It’s estimated that some 31 million Americans suffer from lower back pain in one form or another at some point in their lives. Lower back pain can not only greatly limit your ability to play sports and partake in physical activities, but it may also effect you when you’re sitting or lying down. Lower back pain is becoming more of a widespread problem, thought to be caused be the fact that people are living more sedentary lifestyles. Lack of exercise, too much sitting down watching TV and working at a computer desk all day are the most likely to blame for your lower back pain.However, you do not have to suffer through this debilitating condition. In just seven minutes, you can do seven stretches that completely relieve back pain and help you feel as good as new.
1. KNEE TO CHEST STRETCH
Lay on your back and stretch your legs out completely. Bend your right knee and place your hands on your calf. Gently pull your knee into your chest and hold for 30 seconds. Gently lower your right leg back to the floor. Repeat on the left side, holding the stretch for 30 seconds.
2. HIP FLEXOR LUNGE
Surprisingly, back pain is often caused by tight hips. This lunge stretches out your hip flexors.
Step your right foot forward and lower your left knee to the floor in a lunge position. Make sure your left leg is pulled fairly far back. Hold for 30 seconds and return to a standing position. Repeat on the other side, holding for 30 seconds.
3. FIGURE FOUR STRETCH
Return to a prone position on your back. Bend your right knee, keeping your right foot flat on the ground. Bring your left knee up to your chest and drape your ankle across the knee, letting your left knee fall out to the side. Hold for 30 seconds, switch sides, and hold for 30 seconds.
4. HAMSTRING STRETCH
While still on your back, bend your right knee and press your right foot into the floor. Place your hands on the back of your leg, gripping just above your knee. Lift your left leg as high as you can. Hold for 30 seconds. Put your left leg down and repeat on the opposite side.
5. SUPINE TWIST
This twist should feel fantastic on your back, particularly if you have intense lower back pain. Lay on your back with both of your knees bent and both of your knees on the floor. Cross the right leg over the left leg and drop both legs to the left side. Turn and look out to the right. Bring your legs back to neutral and repeat on the other side.
6. FORWARD BEND
If you carry extra tension in your back, this stretch may help you get rid of it. Place a chair that reaches hip height in front of you. Place your hands on it and back up slightly. Bend over slowly, letting your head drop between your arms and allowing your back to angle down. Hold for one full minute.
7. QUAD STRETCH
Your quads can shift tension to your back if they are not properly stretched. Lay on the ground on your right side. Bend your knee, keeping your knees touching. Reach back with your left hand and grab your left ankle, pulling up slightly to stretch your quad. Switch sides after 30 seconds and repeat.