Dr. Jeff makes another appearance on WCIU's You & Me This Morning to give 3 great stretches to help with your back pain. For many of us our lower back is where we feel the most pain. Everyday we are sitting for long periods of time, which causes the lower back to tighten up. We sit while commuting, in the office, when we get home watching television or when we our on the computer. Sitting causes us to be in a flexed position. Since sitting seems impossible to avoid we need to work to get the muscles functioning and loose.
There are certain lifestyle changes you can commit to that will help you avoid lower back pain. Adding these 3 lower back stretches to your daily routine can make a huge difference.
- Cat/Camel Exercise:
- Starting Position: Kneel on an exercise mat or floor, positioning your knees and feet hip-width apart, with your feet dorsi-flexed (toes pointing towards your body).
- Slowly lean forward to place your hands on the mat, positioning them directly under your shoulders at shoulder-width with your hands facing forward. Reposition your hands and knees as necessary so that your knees are directly under your hips and hands are directly under your shoulders.
- Gently stiffen your core and abdominal muscles to position your spine in a neutral position, avoiding any sagging or arching.
- Upward (Cat) Phase: Gently exhale and contract your abdominal muscles, pushing your spine upwards towards the ceiling and hold this position for 10 - 15 seconds. Allow your head to fall towards your chest, maintaining alignment with the spine.
- Downward (Camel) Phase: Slowly relax and yield to the effects of gravity. Let your stomach fall towards the floor (increasing the arch in your low back) and allow your shoulder blades to fall together (move towards the spine). Hold this position for 10 - 15 seconds before returning to your starting position.
- Prone Press Up:
- Lay on your stomach with your elbows bent underneath you and palms flat on the surface.
- Keep your hips and pelvis in contact with the surface.
- Lift you upper torso off the mat with your arms while keeping your back relaxed.
- Hold this position for as long as you can or about 10-15 minutes.
- Hamstring Stretch:
- Avoid flexion.
- Start in a standing position.
- Put one foot out with your toe pointed upwards.
- Bend your knee and push down without bending your back. You should feel the stretch.