More Flexibility = Less Pain

stretching-contortionist

It has been my mantra that static postures (staying in the same position for long periods) like sitting at a desk makes some muscles too short and others too weak.

Starting a regular stretching program for your lower back will pay dividends as you go through life and keep you fit, mobile and pain free for longer.

A Stretching Program Can Be Simple

Some people believe that you have to join and then live at a gym in order to be healthy. But this isn’t the case at all. If it were, no one born before 1980 would have been considered fit.

The way to keep fit is to keep active. And stretching regularly is one way you can increase your activity level.

Depending on what stretches you want to do, they can be done at work, at home, even at a restaurant during a business meeting. With some movements, people don’t even have to know that you’re stretching, but you’ll feel it just the same.

So, that’s my plug for starting a regular stretching program.

Let’s take a look at a simple stretch that you can do at home, or even at work if your work station has a lower amount of foot traffic. It’s called the “single knee to chest” stretch.

Laying knee to chest stretch – Lie on your back with knees bent and both heels on the floor; imagine you are in a bridging position. From here, place both hands behind one knee and bring it towards the chest. What this stretch does is lengthen the buttock muscles as well as helping decompress the lower back by adding some length to its musculature.

Read about more stretches here

This is a good stretch for your hips which can contribute to back pain. It’ll wake up your gluteals and stretch the little rotator muscles that make your hips stiff when they get short from sitting at a desk for long hours.

If you keep your hips limber and flexible, it’ll also be a lot easier to walk and run. Both of which can be a good addition to a regular exercise program to prevent or treat back pain.

Photo by Shar Ka

Physical Therapist

View more posts from this author