Lower Back Pain – A Common Affliction
Lower back pain is often stated as one of the most common physiological complaints of the working community. Along with joint stiffness and headaches, lower back pain is a familiar problem to many who work in full-time office jobs.
Recently enforced work-from-home policies due to the Covid-19 outbreak have likely increased the number of people suffering from lower back problems. An inefficient or uncomfortable work station is often to blame, and working from home without the proper infrastructure to do so properly can cause extra strain on the body. Not to mention, overworking which often accompanies working from home means less time spent on stretching, walking, and exercising, which can all help to ease aches and pains.
Not to worry though – there are many things you can do to ease this back pain.
Stretches to Ease Back Pain
There are many stretches you can do to help ease your back pain. Stretches aim to increase muscle flexibility and ease knots and soreness that can build up from lack of or improper use of muscles and from an injury sustained to muscle tissue. Based on this, stretches are most effective when done regularly. In the case of stretches for back pain, daily practice is ideal!
If you suffer from severe regular back pain, you should seek medical attention and consult with a chiropractor or physical therapist. Additionally, there are many schools of yoga dealing specifically with handling back pain.
However, if you are just looking for some simple yet effective daily stretches to ease slight back pain, give the following a go! Find these exercises on the NHS Inform website.
Start by doing five repetitions of each exercise, three times a day. Add an extra one or two repetitions every few days as long as you feel comfortable.
Stretch One: Knee Rolling
Lie down flat on the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor, hip-distance apart. Extend both arms along your sides and begin to bend your knees together. Start by rolling your knees towards the left. Hold the position for two deep breaths, then return to the centre. Next, repeat on the other side by rolling your knees towards the right.
Stretch Two: Pelvic Tilt
Lie down flat on the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Press your lower back into the floor and hold the position for two seconds. Release your lower back and relax. Repeat this exercise five times.
Stretch Three: Back Bends
Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on your lower back and then slowly bend backwards. Hold this position for as long as is comfortable. Return to standing up straight, also making sure to take your time on this stretch. Repeat this exercise five times.
Stretch Four: Cobra Stretch
Lie flat face-down on the floor with your arms extended at shoulder height. Slowly straighten your elbows and lift up your upper body. You should feel a stretch in your lower back. Be sure to keep your pelvis and legs relaxed during the stretch. Hold the position for as long as is comfortable, then return to the floor.
Yoga Poses for Lower Back Pain
Yoga is incredibly beneficial when it comes to stretching out your back. Be sure to take your time with the following poses and to listen to your body. If a stretch hurts or begins to feel uncomfortable, gently ease out of the position and maintain a level you are easily able to do.
Yoga Pose One: Cat-Cow
Get on all fours on the floor. Make sure your wrists are aligned with your shoulders and your knees are aligned with your hips. Be sure to balance your weight evenly between your hands and feet. Inhale, lift your chin to look upwards, and let your stomach drop towards the mat, arching your lower back. Exhale, tuck your chin into your chest, draw your belly button into your spine, and arch your spine towards the ceiling. Repeat this movement, maintaining a fluid rhythm by following your breath, for at least one minute.
Yoga Pose Two: Downward-Facing Dog
Start on all fours in the same position as in the above exercise. Tuck your toes under, press into your hands, and lift your knees upwards, maintaining the bend in them. Bring your lower back and sitting bones up to the ceiling. Lengthen your spine and tailbone and keep your heels slightly off of the ground. Breathe deeply, keep your chin tucked in so as to avoid straining your neck, and aim to maintain this pose for one minute.
Yoga Pose Three: Bridge Pose
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Rest your arms alongside your body. Press your feet and arms into the floor as you lift up your lower back and tailbone. Lift until your thighs are parallel to the floor, making sure to activate your core muscles as this helps to support the lower back. Hold this pose for one minute. Release the position slowly to avoid injury: lower the back down to the floor one vertebrae at a time.
Other Solutions to Easing Lower Back Pain
Due to an over-emphasis on other muscle groups, the lower back can often be left more susceptible to injury. This is also due to the modern lifestyle which tends to include lots of sitting down and often slumping to focus on a screen.
A decent proportion of lower back pain can be helped by fixing our posture and ensuring our workstation is ergonomic and supports our lower back. Make sure your feet are supported and your computer screen(s) are adjusted so that you are not having to bend over constantly to see, as this can be putting unnecessary pressure on your lower back. For more information on adjusting your workstation according to your needs, be sure to get in touch with your office or company to evaluate the health of your workstation.
Also, a healthy lifestyle including daily exercise will keep your body strong and healthy. The more developed and healthy your muscles are, the more they will be able to support weaker areas of your body, such as the lower back. So make sure to not skip the planks at the gym, and don’t miss out on that lunchtime run!
Get in Touch!
For more information on easing lower back pain, feel free to get in touch with Beckwith Health Club by contacting us on Instagramor on Facebook. For more information on physical therapy provided by Beckwith, in which you can target areas of pain or muscle weakness, check out our website.