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Gilmour Osteopathy | Exercises
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Low back exercises

1) Flexion stretch :– Lay on your back on the floor and preferably on a mat of some kind. Bring your knees to your chest and place a hand over both knees. Steadily press both knees down towards the floor until you feel tension, not pain, in your low back. Hold for a count of three, then slowly release the tension and then repeat 10 times. Do this smoothly and not jerkily.

Useful for:- Patients who have poor ability in forward bending. Also for those who have a deep hollow (lordosis) in the lower back.


2) Side bending stretch :- Stand with your feet apart at approximately shoulder width. Lower your right hand down the side of your leg until you feel a stretch in your back. To increase the stretch, take a deep breath in and as you exhale push the right hand further down (exhaling relaxes muscles and lets you stretch further). Make sure you keep both heels on the floor, don’t bend your knees and ensure you bend directly sideways and not forwards..

Useful for:- Stretching shortened lumbar muscles either side of the spine.


3) Rotation stretch:- Lie flat on your back on the floor and preferably on a mat.  Move your arms so they are at 90 degrees from your body with the palms of your hands on the floor. Now raise your knees to 90 degrees. Roll your knees gently towards the floor one way and then the other. Smoothly and not jerkily repeat 5 times each way.

Useful for:- Increasing mobility between the joints of your spine (facet joints).


4) Postural re-education:- Sit as you normally would on a chair or bench. Allow your lower spine to drop slowly into a ‘slumped’ position. Now gently arch your spine the other way to increase the hollow of your back as far as you can without pain. Repest this 3 or 4 times slowly, then find the mid position between the two extremes and then stop. This mid position is now your sitting position. Repeat 3 or 4 times per day.

Useful for :- Increasing lumbar range of movement and re-education sitting position to avoid slumping.
The self help exercises presented here are offered as examples of what may of value to patients. Exercises are of most value when they are prescribed in relation to a specific diagnosis and as part of a treatment plan. The number of repetitions and the frequency with which they are done will by different for each patient. Andrew Gilmour suggests that you should visit a properly qualified clinician before embarking on a exercises





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