Sitting at a desk all day or sitting for long periods of time can wreak havoc on your back and your muscles, as well as your whole body. To avoid intense muscle fatigue or sprain, here are five lower back stretches that will help release the tension in your body and relax the strained muscles. If you have had any major issues with your back, please consult your doctor before trying these lower back stretches.
Knee to chest stretch – Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bring your hands to rest either behind your knees or right below your kneecaps. Slowly bring both knees toward your chest, using your hands to gently pull your knees. Hold 20 to 30 seconds, then return to starting position.
Lying knee twist – Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms out to the side in a “T” position. Keep your shoulders on the ground as you gently roll both knees to one side. Hold 20 to 30 seconds, then return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
Child’s pose – Begin on your hands and knees on the floor, with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Reach out directly in front of you, extending your arms and placing your palms flat on the floor. Slowly sit your hips back toward your heels, dropping your head and chest downward as your arms extend farther. If this stretch is too much, place a pillow under your belly to prop yourself up a bit and lessen the stretch of the low back muscles. Stay here 20 to 30 seconds or even longer.
Cat to cow yoga pose – Begin on your hands and knees on the floor, with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Your spine should be parallel to the ground in this position. Then, round your back, stretching your mid-back between your shoulder blades—similar to how a cat stretches by rounding its back. Hold for 5 seconds, then relax and let your stomach fall downward as you gently arch your low back and hold here for 5 seconds. Repeat these movements for 30 seconds or longer.
Piriformis seated stretch – This stretch is designed to help lengthen the piriformis muscle. This muscle is often the source of sciatica. Sitting with a straight back, cross your left leg over your right leg, placing your foot next to your thigh, and tuck your right leg in towards your buttocks. Place your right arm on your leg as pictured and slowly ease into a stretch. Be sure to keep your back straight and chest lifted. Hold for 20 seconds and alternate sides, three times.
If these lower back stretches do not alleviate the pain, please schedule a free consultation at either of our locations.