The BEST (and Easiest) Exercise for Chronic Low Back Pain

First, the obligatory disclaimer.  Before any exercise is attempted, consult first with your physician.  There are many causes of Chronic Low Back Pain some of which can be life threatening if not diagnosed properly.  This information is meant to be discussed with and utilized in conjunction with you treating physician.   Now, a little bit of background.  The Low Back is a complex structure, however, one thing is almost always consistent when I deal with patients with Chronic Low Back pain; the posture muscles are almost always weak.  Strengthening the posture muscles will greatly increase your body’s ability to overcome Chronic Low Back Pain.   The best exercise you can do to strengthen those essential posture muscles is to do half-crunches on a yoga/pilates ball.




The exercise is simple yet essential.  There are a few steps you need to take to do this exercise effectively and safely.  (If you have severe balance issues, DO NOT do this exercise unless you have a dedicated spotter.)  

Sit on the ball with your feet shoulder width apart, crossing your arms in front of your chest.  Ask for a friends help or do this next to a wall if you feel unstable.  Start to do the half crunches.  Do as many as you can without falling over.  Image

As you continue to do this exercise, you may find that it becomes too easy.  If this is the case, move your feet closer together, until eventually they are together.  As this becomes easier, do it with one foot.  For those who are advanced, NO feet.  

As you do this exercise, you will begin to feel you Low Back begin to stabilize and many times the chronic pain will begin to lessen as your core strengthens.  

Be aware that there are other, very beneficial exercises that can be used to strengthen the core.  Utilize these in coordination with you primary physician.  However, this is one of the best and EASIEST exercises to truly begin to strengthen your core and begin your journey back to health!


Top ten ways to LOSE weight during the holidays!

In the spirit of overeating, here are 10 ways to avoid the results of excessive engorgement.

10. Eat Less!  Yes, eating less can almost (almost, I say) guarantee that you will not put on that excessive weight during the holidays.  But is that any fun?  No, not at all.  So, onto number…

9. Take a picture of what you are eating and send it out to the facebook world.  Not only will this make you analyze what you are eating before you eat, it will allow the thousands of people who hang on your every post to also analyze your eating habits and give constructive feedback.  Only rule, you gotta do it with everything you eat.  No picking and choosing.  Have fun!

8. Eat everything… in very small portions.  Yes, their is literally a smorgasbord of options out there during the holidays.  One thing I have realized as I have aged is that I cannot eat endlessly like I could before.  This has turned me onto a rather ingenious discovery.  I can still experience everything by only eating very little of each.  Try it!

7. Put on your “small” pants to every holiday get together.

6. Perfect the art of the tactful ‘decline’.

5. Exercise before AND after dinner.

4. Instead of soda or egg nog or (put in drink of choice), choose water.

3. Have a recording go off each time you look in the mirror that says, “how much did you eat again?”

2. Choose things that you can eat while chewing gum.

1.  It’s the holidays!  Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow the gym will open…  Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!