Dr Serene: Muscular Back pain
Hello. I’m Dr. Serene Lim. I’m an Australian complementary GP and today, I want to talk to you about back pain. I’ve had back pain for quite some time and I’m really glad it’s gone but I know a lot of people still suffer from it and I couldn’t find someone to help me so I researched it and I found some excellent exercises that I hope will help you as well. Firstly, you have to understand that you need to look after your back.
Swimming is great because it really strengthens the back muscles and I want to show you two particular exercises to release them. There are muscles called the psoas and the iliacus forming the major group in front of your backbone and this is one of the biggest muscles in your body and you’ll find that you use them a lot without realizing it and often, it goes into spasm. Sometimes, when psoas muscles go into spasm, they cause more than back pain because this muscle actually moves around in your tummy area and it actually moves the whole bowel area so if it goes into spasm, you can get a bit of constipation as well. Sometimes, the pain is referred meaning although it’s in your back, you can actually have pain going to the front of your thigh. No problem there but the pain is actually from your tummy muscles. When your iliopsoas muscles are in spasm and you have back pain, I’ll show you how to locate the trigger points to show that. Locate the belly button and one thumb's breadth away, press that point there.
It might be very tender if this psoas muscle is in spasm. There’s another tender point as well which I will show you. Part of the pelvis is raised. When you dip your hands just there, you will find it’s going to be very tender if the muscle is in spasm. So I want to show you a great psoas release. Bend the knees 100 degrees just past the vertical. Cross the ankles and bend towards the area that’s painful just 10 degrees. Leave it here for about four minutes.
There’s another tiny little muscle in your lower back called the quadratus lumborum and that is one muscle that very few people treat and I’ll show you how to treat it. Bend the knees and then 90 degrees and lift up. Keep this position for about four minutes.
There’s a piriformis muscle which is really the buttock area. A lot of people exercise and relax it and it’s quite well known. If the left buttock is in pain or the lower back, you want to bend the left knee and put it over like this and then raise it up and use your hands to help you. Keep this position for about five minutes.
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