Low Back Pain
Do you know 80% of people suffer from back pain at one stage or the other during their lives? This pain can occur at Cervical (Upper back), Thoracic (middle back) or Lumbar (lower back) region of your back. Although pain at any part of your back can be a cause of concern yet the most dreaded back pain is of Lumbar area causing not only the discomfort but also making you incapable to do routine activities. Getting up from sitting or lying position, lifting anything from ground or raising any weight above the head level becomes difficult.
Generally back pain is caused by prolonged sitting and muscle imbalances. In case of severe and chronic pain (lasting for more than 3 months) you should visit a medical practitioner. Unless you have pulled a muscle in your back while show casing your superhuman strength in kitchen by lifting that cylinder alone, your pain can be reduced by modalities (Ice and Heat) and by certain corrective exercises to stretch and strengthen your back.
You may feel like giving it a rest but moving is better for your back. Exercises for lower back pain not only strengthen your back, leg and stomach muscles but also help support your spine, relieving the back pain. Below mentioned are few of the exercises that you can do at your home:-
- Cat Camel : Most people consider this as a stretch however the cat and camel is an extension exercise that stretches and strengthens the muscles that stabilize the spine, including the back extensors and abdominals. When performed daily, the exercise can help improve the function of the back. Tip: do not hold any position of Cat or Camel just keep moving from one pose to another. Do this for 1 set of 8 repetitions and gradually increase the sets to 2 or 3. Keep the repetitions same.
2. Child’s Pose : This is a Yoga pose and it helps to release the compression in your lower back which occurs mainly due to long sitting hours in office as we tend to ‘drop’ our weight down there and usually aren’t consciously pulling up and engaging our lower abdominals all day long. Child’s Pose allows you to open up and stretch this area of the body.
3. Bird Dog : With this pose you use your core muscles and hip flexors instead of your lower back muscles to lengthen your spine. Here you work towards proper alignment from your fingers through your hips to your toes. This will allow you to get the most out of the pose and feel immediate relief from your back pain. It also increases range of motion in your shoulders and hips. Tip: hold one side position for 8-10 seconds and then move to other side. Do 3 sets for both sides with 30 seconds rest between sets.
All these exercises will not take more than 20 minutes of your busy day. The take away point here is to do these every day. The results will be gradual but very effective.