Let’s face it. Some of us do not love the summer season as much as others. Why? For some, summer means a lot of traveling. A lot of traveling means uncomfortable small seats and back pain that would make us grumpier than we need to be.
One of the reasons why back pain occurs is when you are in a static position for a long period of time. Our bodies were made to move and are not meant to be in the same position for multiple hours. For that reason, your muscles get tight and eventually start aching.
Here are 5 stretches to reduce low back pain that can help bring back the excitement when Summer traveling comes around!
1. Cat Stretch
Purpose: To improve spinal mobility and improve the flexibility of muscles along your spine and back.
- Go on your hands and knees.
- Make sure your arms are underneath your shoulders and your knees are under your hips at a 90 degree angle.
2. Hamstring Stretch
Purpose: To improve hamstring flexibility and to reduce low back tension due to a tight hamstring.
- Sit on the ground.
- Reach as far forward towards your toes until you feel a stretch.
3. Figure 4 Stretch
Purpose: To improve piriformis muscle flexibility which improve your hips mobility. The more flexible your hips are, the less strain you will have on your back.
- Lay on your back.
- Place your right ankle over your left thigh and let your right knee fall to the right in the shape of a figure.
- Grab your left thigh with both hands and pull it towards your chest until you feel a stretch in your right buttock.
- If you have limited joint mobility in your hip, you may need to modified piriformis stretch.
4. Prayer Stretch
Purpose: To improve the flexibility of your quadratus lumborum and your latissimus dorsi.
- Start with your knees on the ground.
- While you reach forward with your hands, sit backwards as close to your feet as possible until you feel a stretch across your back.
5. Single Knee To Chest Stretch
Purpose: To improve the flexibility of the muscles behind your hip and your low back.
- Lay on your back.
- Grab behind your right thigh with both hands and pull your leg towards your chest until you feel a stretch behind your right buttock or low back.
How Long Should You Hold The Stretch?
Try doing these stretches 2 times a day, once in the morning and once at night. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Print these stretches out and take them with you as you travel this summer. Take the time to take care of yourself so you can enjoy the summer season pain free with the ones you love.
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Kimmi Dao, PT, DPT, CSCS
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