Even as there is little physical exertion, our sedentary lifestyles and jobs can be physically damaging. More than ever before, we are spending time sitting before the screen and on desks. Often, this involves poor posture and bad sitting habits. It is no surprise that back pain is now a chronic problem afflicting all age groups.
The most common occurrence of back pain is in the lower back and is called lumbago. Lumbago can be extremely painful and nearly always requires medical attention. Kept unchecked, it can cause constant pain, headaches, dizziness and fainting—and in some cases, it can even cause temporary or permanent disability. Unlike most other pain-related issues, lumbago is preventable and can be duly managed and reversed with the right exercise. Here are six such simple exercises that you can do for pain reversal and healthy living:
1. Standing up and sitting down
This is an extremely simple exercise that you can do at your desk itself. Every hour, simply get up from and sit back down on your chair five or six times. Maintain five-second intervals between each sitting. The important thing to remember is that you cannot take any support from your hands. Merely cross them over your torso and do this exercise. This causes a break between constant sitting and creates some movement in your lower back. As a result, it stops your back muscles from going into disuse and therefore keeps them healthy. Also, it is important to have a healthy and nutritious diet to stay fit.
2. Leg Hug
One important way of keeping your muscles healthy is to stretch them. The good part about stretches is that they are easy, relaxing and de-stressing. For this exercise, it is best to be seated on a four-legged chair, instead of a wheeled one. This can be done in a few simple steps-
- Place your feet flat on the floor, while sitting on the chair
- Bend over so that your chest is flat on your knees.
- Let your head and hands loosely hang towards the floor for two-three seconds. You will feel a slight stretch.
- To feel a tighter stretch, bring both hands behind your shins. Your hands have to cross. Hold your left arm with your right hand, and vice versa, and stretch. You can hold it at the wrist level, forearm level, elbow level—however, it is most comfortable.
- Count from 7-10 and then release your hands-free again.
- Repeat as often as it feels comfortable.
This exercise stretches your back and shoulders and helps with blood circulation. You can also try doing this exercise at home while lying on a yoga mat.
Lower back pain can even affect those who generally follow other aspects of healthy living, such as going to the gym. If you are experiencing back pain while still maintaining a healthy workout regime, you should incorporate bridging into your exercise regime. This exercise can also be done at home on a yoga mat.
- Lie with your back flat on your mat and bend your knees.
- Raise your feet so that only your heels touch the floor. Press your heels hard on the floor.
- Tighten your buttocks and lift your hips up. Your heels and buttocks will help you maintain balance. Keep lifting until your shoulders, hips and knees are straight.
- Maintain this position for 6-8 seconds. You will feel a stretch around your lower back and abdomen.
- Slowly bring your hips back down, and rest for about ten seconds.
- Repeat this exercise about seven to ten times.
Ensure that you do not strain yourself by arching your hips too much, or this will cause pain rather than relief. This works by tightening the muscles that support your back, such as your hamstrings, abdomen and your hips.
4. Standing Quadriceps:
At your desk job, you can try another simple exercise for lower back pain. Stand at the edge of your desk and grab its end while facing it. Lift your foot and put it over your chair behind you. Bend the knee of your other leg till you feel a stretch around your hip and thigh. After counting to twenty, rest for five seconds before repeating. You can do this simple exercise four or five times to strengthen your lower back muscles.
5. Stretching your upper body:
This exercise is ideal for when you are saddled with work and cannot leave your desk. All you have to do is stretch your arms upright over your head. Interlock your fingers and turn them to face the ceiling. Turn your face up to look at the ceiling too. As you pull your body up, you will feel an instant stretch through your back. You can repeat this exercise several times in a day to keep your back muscles active.
6. Small switches for exercise:
Besides these exercises, incorporating small health switches can contribute to healthy living. Small switches—like getting up to walk for a few minutes every two hours, twisting in your chair and rolling your shoulders—will contribute to good exercises for your back. You can also opt for a few medicines and oils for your back.
All of the exercises mentioned are safe for all age groups and provide instant lower back pain relief. While you cannot opt for your sedentary job, you can opt to reverse its damage. Start with these exercises to feel an instant difference in the overall health of your back.
Jessica Smith is an avid reader who enjoys getting lost in the world of books. Holding on to her passion for fitness, she is also caught by the fashion bug. She has been writing for True Corset for some time now. A traveller by heart, she enjoys meeting new people and experiencing new cultures.