Back Health for Frequent Drivers

Our province is beautiful – and expansive – making driving necessary to get where we need to be. Whether it’s grabbing your commuter cup full of piping, hot coffee and heading to work in the morning or piling the kids in the car and heading to soccer practice or the rink, driving is a fact of life for most.

For those who are career drivers, like bus, taxi or delivery drivers, or even those who just live a go-go lifestyle, back pain can be an unfortunate side effect of living on the open road.

Professor Mark Porter, of Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, has found that absence from work because of back pain is six times higher for drivers who are at the wheel for more than four hours a day. Four hours a day may seem like a lot, but when you think about it, all those little trips you make in a day add up quickly.

What causes back pain when I drive?

Back pain when driving for long periods can be caused by a number of things:

  • your lumbar curve is all but lost, placing extra strain on the vertebrae and discs
  • your spine takes the brunt of all bumps or quick turns you make
  • those who drive with their seat reclined or lowered tend to keep their legs straighter, placing strain on their hamstrings, in turn pulling on their pelvic attachments and resulting in the pelvis rolling backwards, this causes the spine to pitch posteriorly. The rest of the spine is then forced to curve forward in compensation
  • reclining or lowering your seat also places stress on your neck because you are forced to flex your neck by up to 20 degrees in order to look straight ahead

How can I ease my back pain while driving?

There are a number of ways to help ease your pain:

Use a lumbar support – A lumbar support, which is essentially a cushion for your lower back, can go a long way in preventing pain. You can purchase one specifically made for driving or it can be as easy as using an old couch pillow or a rolled up towel.

Move your seat forward – Getting as close as you can to the steering wheel, without it being uncomfortable, is the optimal driving distance to prevent back pain. This way you aren’t slouching and also not straining yourself to reach the pedals.

Adjust your hands on the steering wheel – We were all told by our driving instructor, “keep those hands at 10 and 2,” over and over. This was definitely true when we were 16-years-old and trying to get our licence, but isn’t true when we are looking to alleviate back pain. With the invention of airbags, research has found that your hands should be at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock. This allows you to rest your elbows on the armrests, which can help ease pain, especially in the upper back.

Stretching – Stretching it out (perhaps with the Straighten Up Canada program), before hopping in the car is a great way to prevent driving related pains from creeping up. Getting out and stretching every half-hour or so will alleviate some of your pain if you can spare the time or if you know you’re going to be in your car for a long time throughout the day.

You can always see your chiropractor if you are still unsure about how to prevent and alleviate back pain. Your chiropractors is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the musculoskeletal system (the body’s bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, joints and connective tissue). Your chiropractor will first assess your back’s current condition and then develop a treatment plan for you to help ease your pain.

Office Stretches

Do you sit at a desk or computer for a good portion of the day? Sitting at your desk or computer for a lengthy period of time can lead to muscle tension, fatigue, and occasionally pain. Proper workspace set-up and ergonomics are important in avoiding pain while working at your desk or computer. Try moving and changing positions every 30-50 minutes. Take a quick stretch break, or get up and move around. Try these stretches below and remember these tips:

  • Start each stretch from a neutral, aligned position using good posture
  • Stretch only to the point of comfortable tension, then relax and hold
  • Don’t bounce while stretching
  • Stretch slowly and remember to breathe
  • If you feel any pain, stop immediately and relax

Stretches for office workers   Click here for printable stretches for the office! 

Chiropractic Care and You

WHAT IS CHIROPRACTIC HEALTH CARE?

The word “chiropractic” comes from ancient Greek and means “done by hand.”

Adjustment of the joints of the body has been used in the healing arts for many centuries and is at the heart of modern chiropractic care.

Chiropractors are specialists in manual adjustment of the vertebrae of the spine and other joints. Adjustment helps relieve pain and restore normal functioning to the spine, joints and supporting structures of the body – so you can enjoy your everyday activities again as quickly as possible.

Chiropractors are also trained to prescribe therapeutic exercise, provide nutritional counselling, and recommend rehabilitation and injury prevention strategies.

Did you know?

Back pain, neck pain and headache are the most common reasons why Canadians first consult a chiropractor. If aching joints and muscle pain are affecting your ability to get through the day and keeping you away from your favourite activities, consider chiropractic care. A Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) will assess your symptoms and recommend a treatment plan to put you on the road to recovery. Your chiropractor can also provide expert advice to help you prevent pain and injury from recurring.

WHAT IS AN ADJUSTMENT?

An adjustment is a highly skilled and precise movement usually applied by hand to a joint of the body. Adjustment loosens the joint to restore proper movement and optimize function. When a joint is adjusted, a gas bubble escapes causing the popping noise you may have heard about.

WHY IS SPINAL HEALTH IMPORTANT?

The spine serves as a pillar to support your body’s weight and movement. It also houses and protects the nervous system, which carries messages from the brain to every corner of the body. The joints, discs, ligaments and attachment points for muscles on the spine help us to move, maintain posture and protect our body from dangerous movements. Stress or strain on the spine can present as pain and impedes your daily activities and can also affect the health of your muscles, joints and nerves.

EVIDENCE-BASED & PATIENT-CENTRED

Chiropractic adjustment techniques have been researched extensively. Complications are rare and side-effects, such as temporary soreness, are usually minor. Your chiropractor is well-trained to determine if your problem will respond to chiropractic care or if you require referral to another healthcare provider.

Following university studies, a chiropractor must then complete a rigorous four-year, full-time education program and pass comprehensive Canadian qualifying examinations in order to become licensed to practice. Chiropractors are regulated health professionals and the licensing college in each province is charged with protecting the public and setting standards for the profession.

WHEN SHOULD I CONSIDER CHIROPRACTIC CARE?

There are many reasons to seek chiropractic care. Work, accidents, sports injuries, household chores, even the stress of daily living can cause painful joint and spinal problems. Even if you do not have painful symptoms, chiropractic care can help you maintain healthy spine and joint function.

Here are some of the most common reasons why more than 4 million Canadians visit a chiropractor each year:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Headache
  • Whiplash
  • Strains and sprains from daily activities
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Work and sports-related injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Restricted movement in the back, shoulders, neck or limbs

BENEFITS OF CHIROPRACTIC CARE

Chiropractic treatment is skilled, hands-on health care that relieves pain and helps your body be its best. Here are some of the ways it can help you.

  • Improved movement in your neck, shoulders, back and torso
  • Better posture
  • Relief from headaches, neck and back pain
  • Prevention of work-related muscle and joint injuries
  • Enhanced athletic performance
  • Improved flexibility
  • Relief of pregnancy-related back ache • Correction of gait and foot problems

Chiropractic Care and Repetitive Strain

WHAT IS REPETITIVE STRAIN?

Repetitive strain injury is typically caused by rapid, repeated use of muscles and joints. Numbness, tingling and burning sensations, swelling and aching pain are among the most common symptoms. It affects a broad variety of people from athletes such as tennis players and golfers to trades people like jackhammer operators and assembly line workers. Video gaming, computer use and even crafts like knitting are all associated with repetitive strain injuries.

Common types of repetitive strain include carpel tunnel syndrome, golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow and rotator cuff injuries. Left untreated, repetitive strain can cause injuries that may not heal without a long break from the cause.

Did you know?

A Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) is highly trained to diagnose the cause of your pain and provide hands-on treatment that works. Ignoring symptoms doesn’t make them go away. In fact, it can make them worse. It’s important to treat not just the symptoms, but also the cause.

If repetitive strain injury is affecting your ability to get through the day and keeping you away from your favorite activities, consider chiropractic care. A chiropractor will assess your symptoms, diagnose your condition, and recommend a treatment plan to put you on the road to recovery. Your chiropractor can also provide expert advice to help you prevent pain and injury from recurring.

GETTING BACK IN ACTION

Chiropractic care can restore healthy function to your spine and the related muscles and ligaments to get you moving again. Chiropractors are specialists in adjustment of the vertebrae of the spine and other joints of the body. Adjustment helps relieve pain and restore normal movement – so you can enjoy your everyday activities again as quickly as possible. Complications are rare and side-effects such as temporary soreness are usually minor.

Chiropractors acquire their skills through an intensive four-year, full-time course of study after three years of university education.

PATIENTS PLAY A ROLE

The success of any treatment relies on patients playing an active role. Treating repetitive strain may require making changes to your work
station, taking breaks to relax overworked muscles and joints, and exercises to relieve stress and strengthen the affected parts of your body.

WHEN SHOULD I CONSIDER CHIROPRACTIC CARE?

If you begin to experience pain in your hands, wrists, arms or shoulders, consult a chiropractor for an assessment. Most people respond well to treatment and get back to their regular activities faster than waiting it out.

EVIDENCE-BASED

Chiropractors are regulated health professionals and members of your health care team. Chiropractic care has been researched extensively. Your chiropractor is well-trained to determine if your problem will respond to chiropractic care or if you require referral to another health care professional.

LENGTH OF CARE

In some cases, treatment may begin on the first visit. Length of treatment will vary for each person and condition. People who have lived with long-term pain or have degenerative problems will typically be in treatment longer. Successful treatment of repetitive strain requires a combination of chiropractic care and addressing the source of the repetitive strain.

A HEALING PARTNERSHIP

Your chiropractor will work with you to establish goals to measure your progress. Chiropractors are trained to prescribe therapeutic exercise, provide nutritional counselling and recommend rehabilitation and injury prevention strategies to help you participate in your care.

WHAT TO EXPECT ON A FIRST VISIT

If you are visiting a chiropractor for the first time, expect to provide a health history. This may include asking you about any illnesses, past surgeries, medications and other health issues. The chiropractor will ask you about your pain and conduct a physical examination to assess and diagnose the problem. Sometimes x-rays may be required.

Your chiropractor will explain the findings of the assessment to you and discuss the treatment recommendations, ensuring your consent to treatment is informed and your questions are answered.

Neck Pain

CAUSES OF NECK PAIN

Neck pain is a common problem with many possible causes. Poor posture, hunching over a computer, arthritis, whiplash, and muscle strain from simple things like reading in bed or grinding your teeth can all trigger neck pain. When your neck muscles become tired and strained, pain is usually the first symptom.

In rare cases, neck pain can be a sign of something serious. Seek immediate attention and tell your chiropractor if your neck pain is accompanied by severe headache, shooting
pain in your shoulder or arm, numbness or loss of strength in your arms or hands, trouble speaking, swallowing or walking, blurred vision or loss of balance.

Did you know?

A Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) is highly trained to diagnose the causes of your neck pain and provide hands-on treatment that works. In fact, a recent international study on neck pain found that manual therapies such as adjustment and mobilization are among the few treatments that can help relieve neck pain1.

If neck pain is affecting your ability to get through the day and keeping you away from your favorite activities, consider chiropractic care. A chiropractor will asses your symptoms, diagnose your condition, and recommend a treatment plan to put you on the road to recovery. Your chiropractor can also provide expert advice to help you prevent pain and injury from recurring.

GETTING BACK IN ACTION

Chiropractic care can restore healthy function to your neck and the related muscles and ligaments to get you moving again. Chiropractors are specialists in adjustment of the vertebrae of the spine and other joints of the body. Adjustment helps relieve pain and restore normal movement – so you can enjoy your everyday activities again as quickly as possible. Complications are rare and side-effects such as temporary soreness are usually minor.

Chiropractors acquire their skills through an intensive four-year, full-time course of study after three years of university education.

PATIENTS PLAY A ROLE

The success of any treatment relies on patients playing an active role. Treating neck pain may require making changes to your work station, taking breaks to relax overworked muscles and joints, changing your pillow, and exercises to strengthen your neck and shoulders.

WHEN SHOULD I CONSIDER CHIROPRACTIC CARE?

If you experience neck pain, consult a chiropractor for an assessment.
Your chiropractor will recommend a course of treatment specific to you which may include spinal adjustments, joint mobilization, muscle release techniques, muscle stimulation, and therapeutic exercises.

Most people respond well to treatment and get back to their regular activities faster than waiting it out.

EVIDENCE-BASED

Chiropractors are regulated health professionals and members of your health care team. Chiropractic care has been researched extensively.
Your chiropractor is well-trained to determine if your problem will
respond to chiropractic care or if you require referral to another health

care professional.

LENGTH OF CARE

In some cases, treatment may begin on the first visit. Length of treatment will vary for each person, but many patients will begin to feel better after a few visits. People who have lived with prolonged neck pain or have degenerative problems will typically be in treatment longer. People may also choose periodic care to maintain healthy neck function.

A HEALING PARTNERSHIP

Your chiropractor will work with you to establish goals to measure your progress. Chiropractors are trained to prescribe therapeutic exercise, provide nutritional counselling and recommend rehabilitation and injury prevention strategies to help you participate in your care.

WHAT TO EXPECT ON A FIRST VISIT

If you are visiting a chiropractor for the first time, expect to provide a health history. This may include asking you about any illnesses, past surgeries, medications and other health issues. The chiropractor will ask you about your pain and conduct a physical examination to assess and diagnose the problem. Sometimes x-rays may be required.

Your chiropractor will explain the findings of the assessment to you and discuss the treatment recommendations, ensuring your consent to treatment is informed and your questions are answered.

Headaches

DIFFERENT TYPES OF HEADACHE

Many people have occasional headaches, but frequent headaches that affect your ability to sleep or get on with
your day can be disabling. Common types of headaches are tension, migraine and cervicogenic headaches. Tension-type headaches commonly present as band-like tension around the head, whereas migraine headaches usually result in pain on one side of the head and are commonly accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. With cervicogenic headaches the neck is the source of the problem but the pain is perceived in one or more areas of the head and/or face.

The causes of headaches are not always well understood but a family history of headaches, neck stiffness and stress are common factors.

Did you know?

A Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) is highly trained to diagnose the causes of back pain and provide hands-on treatment that works. Ignoring back pain doesn’t make it go away. In fact, it can make it worse. It’s important to treat not just the symptoms, but also the cause.

If back pain is affecting your ability to get through the day and keeping you away from your favorite activities, consider chiropractic care. A chiropractor will assess your symptoms, diagnose your condition, and recommend a treatment plan to put you on the road to recovery. Your chiropractor can also provide expert advice to help you prevent pain and injury from recurring.

GETTING BACK IN ACTION

Chiropractors are specialists in adjustment of the vertebrae of the spine and other joints of the body. Adjustment helps relieve pain and restore normal movement – so you can enjoy your everyday activities again as quickly as possible. Complications are rare and side effects such as temporary soreness are usually minor.

Chiropractors acquire their skills through an intensive four-year, full-time course of study after three years of university education.

PATIENTS PLAY A ROLE

The success of any treatment relies on patients playing an active role. Your chiropractor will recommend a course of treatment specific to you that may include life and work style changes, adjustment and mobilization of the joints, muscle release techniques, muscle stimulation, and therapeutic exercises. For example, you may be advised to make nutritional changes, have an eye examination or use a glare-free computer screen.

WHEN SHOULD I CONSIDER CHIROPRACTIC CARE?

It’s important to take headaches seriously. Consider consulting a chiropractor if you often have headaches, if you frequently take a pain reliever for your headaches, if your headache pattern changes, or if your headaches are getting worse. Seek prompt attention if your headache is sudden and severe, follows a head injury or is accompanied by fever, stiff neck, weakness, numbness or difficulty speaking.

EVIDENCE-BASED

Chiropractors are regulated health professionals and members of your health care team. Chiropractic care has been researched extensively. Your chiropractor is well-trained to determine if your problem will respond to chiropractic care or if you require referral to another health care professional.

LENGTH OF CARE

In some cases, treatment may begin on the first visit. Length of treatment will vary for each person, but many patients will begin to feel better after a few visits. Certain types of headaches may require periodic care.

A HEALING PARTNERSHIP

Your chiropractor will work with you to establish goals to measure your progress. Chiropractors are trained to prescribe therapeutic exercise, provide nutritional counselling and recommend rehabilitation and injury prevention strategies to help you participate in your care.

WHAT TO EXPECT ON A FIRST VISIT

If you are visiting a chiropractor for the first time, expect to provide a health history. This may include asking you about any illnesses, past surgeries, medications and other health issues. The chiropractor will ask you about your pain and conduct a physical examination to assess and diagnose the problem. Sometimes x-rays may be required.

Your chiropractor will explain the findings of the assessment to you and discuss the treatment recommendations, ensuring your consent to treatment is informed and your questions are answered.

Back Pain

CAUSES OF BACK PAIN

Back pain. It’s a problem that affects millions of Canadians. When your back hurts, many other things suffer too. Simple everyday tasks like getting in and out of a car, putting on a coat, picking up a child, sitting at a desk or standing for periods of time may become unmanageable.

There are many causes of back pain. Injuries, heavy lifting, ageing, recreational activities, pregnancy and the stress of everyday life can all cause back pain. Many people choose to just ‘tough it out’ but there is a better way.

Did you know?

A Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) is highly trained to diagnose the causes of back pain and provide hands-on treatment that works. Ignoring back pain doesn’t make it go away. In fact, it can make it worse. It’s important to treat not only the symptoms, but also the cause.

If back pain is affecting your ability to get through the day and keeping you away from your favorite activities, consider chiropractic care. A chiropractor will assess your symptoms, diagnose your condition, and recommend a treatment plan to put you on the road to recovery. Your chiropractor can also provide expert advice to help you prevent pain and injury from recurring.

GETTING BACK IN ACTION

Chiropractic care can restore healthy function to your spine and the related muscles and ligaments to get you moving again. Chiropractors are specialists in adjustment of the vertebrae of the spine and other joints of the body. Adjustment helps relieve pain and restore normal movement – so you can enjoy your everyday activities again as quickly as possible. Complications are rare and side-effects such as temporary soreness are usually minor.

Chiropractors acquire their skills through an intensive four-year, full-time course of study after three years of university education.

PATIENTS PLAY A ROLE

The success of any treatment relies on patients playing an active role. Simple things to keep in mind include warming up before and stretching after physical activities, keeping backpacks and purses light, lifting objects safely, and stretching after an hour of television viewing or sitting at the computer.

WHEN SHOULD I CONSIDER CHIROPRACTIC CARE?

If you experience back pain that lasts more than a few days, consult a chiropractor for an assessment. Your chiropractor will recommend a course of treatment specific to you which may include spinal adjustments, joint mobilization, muscle release techniques, muscle stimulation,

and therapeutic exercises. Most people respond well to treatment and get back to their regular activities faster than waiting it out.

EVIDENCE-BASED

Chiropractors are regulated health professionals and members of your health care team. Chiropractic care has been researched extensively. Your chiropractor is well-trained to determine if your problem will respond to chiropractic care or if you require referral to another health care professional.

LENGTH OF CARE

In some cases, treatment may begin on the first visit. Length of treatment will vary for each person, but many patients will begin to feel better after a few visits. People who have lived with long-term back pain or have degenerative problems will typically be in treatment longer. People may also choose periodic care to maintain healthy spine and joint function.

A HEALING PARTNERSHIP

Your chiropractor will work with you to establish goals to measure your progress. Chiropractors are trained to prescribe therapeutic exercise, provide nutritional counselling and recommend rehabilitation and injury prevention strategies to help you participate in your care.

WHAT TO EXPECT ON A FIRST VISIT

If you are visiting a chiropractor for the first time, expect to provide a health history. This may include asking you about any illnesses, past surgeries, medications and other health issues. The chiropractor will ask you about your pain and conduct a physical examination to assess and diagnose the problem. Sometimes x-rays may be required.

Your chiropractor will explain the findings of the assessment to you and discuss the treatment recommendations, ensuring your consent to treatment is informed and your questions are answered.

 

Golf Stretches

FOUR EASY STRETCHES FOR GOLFERS

#1 HIP FLEXOR LUNGE

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Step one foot forward into a lunge position. Keep your body upright and back straight. Bend both knees so that you feel the stretch. Do not let your forward knee pass over the ankle of your front foot. Use a golf club to keep your balance. Hold 15 seconds. Repeat 2 times each side

#2 SEATED TWIST

Sit on a bench or golf cart with your knees together and feet flat pointing forward. Reach across the front of your body and grasp the back of the bench or cart. You should experience a stretch in your spinal muscles. Hold 15 seconds. Repeat 2 times each side.

#3 SEATED FORWARD BEND

Sit on a bench or golf cart, knees bent and feet flat. Place one ankle onto your opposite knee, and relax this leg so that your knee falls out to the side. Slowly bend forward, keeping your back straight. You may gently pull on your bent knee to generate a deeper stretch. You should feel a stretch in your buttock area. Hold 15 seconds. Repeat 2 times each side.

#4 SIDE BENDING STRETCH

Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Hold the golf club above your head with your arms straight. Slowly bend to one side, without rotating, until you feel a stretch along the side of your back. Hold 15 seconds. Repeat 2 times each side.

Hockey Stretches

STARTING OUT:

Invest in equipment, sticks and skates that suit your height and size.
Be ‘head smart’ – wear your helmet with the cage, shield or visor properly secured.
Sharpen your skates regularly for better performance.
Repair or replace damaged or broken equipment.

REMEMBER:

Never stretch a cold muscle. Always warm-up before pre-game stretches.
Don’t overstretch – be comfortable.
Don’t bounce when stretching.
If you experience pain that lasts longer than your usual post-game soreness, ice the area and consult a chiropractor.

If you are new to the game, get checked by a health professional such as a chiropractor to make sure it’s an appropriate fitness activity for you. If you are a regular player, routine chiropractic check-ups can help optimize your muscle and joint function and deal with stiffness and soreness before they sideline you.

 

#1 HAMSTRING STRETCH

Lay on your back and bend one knee towards the ceiling. Hold the back of the thigh with both hands and straighten the knee as much as you can by raising your foot towards the ceiling. Hold the stretch for one second, then bend the knee and straighten again. Repeat 20 times on each leg.

#2 GROIN STRETCH

Stand with your feet slightly wider apart than your shoulders. Bend your knees. Shift your weight to the right leg. Reach down and across your body with your left hand to touch your right foot. Point your right hand up to the ceiling. Keep your back parallel to the ground. Shift your weight to the left leg. Repeat 10 times on each side.

#3 HIP FLEXOR STRETCH

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Step forward with your right foot into a lunge position. Your right knee should be directly over the toes of your right foot. Keep your left leg and your back straight. Extend your arms straight in front of you and bring your palms together. Turn your upper torso to the right keeping pelvis and hips stationary. Hold for one second and repeat 10 times on each side.

#4 QUAD STRETCH

Stand with your back to a wall or the rink boards. Kneel onto your right knee (use a pad for cushioning) with your right foot flat against a wall. Your left knee should be bent in front of you at a 90 degree angle for support. Place your hand on your left knee for balance and lean back slightly to stretch your right quad muscle. Hold the stretch for ten seconds. Switch legs and do three stretches on each side.

#5 GLUTE STRETCH

Sit on the ground with one leg slightly bent behind you and one leg slightly bent in front of you. Lower your chest toward your knee keeping your back straight and holding your chin up. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Switch legs and repeat three times on each side.

#6 HIP STRETCH

Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat apart on the floor slightly more than shoulder width apart. Lower your right knee to the floor and place your left ankle on top of it pushing the knee towards the ground. Keep your hips on the floor. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds. Switch sides.

Running Stretches


YOUR GUIDE TO FIVE EASY STRETCHES FOR RUNNERS

RUNNING IMPROVES:

The health of your heart and lungs.
Your energy and stress levels.
The tone and strength of your leg and hip muscles.
Your bone density (reduces the risk of osteoporosis).

REMEMBER:

Never stretch a cold muscle
Hold each stretch for a slow count of 30
Repeat twice on each side.
Don’t overstretch – be comfortable.
Don’t bounce when stretching.

 

Get checked by a health professional such as a chiropractor before starting a running program to make sure it is an appropriate fitness activity for you. Then start-out slowly to allow your body to warm-up and stretch-out after you stop.

If you suffer an injury or experience pain that lasts longer than your usual post workout soreness, ice the area to reduce swelling and inflammation, and consult a chiropractor.

#1 UPPER CALF
Stretch your arms in front of you and place both hands on a sturdy object. Stand with feet comfortably apart with toes pointing towards the wall. Put
one leg back about 12 inches from the other, keeping the knee straight and your foot flat on the ground. Bend the knee of the front leg so your hips move forward and lean into your hands.

#2 LOWER CALF

Feel the stretch in the back of the hips and buttocks.Adopt the same position as for the upper calf stretch. Shift the foot of your back leg forward until the toes are just behind the heel of the front leg. Keep both heels on the ground with toes pointing forward. Lower your hips by bending both knees.

#3 FRONT OF THIGH

Stand near a wall, bench or a post and put one hand on it for balance. Grasp your ankle or foot with the other hand. Keep your upper body straight and pull your heel up towards your buttock. The knee of the leg you are bending should point towards the ground. If you are able to touch your buttock with the heel of the foot, gently extend the hip by moving the knee backwards

#4 BACK OF THIGH

Place one foot up on a low surface about knee high with your hands on the thigh. Keep the knee of this leg straight with the toes pointing

forward. Bend forward from the hips – not the waist. Keep your lower back flat by bringing your

chest towards your knee rather than your head.

#5 HIPS/BUTTOCKS

From the back thigh stretch position, bend your front knee so that foot is now on the edge of the surface. Hands on hips, lean slightly forward over the bent leg. Keep the leg you are standing on straight.