Do the cold winter weather and gray skies leave your mind and body feeling fatigued and sluggish? Are your lower back muscles stiff and tight from shoveling snow (I sure do hope we are done with that for this year, but I saw a couple flurries today!) and staying cooped up in your house during those unfavorable Indiana winter conditions? If so, it’s time to put a spring back into your step and relieve your lower back pain with the following lower back healthy habits.
Focus on Good Posture: If you spend your day sitting at a computer or driving the family to and from all of their activities, it is important to focus on maintaining straight body alignment by elongating your posture. Did you all just sit up straighter while reading that like I did typing it? Instead of leaning forward with your shoulders and neck while in a seated position, pull your shoulder blades back, engage your mid-section and breathe from your core for healthier posture throughout your whole body.
Strengthen Your Core: The root of lower back pain can stem from weak core muscles. Strengthen your abdominal core and lower back muscles by adding simple core exercises to your regular fitness routine. Only 15 minutes of core exercises such as the Superman (extending both arms and legs straight out and off the floor while lying on your stomach) and Planking (holding your body off the floor by leaving your forearms and toes touching the floor-try to keep your back as straight as you can while doing this, don’t let your stomach sage down or stick your rear-end up in the air) three to four times per week can help build a significantly stronger core that can help alleviate lower back pain.
Incorporate Daily Stretching: Loosening tight muscles and elongating your body with daily low intensity stretching exercises can help keep your body fluid and moving pain free. You can relieve and revive tired back muscles with 10-15 minutes of light stretching per day by incorporating popular yoga movements such as Child’s Pose (kneeling on the floor, lower your head to ground while extending your arms forward and hips backward) and Standing Ragdoll (bending forward, cross your arms and loosely let your head and arms hang freely toward the floor). If you are time crunched, here is a good article from WebMD about stretching at your desk.
Schedule Regular Therapeutic Massage Therapy Sessions: Therapeutic massage is a medically proven method for supporting your health and wellness by providing relief from lower back pain, reducing stress, increasing circulation and improving range of motion. A deep tissue massage can best be sued to treat chronically tight or painful muscles, repetitive strain, postural problems or recover from injury. While a hot stone massage can help ease muscle tension without deep pressure. If you are new to massage therapy, a Swedish massage is a great way to experience muscle relaxation and stress relief for both your mind and body.
We hope these ideas help,
the Team at Elements