Lower back pain is really very common to many adults. It can result from bad posture, bad sitting positions, improper lifting, stress, or even the wrong footwear (among many other things). More often than not, it’s caused by the muscles of the lower back going into spasm to compensate for some misalignment in the lower vertebrae. It’s important to bear in mind that strengthening the lower back and abdominal muscles can go a long way towards heading off this type of pain. There are a number of exercises to alleviate lower back pain and stretches that can help loosen up the spasms and relax the muscles:
• Ankle Pumps: Lie flat on your back on the floor. Move ankles up and down, and rotate feet in a circle. Repeat ten times
• Heel Slides: Lie flat on your back on the floor. Put a foot flat on the floor and slide the foot back towards your buttocks, then back again. Repeat ten times.
• Wall Squats: Stand with back flat against a wall. Walk your feet out twelve inches. While keeping abdominal muscles tight, slowly bend your knees 45 degrees. Hold this position for five to ten seconds, and then return to upright again. Repeat ten times.
• Single Knee to Chest Stretch: Lie flat on your back on the floor. Bend one knee, pulling that knee up towards your chest. Grasp the knee with both hands and pull it as far as you can towards your chest, then do the same with the other knee. Repeat ten times with each leg.
• Hamstring Stretch: Lie flat on your back on the floor, knees bent. Grasp one thigh behind and slightly below the knee. Slowly straighten the knee until you feel a stretch in your hamstring. Repeat with other leg. Repeat stretch five times with each leg.
• Straight Leg Raises: Lie flat on your back on the floor. Keeping your knees straight, raise each leg up 6 to 12 inches. Hold for ten seconds, then lower leg slowly. Repeat ten times with each leg
• Lumbar Stabilization: Get on your hands and knees on the floor. Extend your left leg and right arm out straight, and then do the same with your right leg and left arm. Make sure that the extensions are slow, controlled movements. Repeat ten times. This is especially helpful to exercise to alleviate lower back pain.
• Sitting on Ball: Sit on an exercise ball with your back straight. Raise your right arm straight up and your left heel an inch or two then repeat with alternate arm and heel.
• Sitting on Ball: Alternate raising each foot two to six inches off the floor, as if you were walking or marching.