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Kathi Casey
The Healthy Boomer Body Expert

Kathi is an author, coach, popular speaker and talk radio show guest, writes monthly columns for the South Shore Senior News, Life After 50, Boomers Forever and Retirement Living Magazines, produces her own TV show called To Your Health" in the Berkshires and owns the Healthy Boomer Body Studio in Otis, MA. Her programs combine good fun and humor with simple yet powerful techniques that fit easily into busy schedules.

End chronic lower back pain without medication

How often do you get out of bed with a stiff back? OR reach to pick up the newspaper, feel a tingle and suffer through the rest of the day with a heating pad or an ice pack?

According to the American Chiropractic Association, 85% of Americans have lower back pain at any given time. You are not alone in your pain.

The important thing to know is that it wasn't reaching over to get the newspaper that made your back go out nor was it how you got out of bed. Your back and leg muscles were already tight so it took only the slightest effort for those tense muscles to pull on a bone or push on a nerve causing you pain and discomfort.

The good news is that with only a few minutes each day of simple muscle stretching, you can break this pattern and end recurring back pain. Chronic pain can be managed without expensive medication.

The biggest culprits that are to blame for your suffering are: Tight Hamstrings, the muscles at the back of your thighs, or a Tight Piriformis, the muscle that goes across your buttock from your hip to your tailbone. Keeping these muscles healthy and strong is the fastest way towards better back health. “Retrain your Body, Regain your Health” that's my motto. And it works! I've seen people limp into my workshops with grimaces on their faces and walk out smiling.

Here are two exercises to try:

1. Sit on the floor with your right leg extended, left knee bent towards the floor and left foot on or near your right thigh. You can sit on 1 or 2 folded blankets to make yourself more comfortable and if your knee doesn't reach the floor, place a pillow under it. Inhale deeply to the count of 5 as you raise your arms and exhale 5 counts reaching your arms out keeping a flat back and stretching yourself down over the right leg. Relax your arms. Breathe deeply – 5 counts each time for 1-2 minutes and then gently sit up, release your left leg and repeat on the other side. It takes at least 30 seconds to stretch a muscle so don't be in a hurry with the stretching and don't worry if you can't stretch very far at first. As long as you do this stretch every day, you'll gain more flexibility and strengthen those tense back and leg muscles. The breathing is also very important. We are a nation of shallow breathers which means that our bodies typically don't get enough oxygen. Breathing deeply and slowly while exercising doubles your benefits by bringing fresh, oxygenated blood to your muscles making them healthier.

2. While you're sitting down with legs extended, cross your right leg over the left with your right knee bent. Inhale (5 counts) and lengthen your spine all the way up through your neck, then exhale slowly as you gently lower your body down over your legs. Continue for 1 – 2 minutes and then release the right leg and repeat to the other side.

Breathe, stretch and smile. You're Retraining Your Body and Regaining Your Youthful Health!

It is not only possible but easier than you think to be healthy and fit over fifty.

Best of Health!


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