With office workers sitting on the average of six hours a day, it’s no wonder that back pain is the most common cause of disability. Simple strengthening and stretching exercises can help reduce back pain occurrences and prevent future incidents.
IT Band Stretch
The IT Band starts just below the knee on the outside of the leg and warps up around the hips toward the lower back. This connective tissue can get tight and put pressure on the lower back. A simple stretch held for 10-15 seconds then repeated on the other side can help prevent lower back pain.
This simple hip opening stretch helps release the “hip flexor” or Psoas muscles which connect the front of the thigh to the lower back. It’s important to turn the back foot slightly inward and squeeze the glutes or hips forward to deepen the stretch. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Standing Quad Stretch
This stretch helps open up the front of the thigh to release pressure on the lower back. Hold onto a chair or wall for balance and squeeze the thigh slightly inward to increase the stretch. Hold for 10-30 seconds on each side.
Bridge With Knee Squeeze
This simple bridge move starts on the floor with hips lifting while knees squeeze together. Lift and lower hips with knee squeeze 12-15 repetitions. You can lift one foot slightly off the floor to challenge the body. Keep hips parallel to the ground.
Stability Ball Cobra
Using a stability ball, press hips forward while keeping feet on the ground. Lift and lower the upper body keeping head in neutral position. Repeat 8-12 times.
Knee Cross Over Stretch
This hip opening stretch starts on the floor with knee pulled up to hip height and then cross over the body. Extend the arms open to the sides to increase the stretch. Repeat 3-5 times on each side of the body.
Side Knee Core Plank
This side plank with knee on ground helps strengthen the obliques and core muscles. Hold for 10-30 seconds. Be sure to keep shoulder from shrugging into eat and rib cage from sagging. Perform 8-10 reps. Repeat on the other side. Challenge yourself by extending both legs on the side plank.
Hamstring Curl Bridge
Start with feet on the ball and slowly lift hips. Then roll the ball away and towards the body. Lower hips between moves to start and then work to keeping the hips lifted for 12-15 repetitions.
Try these easy to follow moves three to five times a week. The entire routine should take about five minutes. Help yourself live a healthier, pain-free lifestyle. Even chronic pain can be alleviated with these moves, but consult your doctor first.
Source: www.huffingtonpost.com; Andrea Metclaf; March 19, 2014.