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10 Stretches That Help Your Lower Back

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Being confined to a desk, walking extensively, or doing repetitive tasks every day introduces severe strain on the lower back, creating pain and in the long term, can cause severe spinal problems in the lower back. In fact, the National Institute of Health estimates that eight of out ten people suffer from some sort of back pain. It is important that everyone take time out every day to stretch your back. Not only will it help maintain spinal health, but prevent health problems as one ages. Here are ten stretches that help your lower back:

1)     Rotation While Lying

Lie flat on the back, and bring your knees slowly to your chest. Rotate your knees side to side as far as possible. Repeat 10 – 20 times.

2)     Prone on Elbows

Lie flat on the stomach, and gentle prop yourself up on your elbows, and hold for two seconds. Lower yourself gently down flat. Repeat 10 – 20 times.

3)     Knees to Chest

Again, laying flat on the back, lift your knees to your chest slowly, feeling the stretch in your lower back. Hold for five seconds, and then return to laying flat on the back. Repeat ten times.

4)     Side Flexion Stretch

Standing up straight with your arms at your side, slowly move left to right as far as you can sliding your arm along your side, and feeling the side muscles stretch without pain.  Repeat 10 – 20 times.

5)     Extension While Lying

This is similar to prone on elbows (above), but is a more aggressive stretch. Lie on your stomach, with your palms on the floor in a push up position. Push up with your arms, leaving your legs flat on the ground, and feel the stretch in the back and stomach.  Repeat ten times, stretching as far as you can without causing back pain.

6)     Rotation Stretch While Lying

Laying flat on the back, take one leg at a time up to your chest and hold it there. Using the opposite arm, pull the leg across the body, rotating the leg over your body. Lay out your other arm for stabilization if necessary. Hold leg as far as you can without causing back pain for 15 seconds, and then do the opposite leg. Do four repetitions.

7)     Pelvic Lift

Lie on your back, and put your feet as close as you can to your buttocks. Cross your arms across your chest, and while keeping your lower back planted, lift your buttocks off the floor as far as you can. Hold for 30 seconds (or as long as you can) and slowly lower your feet to the floor. Repeat five times.

8)     Cat stretch

Get on all fours with your head facing downward. Push your back upward, like a cat taking a stretch. Keep pushing until you feel a minor stretch in the back, but no pain. After  15 seconds  return to the starting position. Repeat a total of ten times.

9)     Tail Wag

Down on all fours, swing your hips to one side while keeping the shoulders straight. Wait until you feel a gentle stretch, and hold for 15 seconds. Return to start, and then swing your hips in the opposite direction. Repeat a total of ten times.

10)  Hip Bridge

Lay on your back and bend your knees, keeping the feet flat. Push upward with your hips, just until you feel the stretch. Hold for 15 seconds, and then return to the original position. Complete a total of 15 repetitions.

These exercises should do a great job in strengthening the core and helping one’s lower back, reducing the chance of long term, or chronic, back pain. Make sure that if back pain lasts longer than a few days, see a back specialist, like Graham Rehab that can diagnose the reason for the lower back pain.

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