The Pain & Injury Doctor ONLINE Newsletter

Here is your latest pain relief tip. If it doesn’t apply to you, still take note because life is full of surprises. If you know someone who is dealing with this type of pain, please forward this email to that person– thanks!

My Choice of Exercises for Common Low Back Pain

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If you get chronic low back pain on occasion, here are five exercises and stretches that I recommend:

1. Somatic exercises – The purpose of somatic exercises is to balance and relax your back muscles. Muscles can at times act on their own, tightening together or on one side, causing pain and stiffness.

To do it, lie down on your back and bend your knees 45 degrees, feet on the floor. Put both hands behind your head and interlace your fingers.

Next, inhale long and slow through your nose, drawing in a deep breath. As you do it, arch your lower back in a controlled fashion and contract your psoas muscles, lifting the weight of your feet off the floor (they should still barely touch the floor). Also during this inhalation, using your neck muscles press the crown of your head into your cupped hands and hold, and squeeze your shoulder blades together.

Next, exhale and relax your neck and shoulders and psoas muscles, but flatten your lower back so that it touches the floor, and tilt up your pelvis using your abdominals. That is one repetition.

Repeat twelve times. Here is a video I made that shows the whole process:

Recommended Home Therapy Products Covered in Today’s Newsletter:

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2. Cobra stretch – to do this, lie face down and make your body straight. Then, raise your torso and rest on your elbows. Keep your neck straight and look straight ahead. Hold for ten seconds, come down and repeat eight times. If you are able, do four more repetitions but this time push your torso higher by extending your elbows (make your arms straight). Hold for ten seconds each. This presses your lumbar discs from the rear, reducing any bulging.

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3. Hip circles – stand up, feet together, hands on your hips. Move your pelvis in large circles in a clockwise position ten times, then reverse. The movement resembles using a hula hoop. This basically bends your lumbar vertebra in multiple planes, stretching spinal ligaments, joints and discs.

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4. Inversion table stretches – using an inversion table, invert yourself briefly 180 degrees, rotate your spine to the right and grasp the table frame with your hands enhancing the stretch. After ten seconds, switch to the other side for ten seconds and then come up. Repeat three times. This exercise decompresses the facet joints of you back and opens up your lumbar discs.

5. PosturePump Elliptical Back Rocker – lie down on your back and place this under your low back. Pump up both bladders five big pumps, then release the air immediately; repeat ten times. Then, pump up six times and rest for 15 minutes. This exercise has the effect of rehydrating lumbar discs and reducing posterior disc bulges.

That’s it! You can do one, some or all five exercises in one session. Give it a try, and your body will tell you what it prefers.

I personally tested, use and recommend the following products to patients because I notice they work well in relieving lower back stiffness and pain.  Here they are:

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Gravity Inversion Table for Spinal Decompression

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Inversion tables are good for stretching the entire spine.  Simply raise your arms to control the angle of tilt; arms all the way above your head will invert you.  In this position, you can enhance the stretch by twisting to the left and the right.  This is good for those who sit for long periods of time (airline pilots, truck drivers, desk workers), since prolonged sitting compresses the discs, reducing their fluid content.  Do at the end of the day to get maximum results.  Watch this VIDEO to see the Teeter Inversion table in action.

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PosturePump Elliptical Back Rocker

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The elliptical back rocker is designed to reduce disc bulges by spreading lumbar vertebrae apart while extending the lumbar spine in an arc using special “elliptical” air bladders inflated by hand pumps.  The pumping action draws in fluids and nutrients into thinning/ bulging discs, rehydrating them, slowing down degenerative disc disease.   Watch this video for more details on how it works.

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Back Bubble Spinal Decompression Device

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The Back Bubble uses the weight of your legs or torso to decompress your lumbar discs.  Its patented, oversize inflatable harness makes it very comfortable to use.  Set it up at home or in your office at the proper height, sit in the harness and simply bend your knees to generate the decompressive force.  You can also use it while lying on your back, legs up.  All it takes is about ten minutes per day.

Watch this video to see it in live action.

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Sit and Decompress Device

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This device attempts to do what the Back Bubble does, for less than half the price.  Hang it in your doorway, put on the vest and bend your legs to initiate gravity traction to your lower back.  Not as comfortable or effective as the Back Bubble, but you do get a stretch to your low back.

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Professional Infrared Heat Lamp

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This lamp delivers soothing heat and infrared light deep into the thick muscles of your lower back, increasing circulation.  I also use this lamp for shoulder, hip and knee pain because of its ability to deliver heat deep into joints; much more than a heating pad.

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BOTTOM LINE:   If you get lower back pain regularly, it pays off to do stretches and exercises to keep your lumbar vertebrae moving properly.  Lack of movement enables gravity to concentrate on joint surfaces and reduces fluid absorption into the joints, a recipe for breakdown.  Using accessories like an inversion table and Back Bubble offer more powerful interventions to keep your back feeling good.

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For more detailed, step-by-step guidance on permanently resolving chronic muscle and joint pain, visit

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The information contained in this email and on www.PainandInjuryDoctor.com is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as a medical directive. It is provided as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dan Perez, D.C. Every person is unique, and individual cases of pain are therefore unique. Dr. Perez encourages readers of PainandInjuryDoctor.com to use available sources of information to help them make a more educated and informed decision regarding their health, in partnership with one or more qualified health care professionals.

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