10 Simple Stretches to Relieve Lower Back Pain
After clocking out of work, that good stretch you get when you shut down your laptop is irreplaceable. But it shouldn’t be the only stretch you do in a day! Sitting at your desk for at least 8 hours a day may lead to prolonged lower back pain, and no one wants to add that to their list of concerns while working at home during this pandemic. Before you let it get to that point, there are a few simple stretches you can incorporate to your day in between breaks!
1. Child’s Pose
Step 1: Knee on the floor with toes together and knees apart.
Step 2: Lower your torso between your knees with your stomach on you thighs, extending your arms alongside your torso with your palms facing down.
Step 3: Relax your shoulders toward the ground and breathe in and out slowly.
Hold up to 1 minute or more.
2. Cat-Cow Stretch
Step 1: Get onto your hands and knees hip-wide apart.
Step 2: Arch your back by pulling your belly button up toward your spine, and let your head drop forward. Hold this cat stretch for 10 seconds.
Step 3: Return to starting position.
Step 4: Raise your head up and let your pelvis fall forward, with your back curving toward the floor. Hold this cow position for another 10 seconds.
Step 5: Return to starting position and repeat between cat and cow poses.
Repeat from 15 to 20 times.
3. Knee to Chest Stretch
Step 1: Lie on your back with legs lying straight on the floor.
Step 2: Bend your right knee and draw it to your chest, clasping your hands behind your thigh for support.
Step 3: Lengthen your spine without lifting your hips. Hold this pose.
Step 4: Repeat with other leg.
Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute each side. Repeat 3 times.
4. Trunk Rotation
Step 1: Lie on your back and lift up your knees as if sitting on a chair.
Step 2: Fully extend your arms to the sides with palms on the floor.
Step 3: Without moving your hands or legs, gently roll both bent knees over to your right side and hold for 20 seconds.
Step 4: Return to starting position, hold, then repeat on left side.
Do this 5 to 10 times per side.
5. Seat Forward Bend
Step 1: Sit on the floor with your legs lying straight in front.
Step 2: Get a towel and place it crosswise around your feet.
Step 3: Slowly bend at your hips, bringing your stomach on your thighs.
Step 4: While keeping your back straight, grab the two ends of the towel and pull your belly closer to your legs.
Hold for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
6. Supported Bridge
Step 1: Lie down with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Step 2: Lift your hips and place a foam roller or cushion underneath your lower back.
Step 3: Relax your body onto the cushion completely.
Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, rest for another 30 to 60 seconds without the cushion. Repeat 3 times.
7. Seated Spinal Twist
Step 1: Sit on the edge of a cushion on the floor with both legs extended.
Step 2: Bend right knee and plant your right foot on the outside of your left thigh.
Step 3: Extend your left arm, cross it over and grip your right knee.
Step 4: Place your right hand on the floor behind you of support.
Step 5: Fully twist your torso to the right and stretch.
Step 6: Mirror the pose on the other side.
Hold pose on each side for 30 to 60 seconds.
8. Standing Forward Bend
Step 1: Stand straight, then slowly bend forward from the hip.
Step 2: Draw your torso forward, bringing your face as close as you can to your knees and relax head.
Step 3: With knees straight, bring palms or finger tips to the floor in front or beside of your feet, or clasp hands around your ankles.
Step 4: While breathing deeply, try and lengthen torso slightly.
Hold for 15 to 20 seconds, then rest. Repeat 3 times.
9. Downward dog
Step 1: Get on the floor with your hands slightly forward from shoulders and knees directly below your hips. Spread your palms.
Step 2: Lift knees away from floor and keep straight, with heels lifted away from the floor.
Step 3: Lengthen tailbone upwards, keep head facing forward. and stretch until making an upside-down V shape.
Hold 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
10. Cobra Pose
Step 1: Lie facing down, with tops of the feet flat on the floor.
Step 2: Place your hands on the floor beside your shoulders, with elbows tucked closely to body.
Step 3: With feet and thighs firmly on the floor, slowly straighten your arms, lift your chest off the floor, and puff out chest.
Step 4: Go as high or upright as you can while keeping your lower body flat, and press your tailbone toward the navel.
Hold 30 to 60 seconds while breathing slowly, then release. Repeat 3 times.
Try these 10 stretches out throughout the day during your breaks, and watch them do wonders to not only your lumbar area, but also your back, shoulders, and glutes!
All things considered, prevention is better than cure. The best way to avoid lower back pain is to invest in a workspace setup, starting with an ergonomic chair. Find out what to look for in an ergonomic office chair and say goodbye to back pain!