Based at Feel Good Balham: 020 8673 2163

  • Mondays: 13:30 - 21:30

Neil is a GoSC registered osteopath, sports massage therapist and fellow of Applied Functional Science, with extensive clinical experience. Neil has also trained with the British Medical Acupuncture Society and often uses western medical acupuncture during treatment. Neil has studied with the world leading Gray Institute in the USA, attaining a GIFT fellowship in Applied Functional Science, and is passionate about the power of functional movement to alleviate pain and enhance performance. Neil has been working in Balham for 4 years. Neil has recently moved to Surrey and commutes to Balham once a week to see patients.

Easy, effective daily back stretching routine

January 8, 2014

Click to view: Back stretching routine_BSM_2014

Each day as we sit at our desks and stand in the lunch queue, we are putting compressive force through our lower backs and the cushioning discs that sit between our vertebrae. Although common sense may suggest that sitting is less of a rigour than standing; in actuality, far more compressive force is put through the lumbar spine when seated. A supporting cast of muscles surrounding the spine allow us to maintain an upright position when standing and also allow fine adjustments in the pursuit of balance. When seated, these muscles are far less active thereby removing some of the scaffolding from the spine and allowing the vertebrae to drop further weight upon one another.

The discs between the vertebrae are, therefore, squashed and over time can become dehydrated. This gradual dehydration and degeneration of the discs is the first change to occur as the spine makes it’s inevitable journey towards a degenerative state in old age. The discs, like everything else in the body, need a rich supply of nutrients from the blood in order to stay plump and healthy. The nature of the blood supply to the discs, however, actually means that they suck up the majority of their required nutrients from the extra cellular fluid surrounding them. In this way, they are very much like sponges. As the vertebral bodies separate, the discs are able to open up and pull in the required nutrients. Unfortunately for those of us that sit at desks for long periods, the opening and closing of the vertebrae and pumping of the discs is not taking place regularly, leading to increased dehydration, increased susceptibility to injury and a speedier journey towards degeneration.

To counteract this, a daily (evening) 10 minute stretching routine of the lower back will help to keep the discs hydrated and the disc tissue healthy, and will also improve blood supply to the surrounding muscles, thereby improving the lower back support framework. Everybody should consider doing such a routine even if they do not suffer from back pain.

On the link below, you will find a short routine of stretches that incorporate flexion and extension of the lumbar spine, a process which opens and closes the vertebrae and stretches the spinal muscles.

Click to view: Back stretching routine_BSM_2014