Remembering that lower back pain is frequently caused by anterior pelvic tilt, that is often caused by the prolonged sitting at work, it only makes sense that that pain will be relieved with exercises you can do while sitting or standing in your office.
Even if you do not have chronic lower back pain, stretches can be useful if you have to sit for long periods. Back stretches can go a long way towards relieving the muscle tension that is the most common cause of back pain. Make sure you do back stretches carefully to avoid injury.
Seated Forward Bend
Purpose: Stretches and lengthens the entire spine
Sit upright in a chair, keeping your spine straight and holding your head erect.
Place your palms in your lap and relax your shoulders and arms.
Place your feet hip width apart. If this is not comfortable, you can place your feet farther apart, however, if you do so turn your toes slightly towards one another.
Inhale while leaning forward over your thighs. Allow your hands to dangle on either side of your feet, keeping your shoulders relaxed and your neck elongated.
Breathe deeply into your lower back, holding this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.
Sit up slowly.
Caution: If you sit up too fast, you could pass out.
Purpose: Relieves tension along the entire length of the spine.
Sit upright in your chair, head erect.
Place the opposite hand on opposite knee if you with, without exerting any pressure on the hand.
Twist to one side, turning your head into the twist.
Take about ten to fifteen deep breaths, making sure you breathe deeply and fully as you twist.
Repeat the twist on the other side.
Caution: Do not force the twist and keep your spine straight. Be careful as twisting improperly can cause disk injury.
Face forward with feet slightly apart, breathe in.
- Raise your arms out to the sides.
- Breathe out and bend to the left, reaching toward the floor with your left hand and your right hand pointing toward the left side over your head. You may also support your weight by putting your left hand on your waist.
- Think about your right hand going far to the left but not downwards to the ground to lengthen your stretch.
- Breathe in come back to starting position.
- Repeat with your right side.
Breathe in and out, and then put both hands around the front of your knee pull your left knee to your chest while holding your breath.
- Lower your head to your knee.
- Hold for 20-30 seconds
- Release slowly while breathing out.
- Repeat on your right side.
Purpose: Relieves tension in the neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Sit upright in your chair, squaring your shoulders.
Roll your shoulders slightly forward and up towards your ears.
Drop your shoulders while rolling them back slightly, allowing them to relax as they come down.
Repeat ten to fifteen times.
Reverse direction, rolling your shoulders back and repeat again.
Purpose: Releases tension from your upper back.
Sit upright, extending your arms in front of you.
Cross your left bicep over your right bicep.
Bend your elbows so that your left elbow rests inside your right elbow. (Note: see caution below.)
Wrap your right forearm around your left forearm and grasp your left palm with your right palm.
Lift both arms upward to intensify the stretch, remembering to breathe slowly and deeply into the shoulder blades.
Caution: Do not force your arms to assume this position. You may not be able to do this at the first try, just keep trying until you achieve success.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
Purpose: Loosens tight hamstrings, which can contribute to lower back pain and postural problems.
Stretch #1: Easy
Remove your shoes and stand in front of your desk.
Keeping your right leg straight and place your right heel on the edge of the desk.
Repeat the stretch on the other leg.
Stretch #2: Harder – for a more intense stretch in the hamstring
Keep the extended leg straight and bend your standing leg while lowering your torso.
Keeping your spine straight, pull your abdomen toward your spine.
Lean forward, sliding your hands down your extended leg.
If you can do so, grasp the foot with both hands.
Hold this stretch for ten to fifteen breaths, breathing into the hamstrings.
Repeat the stretch on the other leg.
You can perform many helpful backstretches right at your desk. Additionally, if you have a chance to leave your desk, you can perform office stretches in the break room or stairwell. Either way, you can reduce pain and strengthen supporting muscles with the stretching exercises given above.
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