Lower Back Pain Is Commonplace
If you do any kind of physical activity as part of work, chances are you might experience some lower back pain during your life. Back pain can be caused by weaker core muscles (the muscles around your stomach), over-reliance on your arm strength when doing heavy lifting (remember to bend your knees!), and a number of other funky things that you can do to your back at work or at play.
But fear not! The damage is not irreparable. Here are some simple stretches you can do to alleviate your lumbar discomfort.
Get into A Daily Routine
First, get yourself an open space to stretch, perhaps your living room floor, bedroom floor, or an outside deck. Make sure you have plenty of room to lie down, twist, and stretch your way back to comfort.
Set aside ten to twenty minutes every day to do your stretches, at a time when you can commit to doing them (perhaps when you wake up, or before going to bed). Remember that the key is to be consistent and do them every day, otherwise, without serious commitment, your intermittent stretching work will not pay off.
- Bring Your Knee to Your Chest. Laying flat on your back, point your toes upwards. Bend one knee slowly, and wrapping your arms around your thigh, pull your leg up to your chest. Hold this position for at least twenty seconds, and then slowly return your leg. Repeat this process with the other leg, and then repeat the whole thing at least three times. This stretch will align your pelvis, while stretching out the muscles in your lower back and rear.
- Be A Snake! Lie on your stomach, legs extended back, and plant your palms on either side of your head, with your arms flat on the ground. Slowly push yourself upwards, resting on your forearms, keeping your lower body on the ground. Once you feel the stretch in your abdomen, hold it for ten seconds, and then slowly return back to your lying position. Repeat this activity at least five times, and you’ll notice that you are able to bend your back more and more while simultaneously raising your torso higher and higher.
- The Child’s Pose: This is a staple of Yoga routines, and a good stretch to find comfort for your lower back. Get on the floor with your hands and knees, as if you are about to crawl. Your knees should be slightly wider than your hands. Touch your toes to one another, push your hips back, and extend your arms along the floor, allowing your head to fall between your arms. Hold this yoga pose for twenty seconds and then slowly return to your original position, repeating this at least three times. If you have shoulder pain, you can place your arms to the side of your body, hands extending towards your feet.
Keep It Simple!
These three simple exercises can be done within a matter of minutes. In fact, in addition to your daily stretching routine, they can be done whenever you have a spare minute at work, to keep your back comfortable and relaxed throughout the day. With less back pain, you’ll be able to enjoy your day more, and reap the benefits of not having any achy feeling in your lumbar region.
Written by Glen Johnson – health consultant, nutritionist, and author of Sciatica SOS.