The second most common complaint I hear from clients is about low back pain. No real surprise here. If your lower back pain is not caused from your athletic or workout routines, it is most likely caused by your constant sitting patterns. Most Americans spend a majority of their waking day in a seated position. You sit to drink your morning coffee and eat breakfast. You sit during your commute to get to work. You probably sit at a desk most of the work day, then you sit some more on your commute home. You then sit to eat dinner and maybe even move to sitting on the couch to “unwind” from the long work day. Take a minute and think about what is happening to your muscles when you are sitting all day…you are keeping your hamstrings in a shortened position, which causes a strain and tension on your lower back.
So, usually when you tell me you have low back pain, I often ask to work on your glutes, hip flexors, and hamstrings. Why you ask? Take a minute and think about what is happening to your muscles when you are sitting all day. You are keeping your hamstrings in a shortened position, which causes a strain and tension on your lower back. For many people, when their hamstrings and glutes are tight, those muscles will pull downward, causing a strain on your lower back. By relaxing and lengthening your hamstrings, glutes, and hip flexors, we are alleviating the low back from taking on the added stress that these tight muscles are causing. Below are some links to hamstring stretches, and yoga poses that will help relieve lower back pain.
Hamstring Stretches At Home
This is a great article that demonstrates both in writing and with pictures on how to do some of the more common hamstring stretches that you can do at home. It covers:
Yoga Stretches To Help Relieve Lower Back Pain
Yoga stretches are a great and gentle way to work on your muscles. You can do these after a workout session or even daily to improve your flexibility and to help relieve your lower back pain. This article goes over a handful of the following yoga poses:
5 Best Lower Back Stretches After Sitting All Day
This article gives 5 different stretches to help your lower back pain. These stretches are focused on one group of muscles at time, either the hamstrings, glutes (butt muscles), or the hip flexors. A couple of the suggestions even have a link to a more in-depth description and videos on how to do the particular stretches.
I hope you find these articles beneficial in your self-care steps in relieving your lower back pain. Stretching does not need to be a lengthy and time consuming project. Incorporating some of these stretches for 10 minutes in your day can do wonders! You can even plop down on your floor and do them while you unwind in front of your TV at the end of the day.
Courtney Truax, LMT is a graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed through the Oregon Board of Massage Therapy and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She has her own studio massage practice in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon.