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The Five Best Stretches to Relieve Back Pain

Over the years, most people will encounter back pain. Not helping this trend is the growing number of Americans working in front of a personal computer, sitting for hours at a time.


Now consider the large number of workers who have moved to work from home in less-than-ideal ergonomic office conditions. These trends have been pushing the workforce towards experiencing many back pain-related problems.


The good news is stretching with the proper technique can help!


See the Five Best Stretches to Relieve Back Pain below:


1) Piriformis Stretch

  1. Lay on the floor on your back and cross the right ankle over the left knee.
  2. Grip the thigh of your left leg and pull the knee towards you, lifting the foot off the floor.
  3. Pull the knee further towards you to increase the stretch. Hold for between 10 and 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.


2) Hip Flexor Stretch

  1. Kneel on your right knee, place your left foot flat on the floor in front of you, keeping your torso upright, and rest your hands on your hips.
  2. Gently push your hips forward as far as you can while keeping your torso upright. You should feel a stretch in the front of your right hip.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds, switch leg positions, and repeat (Women’s Health Mag).


3) Knee to Chest

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Bring one knee to your chest, keeping the other foot flat on the floor (or the other leg straight, whichever feels better on your lower back). Keep your lower back pressed to the floor. Hold for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
  3. Relax and lower the knee to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times with each leg. Tip: Put your other leg flat on the floor while pulling your knee to your chest to get more stretch. To add more of a strength-training element, place your hands on your thigh, creating resistance.


4) Cat-Camel

  1. Get down on your hands and knees on the floor, relaxing your head, allowing it to droop.
  2. Round your back toward the ceiling until you feel a nice stretch in your upper, middle, and lower back.
  3. Hold this stretch for as long as it feels comfortable or about 15 to 30 seconds.
  4.  Return to the starting position with a flat back while on all fours.
  5. Let your back sway by pressing your stomach toward the floor. Lift your buttocks toward the ceiling.
  6. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times. Strengthening exercises are the next step to a rehabilitated back. It’s important to strengthen various muscles throughout the body, including the gluteal, abdominal, and obliques. These muscles work with the back to help maintain proper posture, rotate the spine, and stand upright.


5) Pelvic Lift

  1. Lie flat on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart, and both arms extended by sides, palms facing down.
  2. Lift the pelvis off the floor and press hips as high as possible, squeezing the buttocks.
  3. Hold for one count, then slowly release hips back down to the floor. Do eight reps.


For a similar exercise with less range of motion, try the Pelvic Tilt

  1. Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent.
  2. Flatten your back against the floor by tightening your abdominal muscles and bending your pelvis up slightly.
  3. Hold for up to 10 seconds. Repeat.


After performing these stretches or even during your workday, engage in a low-impact aerobic activity! Get up and go for a walk, or possibly work in some water activity before or after work. See our article here on the benefits of Water Therapy. Lastly, take breaks from sitting during your work day. Get up and walk; this not only helps you physically but mentally as well!


If you are experiencing back pain and want to speak with Dr. Allard and the Access to Health Team, call (860) 889 1475 or click here, and we will reach out to you!

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