Hey, we’ve all been there, you’re sitting at your desk all day and begin noticing constant low back pain. While you may think this pain is most likely just a muscle cramp, your condition can continue to worsen without seeking treatment.
Our team understands chronic low back pain can make exercising more difficult, however it is important to keep moving! Avoid sedentary activities such as sitting or lying down for long periods. Below are a few exercises we recommend to help with your low back pain:
The Knee-to-Chest Stretch
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Tighten your stomach muscles and bring one knee to your chest. Hold for 5 seconds and then lower your leg. Do 10 reps and then switch legs. If it hurts your back, place a towel or pillow under your knee.
To do this stretch, start in a kneeling position with your buttocks resting on your heels and place your hands on the floor in front of you. When you are ready to begin, inhale deeply and arch your upper back towards the ceiling like a cat stretching. As you exhale, round your back and tuck your chin towards your chest. This is one repetition.
Pelvic tilts are a simple exercise that you can do anywhere. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and your arms at your sides. Then flatten your back against the floor by tightening your stomach muscles and pressing down on the small of your back. To relax, release the muscles in your stomach. Repeat several times.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Slowly roll your knees from side to side for about 30 seconds, keeping your hips flat on the floor and making sure you don’t rotate your spine during this exercise. Repeat this movement about 10 times for each side for the best results.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and bend forward at the waist. Keep your knees slightly bent so you don’t hyperextend them. Bend at the hips, not the waist. When you feel a stretch in the backs of your thighs, hold that position for 20 seconds.
Begin on your hands and knees with your knees wide apart. Lower your bottom back toward your heels as you reach your arms out in front of you. Rest your forehead on the ground and breathe deeply for one to three minutes, depending on your level of flexibility.
Lie on your stomach with your arms extended overhead. Squeeze your buttocks, then lift your arms and legs off the floor so that only your belly button is touching the floor. Hold this position for up to 45 seconds, then return to the start position. Do 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions each day.
Get into a push-up position on the floor. Bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms. Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your body should form a straight line from head to feet. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10-20 times.
A good rule of thumb is to always pay attention to your body and if you are feeling different pains or movements at a certain point during the exercise, stop and consult a professional before continuing. Our goal is to provide individualized treatment for your low back pain. If you have questions regarding which exercises are best for your body, contact The Center for Spine, Sport, & Physical Medicine today!