In a 2014 study, researchers estimated that ten percent of the world’s population suffers from lower back pain. If your lower back is feeling sore or those muscles are tightening in a way that limits your movement, you will want to try this yoga pose. A great yoga master even said that if you practice this pose for just two minutes every day, you will free yourself from lower back pains.
What’s Causing Your Lower Back Pain?
Made up of a complex combination of ligaments, muscles, joints, and bones, it is no wonder that that back – specifically, the lower back – is a pain waiting to happen. Chances are it’s happening already.
You can rupture a disk from lifting some furniture in your living room, or strain a muscle by picking up your kid too quickly and forgetting to bend your knees. However, your back pain may be rooted in less extreme and more subtle habits.
Some unexpected causes of back pain are sleeping on a soft mattress, talking on the phone, doing certain household chores, wearing high heels or flip-flops, poor eating habits, and smoking. Back pain can also occur as a result of various internal organ diseases (e.g., kidney stones or infections, blood clots, and bone loss). As a result of this pain, you can lose time for yourself, with your kids, and at work.
Say ‘Bye-Bye’ to Lower Back Pain with Your Legs
It sounds like a strange connection, right? That stretching your legs will somehow relieve tension in your back. Well, your hamstrings are made up of three muscles:
- Biceps Femoris
Those muscles that make up your hamstrings run through the back of each thigh. Due to where they are located in the body, tight hamstrings can limit the motion in the pelvis. Furthermore, a tight pelvis can contribute greatly to unnecessary stress along the lower back.
If you’re standing for too long, they tighten. If you’re sitting for too long, they tighten. You can’t seem to win – unless you stretch your hamstrings daily! Check out this video for a lower back pain-relieving stretch that won’t take more than three minutes out of your day.
We’ve also included instructions for the exercise below if you want to save them for later. But try not to put it off for too long. You could start getting rid of your lower back pain today.
Disclaimer: Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.
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What You’ll Need
- A yoga strap (If you don’t have one, you can simply use a belt)
- A yoga mat (Carpeted floors work, too, but try to avoid laying on a hard surface)
- Or, a heated mat (Sometimes the added heat helps release tension and relief pain you didn’t know was there)
- Lay on your back
- Bend your knees and plant your feet flat on the floor, hip-distance apart
- Lay your arms by your side, palms up, and take a few deep breaths (think of how your spine connects to the floor; notice how your breathing affects the curves of our spine)
- Take out your strap and wrap it around your right foot, just below the ball
- Hold the strap so that your arms are close to, but not locked, straight
- Keep your left knee bent and left foot planted
- If your body is very tight, you may not have your leg pointing upward – the key is to try to keep your leg straight to feel the stretch between the back of your knee and your butt
- Remember to breathe deeply
- Switch the strap to your left foot and repeat
- (If you want to take your stretch to the next level, strap up your feet as you would normally, but take the bent leg and slowly slide it away from you so that it lowers as close to the ground as possible)
- After your stretch is done, put the strap aside, bring your knees to your chest and hug yourself, rolling side to side and forward to backward, before sitting up cross-legged for a final deep breath.
Lower Back Pain Statistics
For your own interest! There are some eye-opening figures.
- Up to eighty percent of Americans will experience back pains at some point during their lifetimes.
- Since 1997, lower back pain has increased by almost one percent in Americans eighteen-years-old and over. In the same time, Americans sixty-five-years-old and over have seen an increase in lower back pain by over four percent.
- Lower back pain prevents thirty-nine percent of American adults from engaging fully in daily life tasks, of which the pains affect thirty-eight percent of their exercise and thirty-seven percent of their sleep.
- Despite their lower back pains, thirty-seven percent of Americans do not seek professional help to relieve their symptoms (e.g., medical health practitioners or chiropractors).
- Lower back pains especially affect people with sedentary lives (e.g., desk jobs, long commutes). In fact, fifty-four percent of Americans with lower back pains also spend most of their workdays sitting.
You can see the rest of the stats here!
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