This article is part 2 of a 2 part series. For Part 1, click here.
Low back pain (LBP) is a reality in most of our lives at one point or another. It can range from being a “nag” to being totally disabling. Let’s look at some exercises for the low back that can be done from a STANDING position so that they can be: 1) performed in public (without drawing too much attention) and 2) repeated every one to two hours with the objective to AVOID LBP from gradually getting out of control (STOP the “vicious cycle” so LBP stays “self-managed”).
- DON’T do any exercise that creates SHARP pain.
- Stay within “reasonable” pain boundaries.
- DO these multiple times a day WHEN you feel tight, stiff, or sore (take 10-30 sec. every hour rather than 15 min. twice a day).
STANDING LOW BACK EXERCISE OPTIONS:
- STANDING HAMSTRING / GROIN STRETCH:
1) Place your heel on a chair/bench.
2) Arch your low back until you feel a “draw” or pull in the back of the leg.
3) Bend your ankle towards you—feel the pull in your calf).
4) If needed, bend forwards or bend the support leg knee for additional stretch.
5) Hold for 3-10 seconds or until it feels loose.
6) ROTATE your body to the opposite side until you feel the pull in your groin and hold 3-10 sec.
7) Switch legs!
- STANDING BACK EXTENSIONS:
1) Place the backs of your hands on your low back.
2) Slowly arch the lower back over your hands—stop if you feel pinch/sharp pain.
3) Release the pressure and re-apply multiple times.
4) Hold for 3-10 seconds or until it feels loose.
5) REVERSE and bend over to touch your toes and hold until you feel loose.
- STANDING HIP FLEXOR STRETCH:
1) Stand straddled with one leg behind the other.
2) Rotate your back leg hip forwards (try to line up the left with the right so the pelvis is square).
3) Tuck in your pelvis (flatten the curve in the low back).
4) Bend backwards until the pull in the groin increases.
5) Hold for 3-10 seconds or until it feels “loose.”
6) REPEAT on the opposite side.
Remember, DO these MANY times a day (at least once every hour).