Back pain is one of the most common ailments of working adults in America. Sitting still for long periods of time can put strain on the bones and muscles that support your lumbar region. The good news is that there are things you can do to combat the onslaught of spinal aches. Here are the 5 most common reasons lower backs are hurting all across the world and how to fix them.
- Get Your Chair to the Correct Height – This is one of the main reasons that lower backs are hurting. The spine wants to be in a nice “S” shape, but sitting in bad positions can throw it out of alignment. Make sure that your thighs are parallel to the ground. If your seat is too tall, your back will arch to compensate, and if your chair is too short, your back will bow.
- Support Your Back – Your chair might not be giving you the lumbar support that you need. Since the spine is supposed to have a nice “S” shape, lack of proper support can cause it to straighten out and strain the discs. Put a pillow between your lower back where it swoops in and backrest of your chair for quick improvement. For a longer-term solution, an ergonomic task chair will ensure that your back is always supported properly.
- Proper Posture – Your mom was right when she ragged on you for slouching. Having the right chair and tools doesn’t mean you’ll automatically sit properly. You’ve got to do some of the work yourself. Remember to keep your shoulders back, your head above your hips, and your chest open.
- Stay Active – This might be the best tip out of the bunch. Since sitting still for too long is often the culprit of lower back pain, so combat it by getting up and moving around throughout the day. Simple stretches and walks once every hour or two will do wonders to get the blood pumping and pressure points relieved.
- Consider a Sit-to-Stand Desk – This final tip goes hand-in-hand with #4. Sitting still for long periods of time is bad for you. A sit-to-stand desk allows you to work in a sitting position for some of the day, and stand for some of it. By having one desk that changes heights, you can keep all your stuff in one place and work part of the day standing. Sit-to-stand desks can also do wonders for your waistline!
Prevention & Relief: Exercises for Back Pain
Although this is true there are ways to prevent and relieve the pain. The number one way is exercise. We have located seven exercises that are great to prevent or relieve back pain. Try them out and get back to moving and grooving again, carefully this time around.
Knees to-to Chest Stretch
This exercise can help stretch the lower back longer, which relieves tension and pain. Follow the steps below to effectively perform the exercise. Repeat 2-3 times/daily.
- Start by lying on your back, bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Use both hands to bring one knee to your chest.
- Hold the pose for 5 seconds, then return to resting pose.
- Repeat with opposite leg next.
Lower Back Rotational Stretch
Not only does this stretch provide pain relief in the lower back but also the trunk. Core muscles are getting worked on here as well. Repeat 2-3 times/daily.
- Start by lying on your back, knees bent with feet on the floor.
- Ensure shoulders are firmly on the floor, then gently roll both bent knees to the side
- Hold for 5 seconds, then return to starting point.
- Do the opposite side, then return to the starting point.
In this exercise, one is working on the butt muscle, which has a direct effect on the lower back. Strengthening this muscle, can be all the difference between back pain and no back pain. The recommendation is sets of fifteen repetitions but only do as much as you can.
- Lie on the floor with bent knees and feet a floor hip length away.
- Arms are by your side. Raise your butt off the ground until you have a straight line from shoulders to knees.
- Squeeze your butt, then release it to the ground.
- Repeat this at least fifteen times with one minute of rest.
This stretch focuses is on making the back longer, easing tension in the muscles. Repeat this 3-5 times/daily.
- Get on your hand and knees.
- Arch your back, pulling your belly button toward your spine.
- Slowly relax and let the belly sag toward the floor.
- Return to starting point, then repeat again.
Seated Lower Back Rotational Stretch
This stretch relieves the pain and strengths of the lower back by working the core muscles. Repeat on each side 3-5 times twice a day.
- Grab a stool or chair and keep both feet flat on the floor.
- Twist your core to the right, with hips square and spine tall.
- Place hands behind your head or place your left hand on your right knee and vice versa.
- Hold for 10 seconds. Then switch sides.
Shoulder Blade Squeeze
This exercise relieves stress and tension in the shoulders and neck. Recommend 8-12 times/daily.
- Start by standing or sitting with hands to the side.
- Keep shoulders relaxed and down.
- Squeeze shoulder blades together for 6 seconds, relax and repeat.
Maintain your back extensors by performing this exercise daily. This helps main good posture, which helps your spine. Recommend ten times.
- Lying face first on the ground, extend your arms in front of you while keeping your legs straight and flat.
- Raise both hands and feet, try and pull your belly button by lifting off the ground, engage core muscles.
- Your head needs to be straight to avoid neck injury. So, look to the floor.
- Stretch the hands and feet out as far as you can go. Hold for 2 seconds, then return to starting point.
In the end, we all want to avoid back pain or relieve the symptoms we have due to our jobs or hobbies. Utilizing these exercises daily can help you avoid recurring back pain as well as strengthen your core muscles and gain your good posture back. Hey! You also get to work on those abdominal muscles you are always talking about. So, start implementing these in your daily route and get back to moving and grooving.