you've came from. Come from whatever you have to do later, and allow this time for yourself to tap into your breathing. Now to begin. If this is new for you and encourage you to place one hand on your lower belly and the other hand on your upper chest with your hands touching your body, notice which hand is moving mawr is it? The upper chest is you breathe the collarbone area, or is there more movement in the lower abdomen and the lower rib cage area? Do your best to breathe deeply so that you're reaching the lower lobes of the lungs, expanding the abdomen, expanding the rib cage, feeling your two lungs as big balloons inside, pressing into the inner part of your rib cage, expanding at breathing in. And as you exhale, the lungs deflate and we draw the lower belly in as though where we're undoing a balloon. So drawing the belly button into the spine expansion is you inhale openness and contraction as you exhale. Now, whatever is most comfortable for you. If you're used to practising yoga, you will be used to doing nose breathing. You can nose breathe here in this exercised pacing, the inhale and the exhale so that both are even in duration. Or the cardiac coherence style of breath teaches to us to inhale through the nose and exhale through pursed lips. Here, the mouth. If breathing this way is new for you, 4 to 5 seconds might be enough. Some people even that's a little bit long, so pace your breath where you feel comfortable if you're used to doing breathing exercises up to eight seconds. Sometimes even Mawr is appropriate, but let's start for the purposes of this exercise. Five second inhale and a five second exhale so as you inhale, expand the rib cage expand the lower abdomen and as you exhale, letting it go, starting to pace the end and the out breath. Let me count it out for you on five. So we inhale one to 34 five. Exhale 54 three to one 123 45 54 three to one one to three 45 five for three to one one to three four five five for three to one one to three for five five for three to 11 more time. 23 for five, five for three to one. You can continue that pace breath. I just got to do through one minute, so five second Inhale five Second Exhale gives you six cycles a minute. That's recommended at least five minutes, so morning evening are two wonderful times to do it. To help re harmonize, you re balance calm and any time that you feel yourself getting a little tense to stress whether that's stuck in traffic or at a red light or before a meeting or hitting a deadline , take time, even if it's just one minute of deep breathing like that will help activate what we call the parasympathetic nervous system. which is like your physiological break like your break in your car. You need to slow down. You press on the brake while you're breaking your body is taking those few abdominal breaths that just helps reset and re balance, keeping you healthier and more vital and more supple in your spine. 10. Exercise for Spinal Mobility | Cat-Cow: The next exercise is called Cat Cow. Wonderful Movement to help improve the supple nissen the mobility of the spine and oxygenates the injured E inter vertebral discs at the tissues and muscles along the length of the spine. So we're on all fours. Place your hands underneath your shoulders with your fingers spread wide your knees underneath your hips. Let's synchronize the movement with the breath, so let all your air out inhale. Lengthen the spine, reaching through the crown of your head and out through the back of the tailbone. On the X elation, we begin to round the spine, pressing into the hands of the knees, drawing the belly into your vet. So we synchronize that with the breath, inhaling, lengthening, exhale, rounding and flexing the spine. Let's do a couple more. When that's complete, you can come back into a neutral position. We can either do 6 to 10 breaths like that. I've actually done this exercise up to 10 minutes. What I felt particularly tense or sore in my back, and I just explored that movement in all directions for several minutes until I feel that my back has started to release some of those deeper held tensions. So try that for yourself anywhere between just a few breaths, up to 10 breaths or longer if you feel that your body is accepting the movement really well . 11. Exercise for Core Stability | Table Pose: This exercise is designed to help strengthen the deep abdominal muscles that help support the spine. So oftentimes traditional exercises like crunches or different forms of sit ups aren't appropriate when we have lower back issues or even neck issues. So this move on all fours actually helps just encourage our neutral spine, respecting the natural curves in our back and learning how to engage or brace the abdominal region. So again it's done with, our breath will inhale. Just releasing the tension a little bit in the belly as you exhale is really thinking about drawing the navel into the spine, tightening the area of the pelvic floor so almost like you have to go to the bathroom and you want to hold. So it's all the deep spinal muscles that are engaged in this exercise. We can do this four breaths up to 10 breaths, and as you get good at it, then you actually hold the position and take 12 or three breath. So as you practice, you will get better at it and make sure that the breath is the foundation. So take a look, fingers spread nice and wide again, just like this table position the knees underneath the hips. This time we curl the toes under, so it's a six point position. Neutral spine. Shoulders down back. We're expecting its natural curves, so I take a deep breath in here. As I exhale, I lift my knees. I just stay in the same position, just a couple of inches, exhaling, exhaling, exhaling a really pulling the belly into the back and tightening up the lower region of the abdominals and all around the lower mid rib cage you inhale as you drop the knees down. Exhale lifting the knees and tightening the belly. So use the fullness of your breath inhaling as you come down and really drawing the belly in naval in tightening the pelvic floor area, all of those muscles embracing the abdominals. You don't have to lift the knees too high anywhere between four and 10. Breath like that. And after a few weeks, once you practice this one every day, you'll see you'll be able to stay up like this and then take another breath and draw the belly in exhaling and then releasing. You may want to go into a little bit of a child's pose just to release. So keep in mind all of these exercises, we never worked to the point of pain or pinching or shaking to the point of a little bit of intensity. Sometimes a muscular discomfort is normal, but never to the point where you're feeling any kind of sharp pains means the exercise isn't appropriate yet for you. 12. Exercise for Core and Spinal Stability | The Bird-Dog: this exercise is called the Bird Dog. Ah, wonderful exercise for strengthening the whole posterior chain of the bodies. That means all the muscles along the length of the spine, your gluteal muscles, your bum and your deep abdominal muscles. It's a stability exercise, and this is part of a lot of back programs because it's great for, um, stabilizing the hips and the shoulders and the spine so really complete. So we start on all fours, hands underneath the shoulders, knees underneath the hips. Find your neutral position again, respecting the natural curves of your back, taking a deep breath in bracing the abdominals as you exhale. Start by pressing the right heel. Bacca's though you wanna press the heel against an imaginary wall, pressing it back to engage your thigh muscles and your butt muscle here, so notice that the hip isn't jacked up high like this or too low. We want to try to keep the two hip bones in the same position is when your two knees were on the floor. So if it's helpful, you may want to take place your hands on your hips just to be sure that the pelvic area stays in its neutral position as you press that leg back. Now, if that feels okay, the next position is to extend the opposite arm. Lengthen through the fingertips, pressing it through the hell drawing the abdomen in. You could hold it for three seconds, stay with the breath and then take the hand than me back to the floor. Reset. If you need to engage the belly, press the left heel straight back using your thigh and your gluteal muscles. If that feels fine, try extending the opposite arm, reaching to the fingertips, pressing to the back heel, drawing in the abdomen, maintaining the natural curves of your spine. Come back and you can repeat anywhere between three times each side to 10 times each side. As you get stronger, you can hold it for longer than three seconds up to 10 seconds, sometimes 15 seconds as long as there's no pinching or pain. But you do feel that it's challenging your balance and challenging the abdominal area. The gluteal area. So it's a stabilising exercise 13. Exercise for Stability of Hips and Glutes | The Clam: This next exercise is a stability exercise building strength around the hip girdle. So it's called the clam. There's a few different variations of it designed to strengthen the deep external rotate er's of the hip and the glute eel area, so we're side lying. In this exercise, you can support your head with your hand or place a cushion or a little ball under your head. If you prefer, feet are glued together. Knees come up about 90 degrees at the hips towards your chest. Hand on the top hip to make sure that the pelvis doesn't move on. We lift the top me up and bring it down. So this is a great exercise to help stabilize the pelvis, but also help stabilize the knee joint when these muscles around the hip are stronger. So it's great if you do activities like walking and jogging or any other sports where you feel that you need your knees a little bit stronger. But it's also great for the lower back because it's strengthening the glutes and the hip. External rotator is which helps support the spine. So my suggestion here, as long as that top hip is not rolling back is to do about eight times this way, if that's challenging enough, stick with this version. But the second version is to extend the leg nice and long, turning the toes down to the floor. Press out through the he'll keep the alignment between your hip, your knee and your ankle. Sweep the leg forward in the hip, flexion to but the height of the opposite knee and then bring it back. Same thing we could do 6 to 10 like this in the second variation of a hip flexion extension pressing out through the heel and then that final variation. If your strength allows you to go for a little bit more, we press it through the heel and a slight hip abduction. So lifting and lowering the leg, there's no movement through the pelvis, just a few inches of movement up and down. You don't need to go high, and you don't need to go fast to keep it nice. Smooth controlled movements breathing is following those exercises, and then you bring it back together and repeat the same thing on the other side. 14. Exercise for Flexibility | Quad Stretch: this exercise is a sideline quadriceps stretch, good for flexibility of the front thigh. So if you're somebody who's sitting a lot in a day, either in your car at your desk or on the couch and the muscles of the hips get really tight, it's nice toe. Open up and stretch the front part of the thigh. This one feels really good. A lot of variations of this exercise, but I'm choosing the one sideline because it helps support your back, and you don't have to support your body weight standing up. Support your head with your hand or with your head on a cushion with your knees bent. To put your lower back into a nice, safe place, take a deep breath with your hand. Grab onto your top ankle. Okay. If you can't reach the top ankle, we can also use a towel around the ankle toe. Hold onto or a strap. Very gently. Draw the need back so that you're lining up your hip and your knee and you're taking your heel a little bit towards your bum at this lower leg. Bent just keeps your back in a nice, safe position as you get used to this stretch. You can also try to extend that lower leg so your entire body is sidelining. So an option one with the knees bent. Option two with that lower leg extended. Okay, it's what you want to do is also tighten the gluteal area. So pressing that top hip forward lining up the knee with the hip or with an event 6 to 10 deep breaths. Just enjoy that nice release. It might be intense if you were not used to stretching the front thighs to go easy. 15. Exercise for Flexibility of Hip and Glute | figure four stretch: This exercise is wonderful for flexibility around the hip joint, so it's called a figure four stretch or appear Form a stretch lying down on your back. Find a comfortable position so your shoulders air down. Nice, neutral spine, your sacred iliac joint. So this area on both sides off is the steady on the floor. Okay, arms along side of your body. So from here, let's cross the right ankle over the left knee. The right foot stays flecks of the toes air up, and your right hand can start to gently press the right knee away from you just until you start to feel a stretch through the's external rotator. Zin the hip with your deep underneath your glutes. So it's great for opening up this space here through the sacred iliac joint, stretching out the hip joint very gently, often that little area where the cyanotic nerves air passing. If these muscles get tight, that can constrict the circulation of that area, so this stretch will help loosen but never go to the point of pinching or pain. Can I still take deep breaths as long as the pelvis isn't twisting it anyway? And if that's okay, we can take it to a second level, lifting the lower foot and even with your two hands grabbing on to the opposite thigh, gently taking the opposite thigh, the left side and towards the chest. I like to use my right elbow to press a little bit into that right thigh to press it away. Take a deep breath. Even some very subtle or gentle rocking motion. Side to side feels really good to stretch out the hip, pure for miss and glued here on the right side. My suggestion is to hold this for anywhere between six and hand breaths. Any variation, either with the foot elevated or the foot on the floor with the arms along side of your body. Release the foot before moving to the other side. Lift the hips a little bit, bring them back down, just resets your position. And then you would cross the left ankle over the right knee and do the same thing for your flexibility. Have the hit 16. Exercise for Flexibility of the Lower Back| Knees to Chest: this stretch is called a double need to chest stretch, one of my favorites for releasing tension through the lower back. It's nice and relaxing. You could do it any time when you first wake up in the morning and you're still in your bed or at the end of the day, really nice to release intention through the lower back, So suppleness. To open up the lower facet joints of the lumbar spine, slowly curl down onto your back, taking both knees in towards your chest. You can keep the knees open here or glued together, either hugging with your hands or letting the thighs rest into the inside of the elbow. Creases holding your hands 6 to 10 breaths. Different variations of this movement as well. Some days I like to add a little bit of movement just to release some pressure through the lower back, adding some little circles of the thighs. So is the knees. Come towards you gently let the knees separate. Press them away from you together and back towards your belly in your chest. So we want to try to relax the muscles around the hips and the lower back, and this is a great way to do it, keeping the shoulders and the job relaxed. We can go in the other direction as well. Your breath a smooth, even and paste 6 to 10 breaths or longer if it just really feels good and you want to continue. 17. Exercise for Crisis Mode | Elevated Legs: this exercise is the go to movements when you feel that your in crisis mode. So those times when you feel that you really put your back out and you're having a hard time standing tall or moving. I've had those days where either I get up from bed. It's hard to even stand up straight. Well, just doing this movement here, it might take a couple of minutes to help relieve your spine. I've actually done it up to 30 minutes, and I've fallen asleep until my back is actually released. So either with your legs up on a coach on a chair. I've used yoga bolsters, which are wonderful. A swell, different variations to do it. But basically you want your legs at 90 degrees to help open up the joints of the lumbar spine to help increase the circulation. So goes like this. You may even want a blanket on the floor or cushion under the sacred area, or maybe even one for your for your head. So, in any way where you feel comfortable, you'll take your legs up 90 degrees on whatever surface that you've chosen, couch or chair or cushions with your bum close If you need the extra support for your head of its lying back, make sure that you put a little pillow or cushion under your head as well. Okay, so the idea is to make sure that you find a position where you can be completely relaxed and comfortable. I say completely relax, and I know what that feels when you're in crisis mode and that everything just feels like it's gripping and going into spasm. So it sometimes takes time to get into this position. So be patient if you are in that crisis mode. But it's a great prevention exercise to deeply relax the lower back and the dia from so the arms or along side of your body shoulders down chin gently drawn in, palms facing up. I'll take a couple of breaths here. The idea is to body scan or go through your body and notice, suggesting your hands in your fingers to relax. Allow the arms to feel heavy, the shoulders drawing down into the floor. As you continue breathing, surrender the weight of your torso to the earth as well. With your eyes closed, just start to let everything go and bring your awareness into your body. Now, if you are spirit feeling, experiencing pain in any way when I've done this movement, when I'm in that crisis mode, I really just bring my conscious awareness completely towards what I'm feeling. And I try to stay with it and watch it and observe it instead of judging it toe or feeling upset or frustrated that my back is sore, I said, Can I just bring some breath and patience and loving kindness to my own body here? So encourage the diaphragmatic breathing just like we did in the exercise of the balancing breath. And just very gradually, every time you exhale, just encourage your body to feel heavier and more relaxed? This may take a few minutes. Like I said, that stayed in this position up to 30 minutes or when I'm traveling and I get to hotel. Sometimes lying on the bed with bunch of pillows or my legs up on the wall are ways to help release that deep tension. Gradually good, and when were complete, we can draw the knees gently towards the chest, roll onto one side very slowly and gradually come back up to seated 18. Herniations? Why We Have Pain: take a look at the front view of the spine here. If you're like me, you like to understand. Why am I doing certain movements or exercises and why air certain exercises prescribed over others when we're looking here at the lower spine? This is where we see most of the injuries happening because of the density of the lower spine, Um, and it's more susceptible to a lot of the movements and forces along the length of spine if we're not properly aligned. So meaning that we have poor posture or we do repetitive movement patterns in the day that can put a lot of strain and wear and tear on the back. So what you're seeing here are the five lower lumbar vertebrae and what can happen over time when we talk about degeneration of the spine. Ah, or even sometimes, an acute injury. This little red thing here is a depiction of what a herniated disc might look like, and so what happens is this disc. The inter vertebral discs, which make up 1/3 of the length of the spine, are these spongy tissues are that are like spot on shock absorbers, basically between each one of your vertebrae. What happens is those dis start to degenerate or they become thinner. Or there's a bulge or herniation, this herniation or that bulge, maybe pressing on these little things here, which your nerves that come out of each of the area of the spine and innovate or inform other areas of our bodies. That's why sometimes we might have pain radiating down our leg because the lumbar spine and the nerves innovate the pelvic area right down to the tips of your toes. So why do we get pain? This is where it's interesting. It could be for many reasons. So we do need to investigate, sometimes toe. Understand? Is it because the musculature the deep abdominal muscles, perhaps, aren't supporting the spine enough? Or is it because the muscles of the hips and the glue deol your bum muscles are not strong enough? So then there's compensation patterns. You start to put strain on other areas of the body, Um, or is it because the deep connective tissue that we call fascia is not resilience or not moving properly and creates adherence? Is which, when that starts to tighten because muscles aren't doing their job, it can constrict the blood flow to these areas, and blood flow carries oxygen, which gives us the energy and the freedom of movement that we need. So what happens then that there's a lack of oxygenation and a lack of proper mobility? Because there's too much construction and tightness. Maybe because we're sitting too much in a day or we do repetitive movements over and over. That's creating these strains on the body, and that limits our ability to move properly. Um, which then can cause some pain or discomfort in this area that relates to along the length of the spine as well. So a lot of times, if we have poor posture or were not breathing properly or we're under periods of stress, all of those air factors to affecting basically the health of our spine. So what we're gonna focus on in these exercises today in this class is releasing some of the deep tension around the shoulders and the pelvic area, and then also doing some strengthening exercises so that your spine is more supported. Abdominals and hips. Ah, and upper back 19. Summary Checklist for a Healthy Back: Here's your summary checklist for a healthy back, depending on your level of discomfort, pain or injury, you want to reduce your inflammation first. This could be through icing medication as prescribed by your doctor. Proper nutrition. Take time also to rest, maybe even manual therapies of physiotherapy, acupuncture, behavioral therapy, hot cold treatments or massage and prescribed. Progressive movements are always that. You could help reduce inflammation and get yourself stronger. Second, observe your daily biomechanical patterns noticed daily. How you sit, how you stand, how you sleep at night, how you lie in your bed or on your couch. How you move, checking out also your sleeping position when you awake in the morning. These are all things that can help support you throughout your program. When you realize what areas you might be compensating more than others. And that's the third so observing your daily compensation torrey patterns when you're in pain or experiencing discomfort, what were you doing next? Stay active. Keep moving. We want to build whole body joint mobility to stay supple and flexible, as well as joint stability, so strengthening around the joints that affect the spine, your shoulders, your hips, your back we do this through practicing these corrective exercises, some of them that we've seen here in the men, my back class and also in our four week men, my back program that helps you keep progressing, to balance out the your own structure through your muscles and the tissues in your body. And finally take time to practice progressive muscle relaxation with rhythmic breathing like we saw with the cardiac coherence style of breathing and body scanning, lying on your back and moving down from head to toe, almost like a photo copier. A scanner would too gradually start to release and relax each part of your body and these air, always that are going to help build a healthy back by reducing tension, reducing stress, reducing inflammation and increasing your overall flexibility, stability and strength. 20. You Are On Your Way! Final Notes: you're on your way. So you now have tools and techniques on how to take care of your back so you can continue doing all that you want to do in your day with greater ease and grace. So remember, Step one is to seek professional guidance from chiropractor osteopath, medical practitioners movement specialist to help get a correct diagnosis if it's just musculoskeletal, which often times it is due to poor posture, and these exercises that we've practiced together are going to be really helpful for you. So be aware of your daily compensation patterns, how you sit, how you stand, how you move. So remember to practice the anatomical position, stand and sit tall. Second is, make sure that you breathe practice the cardiac coherence. Tyler Breathing Any time that you feel that there's tension or stress starting to rise, make sure that you regulate your breathing in all of your activities, sitting at your desk to going for a walk to sitting in your car wherever you are. We can always breathe consciously, which is gonna help us out as well, and practice the daily exercise is maybe the mobility exercises for the shoulders of the hips that we looked at to keep the suppleness and flexibility. Or perhaps you needed more stability and strength so you can practice those exercises to keep your core strong your back strong your gluteal muscles in your hips structures so that your back is more supported when those muscles are more stable to support your spine and this program can be followed up also with our four week men my back program, which progresses you. So once these exercises start feeling easy for you, then it's time to progress and to move into some other exercises that might be a little bit more challenging for you so that you continue getting stronger to be able to do all your activities with greater ease and grease. So thank you so much for joining us. I appreciate you taking time to attend theme End my back class, and we're always here to support you, and there's anything that I can do. If you have questions or comments, feel free to get in touch, thank you very much and stay healthy and happy