After waking up and getting ready for work, you sit down and eat breakfast. After sitting in your car for 30 minutes to drive to work, you sit down in meetings until lunch, where you sit down again to eat your meal. After to eat, you return to your desk to work again, where you sit for the rest of the day.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), only 20 percent of all Americans get the recommended amount of exercise each week, while the average American sits approximately 13 hours per day (and sleeps approximately 8 hours per day). Over the past few years, our lives have become increasingly sedentary, which has led to the rise of lower back pain in the general population.
Recent studies have not only shown that daily Yoga can improve bone density, but can also help alleviate the tensions in the back and restore movement. Here are some exercises you can do every day for 4-8 minutes to help reduce back pain:
The Sphinx is a simple, yet relaxing Yoga pose in which you lie on your stomach and gently push yourself up with your arms. In this pose, your forearms should remain relaxed and on the ground. Press your pubic bone forward and allow your back to maintain a comfortable curve. This allows the blood to flow through your back and heal it. Hold for 1 to 2 minutes and slowly release.
2. Child’s Pose
One of the most popular Yoga poses, the Child’s pose is a great pose to follow Sphinx because it allows your back to elongate. Kneel down on the ground with your knees apart and feet touching together. Stretch your arms forward above your head so that they are touching the ground. Bring your head to the ground to feel the stretch across your lower and upper back. Hold for 1 to 2 minutes and slowly lift yourself back up.
3. Thread the Needle
This stretches many of the muscles around your lower back such as the glutes. With your back on the ground, bend the left and right knees off the ground. Place the ankle on the right quadriceps such that the legs look like the number 4. Thread one hand through the hole created by your legs and one hand outside of the right leg and pull toward your chest with your head relaxed and on the ground. Repeat on both sides and hold 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Two-Knee Twist
With your back on the ground, pull your knees into your body and slowly lower them to the right side of the body. Take both arms and reach them out to each side of you to make a “T”. Keep both shoulders on the ground and look straight up. Hold for 1 to 2 minutes and switch sides.
The key to relieving lower back pain as well as reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes is daily exercise and activity, such as cardiovascular exercise and Yoga. Those with a sedentary lifestyle, however, are not the only ones experiencing back pain. Many athletes and active individuals also experience back pain. This is because many weight-bearing activities such as running, lifting, and rapid dynamic motions produce tension on the lower back.
Dr. Robert Hausman is a chiropractor in the Austin area. He enjoys helping people with their neck, back or headaches problems through chiropractic care. He also helps through corrective excersices and massage therapy to help strenghen and relax the muscles. Dr. Hausman also enjoys being active and participates in marathons or practices yoga and other activities.