9 Yoga Stretches for Lower Back Pain
Have you ever encountered spasms or a dull ache and pains in your lower back?
You’re not alone. According to Statistics Canada, 4 out of 5 adults will experience back and nerve pain at some point in their lives.
Experiencing back pain while you’re at work can cause discomfort and stress, which stunts your productivity and isn’t great for your overall well-being.
That’s why it’s so important to optimize your workspace with proper ergonomics.
When your desk is adjusted to the right height and your chair supports the lumbar region of your back, you’re well on your way to an ergonomic, pain-free workday.
In this article, we'll be sharing 9 yoga stretches that can help alleviate and prevent lower back pain. This is especially helpful if you work from home or have to sit for long periods of time at work.
What Causes Lower Back Pain When Sitting?
To begin, let's take a closer look at what actually causes lower back pain.
Back pain is often attributed to muscle strain and poor posture, both of which are preventable and treatable with proper workstation setups.
When we sit for several hours a day or any long periods of time, our muscles can tense up and become strained which causes pain and injury.
Prolonged sitting may also lead to chronic low back pain, which is a recurring ache that can be caused by improper sitting posture or a lack of support in your chair.
If left untreated, the pressure on the discs and back from an improper workstation can lead to a herniated disk, as well as other health conditions like spinal stenosis.
A high-quality, ergonomically-engineered chair is a crucial component of any productive workspace– especially when it comes to back support! Check out Canada’s best ergonomic chair.
How to Prevent Lower Back Pain
You know it: prevention is always better than cure! To get ahead of your back pain, make sure your height-adjustable standing desk is adjusted to the right height. Relax into your ergonomic chair and ensure your lumbar support is adjusted properly.
Take frequent breaks to switch positions while you work. If you’re sitting, take a moment to get up and stretch! Move your desk up to the standing position and try some exercises to get your blood moving! Stand on an anti-fatigue mat to cushion your feet and relieve pressure on your spine.
9 Yoga Stretches for Temporary Pain Relief
Important note: If your back pain worsens suddenly or lasts for longer than a few weeks, make sure you seek professional medical advice. The information here is for educational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
1) Standing Forward Bend
- Start with your feet together and your arms at your sides.
- Fold your torso over your legs and extend your arms towards the ground.
- Instead of focusing on touching your toes, think about relaxing your back into the pose.
- Breathe deeply as you hold for 30-60 seconds.
This pose releases tension in your upper body and works your hamstrings and hips.
2) Cobra Pose
- Start by lying on your belly.
- Place your hands beside your lower ribs and push your chest forward and up as you inhale.
- As you hold this pose, feel your chest opening up and your back stretching into the bend.
- Hold for 15-30 seconds, exhale, and return to the floor.
3) Cow Pose
This pose is an easy way to activate your spine if you’ve been sitting for a while.
- Start on your hands and knees with elbows and wrists below shoulders, and your knees right below your hips.
- As you inhale, drop your stomach and arch your back to lift your tailbone and chest towards the ceiling.
- When you exhale, return back to a neutral tabletop position.
4) Cat Pose
From Cow Pose, you can move into Cat Pose. These two poses together create a simple exercise that stretches your spine and opens your chest.
- From cow pose, exhale, pull your navel to your spine, lift your sacroiliac joints and round the spine.
- Lower your neck and feel the pose stretch out your spine.
- Hold for 10 seconds.
- Repeat as needed.
5) Seated Forward Bend
- Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
- Reach your arms overhead and inhale.
- On the exhale, reach your arms forward towards feet or ankles.
- Relax your neck to allow your upper body to round slightly and your chest to drop toward your thighs.
- Breathe deeply as you hold for one minute.
6) Child’s Pose
- Kneel on the floor.
- Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips.
- Exhale and fold forward, laying your torso down between your thighs.
- Reach your hands out in front of you and exhale.
- Hold for 30 seconds to a few minutes.
- This pose is great for relaxing all the muscles in your neck and lower back that get tense from working at your desk.
7) Extended Puppy Pose
After Child’s Pose, try this one!
- Start on all fours.
- Walk your hands forward a few inches and curl your toes under.
- As you exhale, move your buttocks halfway back toward your heels.
- Keep your arms active and don’t let your elbows touch the ground.
- Relax your neck and keep a slight curve in your lower back.
- Breathe deeply: you should feel your spine stretching all the way through your fingertips as you hold the pose.
- Hold for 30 seconds and relax back onto your heels.
8) Happy Baby Pose
- Lie on your back, exhale, and bring your knees up to your belly.
- Keep your ankles and knees aligned and grip the outside of your feet with your hands.
- Gently push your feet up as you pull your hands down to create a resistance.
- You should feel your hips open as you relax into the pose.
- Hold for one minute, breathing deeply and evenly.
9) Seated Twist Pose
- Start seated with your legs crossed.
- Plant your left foot outside of your right thigh and twist your torso to the left.
- Place your right elbow against the outside of your left knee and put your left hand on the ground to keep your balance.
- As you inhale, lengthen your spine and expand your chest.
- On the exhale, gently twist lower back, middle back, and then upper back to the left. Hold for one minute and repeat on the other side.
Want to Prevent Lower Back Pain?
To prevent lower back injuries and back pain, experts recommend incorporating movement into your everyday routine.
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