Whether you spend most of your day sitting or standing, a lot of pressure is being put on your back and the area around the spine. If you have experienced backache before, – and a lot of us have, you know how uncomfortable they could be. This discomfort can range from a mild ache to excruciating pain. depending on the severity.
A lot of over-the-counter medications promise instant relief from the menace of lower back pain in the form of tablets, capsules, ointments and even energy drinks. These drugs, however, may not offer a lasting solution as you would need to take recurring doses to get relief when their effects wear out.
I’ll take you through seven exercises that guarantee long-lasting relief from lower back pain. These exercises are simple stretching exercises that you can incorporate into your regular exercise routine to help prevent and treat lower back pain.
1. Torso twist
This exercise stretches the back and hip joints. To do the Torso Twist, stand on the floor with your feet apart, shoulder-width distance and gently rotate the body slowly. Do 10 reps to each side.
2. Cobra stretch
The cobra stretch can be achieved by lying on your stomach with your feet together. Put your hands down on the mat next to your ribcage, arch your back as much as is comfortable then hold this position for about twenty seconds or more keeping your shoulders away from your ears.
3. Standing side bend
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and put your left hand at the back of your head and your right hand at your side. Bend your body sideways to your right side and lower your right hand towards the floor while you do this. (You can choose to carry a weight on your right hand) then squeeze your core to bring yourself up.
Take note not to bend forward while doing this exercise. Pretend you’re wedged between two walls and you have to reach down towards your knee and come back up. Pause for one second then return to the starting position. Switch sides and repeat the stretching exercise.
4. Swimmer and superman
This lower back pain stretch is used to increase the strength of the lower back muscles. To perform the swimmer exercise, lie on your stomach with arms straight forward, keep arms and legs straight all the time and lift an arm alternately.
To perform the superman, lie on your stomach as with the swimmer exercise but this time, lift all extremities at the same time, hold this position and repeat. Watch the video below to understand this routine better.
5. Forward bend
For this lower back pain stretch exercise, stand on the floor with feet together and breathe in, while exhaling, bend forward and down, keeping the upper body as close to your legs as much as you can while keeping your legs straight. Hold this position for a few seconds and repeat making sure you exhale when you bend and inhale when you come up.
Image credit: fitness19.com
This lower back pain stretch can be done by lying flat on the floor placing each foot firmly on the mat about a hip-width apart. Place your arms firmly against the ground with the palms faced down. Lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight and squeeze your butt as hard as you can at the top and pull as long as you can. Gently come back down and repeat as much as you can.
7. Single-leg hip rotation
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with toes and heels lined up, facing straight ahead. Place your hands on your hips then lift your leg up to waist level and bend your knee at a right angle. Slowly rotate your body to the left side and rotate back. Change sides and repeat the exercise. Keep the toes of your standing leg facing forward. Your knees should face the same direction as your toes.
In addition to these exercises, it is important to maintain a good posture while standing, sitting and lying down.
Also, not all exercises are suitable for everyone. Please keep this in mind. Always consider factors like your flexibility, strength, and overall health. And liaise with your fitness trainer or doctor as they would provide proper guidance.