Tom Willemann Health Tips

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Three top exercises for lower back pain and sciatica

Exercise has become an essential part of life. Not only does it help to improve your overall health and your appearance, but it also helps to keep your body fit and in good physical condition, particularly when it comes to lower back pain. A person who is physically fit has much less chance of injuring his or her back while performing daily activities. Lower back pain is mostly associated with lack of proper exercises, among other reasons. There are 3 essential factors that influence the effectiveness of lower back exercises. They are:

  1. Your body must be fit for aerobic exercises. (consult with a physician to determine what kinds of exercises are safe for you to do)
  2. Your workout regime should also consist of improving muscle strength that supports your lower back.
  3. Do not perform exercises that put excess pressure on your back.  

Three top exercises for lower back pain and sciatica:

  1. Best aerobic exercises for your lower back pain:
  • Brisk walk
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Elliptical machine workout

Since these exercises target large muscles of your body, they are ideal to reduce lower back pain effectively. It is recommended to consult your doctor before starting your aerobic program. Your doctor is the right person to guide you about your suitable target for heart rate while performing aerobic exercises. And if you have been exercising recently, you should be slow with your approach as a sudden increase in your heart rate and increased cardio can have negative effects on your body.
2) Strengthening muscles and stretching exercises:
It is necessary that your exercise program includes stretching and strengthening exercises as well as these are most effective for reducing sciatica and low back pain. Strengthening exercises improve the strength of muscles of your abdomen, lower back, pelvis and thighs. As the flexibility of these areas improves considerably, chances of injury in these areas is very low. You attain a better body posture which reduces the stress on your back.
Stretching exercises reduce sciatic pain. Piriformis is a group of muscles that is found deep inside your glutes. The sciatic nerves run through piriformis. If the piriformis becomes tight, it impacts the sciatic nerves causing numbness, tingling and a lot of pain in your leg. Stretching piriformis can reduce this pain considerably. These are some stretches that reduce sciatic pain:

  • Piriformis stretch
  • Pigeon pose
  • Seated hip stretch
  • Self trigger point therapy

3) Avoid exercises that put stress on your lower back:

  • Heavy weight lifts
  • Squats
  • Climbing
  • Running and jumping
  • Step-up step-down aerobic exercises

Besides these exercises, it is highly recommended to avoid sitting continuously for hours at a stretch. Also, while sitting, make sure that you maintain a proper posture with back straight, shoulders firm and head held up. Ironically, standing for long hours reduces back pain. Also remember that your body does not perform properly if it is still for long hours. If you have to stand continuously for long hours, make sure you move around a little so that your muscles have a movement, also while sitting for long hours, ensure that you sit in the right posture and stand up in between, move around so that your muscles don’t get motionless for hours together.
If you are looking for further guidance and direction with exercises like this or further treatment plans, please reach out to the number one Wyckoff physical therapy center, Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation.

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
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