Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday – Lower Back Pain, No More!

Do you have lower back pain? If so, you are not alone. About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. And, in one survey, more than a quarter of adults reported experiencing low back pain during the past 3 months. That’s a lot of people! There are various reasons why so many of us develop back pain, and some of the risk factors include age, fitness level, weight gain, and genetics.

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So, let’s talk about what we should do about it. First of all, stay active. Even if you experience some discomfort in your back, bed rest should be limited. In fact, one study found that bed rest alone may make back pain worse and lead to other complications like depression, decreased muscle tone, and blood clots in the legs. Stretching and strengthening exercises, however, can help alleviate chronic back pain and may help prevent it in the future.

Try these 5 exercises to stretch and strengthen your back and supporting muscles. Repeat each exercise five times, and then increase the number of repetitions as you get stronger and the exercises get easier. And, if you can’t get down to the floor to do them, don’t worry. You can do them on your bed or on a stretching table. There are lots of options. If you’ve ever hurt your back or have other health conditions, such as osteoporosis, consult your doctor before doing these exercises.

 

Back Extension

  1. Lie on your stomach with your arms bent and palms flat on the floor under your shoulders.

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  1. Pushing with your hands and forearms, slowly lift your upper body off the ground. Hold for 5 seconds.

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  1. Slowly lower back down to starting position and repeat.

 

*Tip – Your neck should stay in a neutral position. Be careful not to look up as you lift your body. This could hurt your neck. You should be looking at the floor for the entire movement.

*Tip – The movement is small and should be slow and controlled, not jerky.

 

DSC00942Crawl

  1. Position yourself on your hands and knees, keeping your arms straight under your shoulders and your hips bent at a 90 degree angle. Keep your back straight like it’s a table top.

 

  1. Perform a crawl-like motion, slightly raising the right hand and left knee off the ground at the same time. Hold for 2 seconds.

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  1. Slowly lower back down and switch sides, so you are lifting the left hand and right knee. Hold for 2 seconds, lower, and repeat.

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*Tip – This is a VERY small movement, so you don’t need to lift either the hand or the knee very high.

*Tip – Keep your neck in a neutral position. You should be staring at the floor throughout the entire movement. Be careful not to look up, as it might hurt your neck.

 

Bridge

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet planted firmly on the floor, shoulder-width apart.

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  1. Push through your heels and lift your hips and butt off the ground. Squeeze when you get to the top and hold the squeeze for 5 seconds.

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  1. Slowly lower back down to the floor and repeat.

 

Knee-to-Chest Stretch

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet planted firmly on the floor, shoulder-width apart.

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  1. Using both hands, pull one knee and press it to your chest. Tighten your abs and press your spine to the floor. Hold for 10-15 seconds.

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  1. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg.

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  1. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat with both legs at the same time.

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  1. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat the entire cycle.

 

DSC00942Cat Stretch

  1. Position yourself on your hands and knees, keeping your arms straight under your shoulders and your hips bent at a 90 degree angle. Keep your back straight like it’s a table top.

 

2. Upward Phase: Pull your belly in and round your spine, back, shoulders, and neck, letting your head drop. You’ll look like an angry cat. Hold for 10-15 seconds.

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  1. Downward Phase: Then slowly let your back and abs sag toward the floor, increasing the arch in your mid and low back. Allow the abs to stretch towards the floor. Hold for 10-15 seconds.

 

  1. Return to the starting position and repeat the entire cycle.

 

 

Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER….age is just a number

boomersNmotion.com

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