5 Stretches To Ease Back TensionNovember 9th, 2017
I work from home which means I spend a lot of time on my laptop so I could be working in my bed, at my desk or on the couch. I have to check myself a lot as I catch myself slouching from time to time which causes back tension
There are different reasons why we experience back pain so there’s no definitive answers, but one factor causing your pain could be completely unrelated to your back or your posture…For example, most people tend to have very tight hip flexors and hamstrings. These muscles shorten quite easily when we sit still for lengths of time tight muscles can throw off your form when exercising and as a result this can contribute to the overuse of your lower back muscles which could explain lower back pains…Just an example.
If you have persistent, chronic back pains you must visit a physio, however if you have back tension, have a go at some of these stretches daily to see if it eases up the pain.
Lying Knee Twist: Lying on your back, knees bent at 90 degrees keep both knees together, spread your arms aside in a crucifix position, slowly move them either side of you using your hands to keep you stable, make sure you keep your upper back as flat to the ground as possible, this movement will stretch the para-spinal muscles and strengthen your ab muscles too.
Piriformis Seated Stretch: This stretch is associated most with relieving glute tension but it helps your back too, you normally see people doing this on the floor but I prefer it seated because I hunch a lot less and I feel like I get a better range of movement. Sit at the edge of a stable chair, cross the legs as pictured in the video and apply light pressure on your knee, pushing it down, lean forward making sure to keep your spine straight.
Seated twist: This is probably my favourite back stretch. Sit down with your legs straight in front of you, bend one leg and cross the foot over your other straight leg, turn your torso towards the hip of the bent leg and use your opposite arm to increase the stretch (check the vid). The seated twist increases flexibility down your entire spine.
Cat Pose: The Cat pose (Marjaryasana) stretches and strengthens your spine to help improve your posture and balance, you can actually do this in your bed in the morning, it’s such a common yoga move but I didn’t realise until recently why they do this all the time lol, it’s great. On all fours with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips bring your belly button in and raise your back (arch it), inhale deeply through the nose, filling your lungs as you come up. Pause, exhale and release.
Knee to Chest: Lying on your back with your knees bent, bring one leg (still bent) up to your chest as far as you can, comfortably. Hold this for 30 seconds and do it three times on each side, you can bring your head up occasionally to add to the stretch unless you feel any strain.