Decrease again ache is likely one of the main causes of incapacity worldwide. Individuals with bodily demanding jobs or who’ve poor well being are among the many generally , however those that sit for lengthy durations many of the day are additionally at excessive threat.
I’ve skilled this firsthand. In my early-30s, I injured my decrease again whereas I used to be getting up from a chair. I initially assumed it might simply be a minor harm, however even weeks after, I nonetheless skilled flare-ups that made any form of bodily exercise troublesome.
Fortunately, as an orthopedic surgeon and sports activities drugs physician at the moment, I’ve discovered a method that has helped me hold decrease again ache at bay: the straight-leg hamstring stretch.
The bottom line is to do that stretch very first thing within the morning — earlier than life will get in the best way or earlier than I get worn out by a exercise.
How you can do the straight-leg hamstring stretch
Lumbar backbone and hamstring stretching can relieve and prevent lower back pain, so it’s the kind of practice that can help ease any flare-ups. Now, every morning, I do a straight-leg hamstring stretch with a slight modification.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Place your right foot about 18 inches in front of the other. Keep your toes and feet pointing forwards and distanced at a comfortable width.
2. Lean forward at the hips and reach your arms out in front of you. Make sure you don’t round your lower back.
3. Hold for about 20 to 30 seconds.
4. For the second part of this stretch, push your hips forward as you extend backwards, arching the lower back and keeping your hands at your sides.
5. Hold that position, stretching the hip flexor of the trailing leg, for 20 to 30 seconds.
6. Repeat both parts of the stretch on the other side with your left leg in front.
Emily Scott, a physical therapist, recommends this stretch for people with sitting jobs. “Technology has made us very sedentary,” she says. “Sitting makes up most of our days now, and our hip flexors are taking most of the toll.”
So get ahead of the pain: Do the straight-leg hamstring stretch before you even sit down at your desk.
The secret to a healthy, pain-free back: Stay physically active
While stretching can help fill the gaps of a fitness routine, it’s important to stay physically active if you want to avoid lower back pain.
To encourage movement during the workday, climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator, walk across the office to talk to your colleagues instead of emailing or direct messaging them.
One thing I enjoy doing is having standing meetings instead of sitting around a conference table. If you work from home, consider taking breaks outside or invest in a standing desk.
Dr. David Geier is a double-board certified orthopedic surgeon, sports medicine specialist, and bone and joint health expert at Better Life Carolinas. He helps athletes and active people feel and perform their best regardless of age, injuries, or medical conditions. Follow him on Twitter @drdavidgeier.
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