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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Patella


Updated: Mar 31

Back problems impact us more than we realize. For example if you have a tendency to have soreness after golf; sciatic nerve issues when sitting for a long drive; a tight lower back from certain activities that makes it difficult for you to move freely, these can become a chronic concern.  Chronic means reoccurring more frequently than you would like.  With chronic issues there are things you can do for prevention and maintenance.  Maybe you have had a personal trainer, life fitness coach or physical therapist who has guided you through some painful times using stretches and soft tissue manipulation and it has worked well for you. With my clients who have chronic issues I incorporate prevention techniques to minimize those flare ups.  Certain methods such as sciatic nerve glide and piriformis stretches are very effective.

This is an intro stretch for the piriformis - a muscle in your buttock area.  Sitting for long periods or doing a strenuous lower body workout can cause this muscle to spasm and put pressure on the sciatic nerve.  By stretching and easing out the soreness it can help to prevent that pressure on the sciatic nerve. Also stretching before and after your sport activities is a must.  Those muscles get tight from the activity and then may spasm or be sore to the point of other muscles having to jump in to assist with daily activities compounding the problem. When I have a client with back concerns I ask them to stretch before getting out of bed to wake up the muscles and increase blood flow so getting out of bed and taking those first few steps is not a strain on the body.  I also ask clients to stretch before and after sport activities to minimize soreness and spasms. These are two examples of easy stretches to do before getting out of bed in the morning.  Doing this will help to maintain a healthier back and minimize potential risks.  These can also be done before and after athletic activities including weight training.

One of the biggest culprits is picking up items that cause a strain on the back, a heavy box that you bend down to pick up and lift using the back and not the legs.  This is actually the most frequent problem I face next to not stretching before and after sport activities. Best case scenario: develop your core strength – abdominals, lower back and gluts to combat back weakness and issues you may already have along with these back stretches as previously explained and you will minimize your back issues.

This picture is an example of the types of exercises to accomplish this.  Reduce added weight on the stomach that can occur from late night eating, too much snacking and high sugar and fat foods.  Cheryl Patella - September 2021

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