Chair Exercises To Release Hip And Back Pain

What Can You Do In Your Office Chair? Plenty!

In today's video I demonstrate an exercise that stretches all those muscles around your hip. In fact, they’re same ones we stretched a few weeks ago in the video that talked about the piriformis. The best thing about today's exercise is that you don't even have to get out of your chair to do it!

Our bodies have not evolved to be sitting all day long at a desk, yet many of us spend 8-10 hours a day, or more, sitting – at a desk, at a table for meals, talking on the phone, reading a book or watching TV. When you take a moment to think about it, I’ll bet you’ll find that you actually spend a lot more time sitting than you thought. And all that sitting plays havoc with your back.

Getting up and walking around is highly recommended, but what if you can’t do that as often as you’d like? Those who work in a cubicle or an office where there isn’t room to get up and walk around can still get up and walk to the rest room a few times a day, and maybe stretch a bit while you’re in there…

Additionally, there are a couple of simple exercises that can help you stretch without leaving your chair. The first one we’ll be doing together this week is “Sitting Pigeon.” When you’re doing this exercise, you’ll surely feel those muscles stretching, and your hips will thank you!

Enjoy the video!

Best of Health,


Piriformis Syndome Remedy

Today, I'd like to get back to my series of videos on how unevenness in our pelvic area can cause some pretty nasty back pain, and what you can do about it.

Our previous discussions revolved around having one hip higher than the other and a simple exercise that you can do to remedy that; and also, a tight piriformis muscle (across your butt) and an exercise for that.

If you don’t know much about your psoas muscle, it’s similar to the piriformis, but on the front of the body. It connects the top of your leg to the front of the spine, crossing over the hip.

Sitting for long periods can cause this muscle to tighten up. When the front of your pelvic area is tighter than the back, you have more of that unevenness that your back doesn’t like. Sooooooo, now that we all spend so much time sitting in front of our computers, we are seeing more back pain caused by a tight psoas.

Fortunately, there is a simple stretch that can help lengthen that psoas for relief, and, when done regularly, prevent that pain in your hip/low back from becoming a regular visitor.

The lunge in the video, below, is the crème de la crème of psoas exercises. If yours is tight, you will not be able to stretch very far at first, but, no worries! Just keep at it and you will gain more and more flexibility as the days go by.

AND, if you have had that tightness and the accompanying pain for a while, don’t forget to relax your back first. This relaxation technique is the best one, but if you can’t get down on the floor, you can stack some pillows under your lower legs and lie on your bed to relax.

Notice, in the second photo, a small pillow under the head. This is to make sure that your neck is not arched. If your chin is pointing toward the ceiling, use a pillow, or a rolled hand towel, to support the head.

If you need additional modifications, or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Meanwhile, take care of your back and it will take care of you!

Best of Health,


Are You Off Balance?

Is your doctor still handing out pain meds like they're the only solution that works for back pain? Well, I’m here to tell you that you have other options that are safer! Today, I'll be starting a conversation about how your hip/pelvic area becomes uneven, and what you can do about it. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share more information and different exercises with you. A few simple exercises can get you back on track and make that pain in your back go away. More importantly, once you know what caused your back or hip pain, you can prevent it from coming back again!

I have been coaching people with back pain for several years now and what I have seen is that a large majority of back pain is caused by something off balance in your body posture/movements. That could mean that you have one hip that’s higher than the other, perhaps due to a broken ankle from years ago, or a knee replacement surgery more recently. Or, perhaps, you have a tight piriformis muscle from biking, driving a lot, or some other activity, which is causing the back side of your pelvic area to be uneven. Your psoas muscle can do the same thing around the front of your body, and sitting at your computer all day can cause that to tighten. And don’t get me talking about those tight quads! The good news is that there are some simple exercises that can stretch and then strengthen those muscles so that your unevenness not only goes away, but doesn’t come back again! Pain meds can’t do that.

We’ll start with hips. If you have one hip that’s higher than the other, you’ll be standing and walking off balance, and because it’s subtle, you won’t even realize it. This makes your lower back suffer the consequences – OUCH! If you have not seen a physical therapist for your back pain, ask your doctor for a referral and set up an appointment as soon as possible. A PT has the tools to measure your body in many ways, will let you know exactly what your imbalance is, and will get you started on exercises to get you back into alignment. This is something I recommend on a regular basis to my clients and students, and everyone has been able to get a referral, and see a physical therapist.  This is usually covered by your health insurance, so take advantage of it.

In today’s video, I demonstrate a simple stretch that can take care of that hip imbalance. It’s easy to do and you’ll see results fairly quickly. I recommend a minute on the side that’s giving you the trouble – the hip that’s sore or doesn’t feel right, and a little less time on the other side. Always stretch both sides, but go a bit longer on the side that’s off.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll be happy to help in any way that I can.

Best of Health,