Most of our health problems are tied to our sedentary lifestyle. Prolonged sitting, lack of exercise, and unhealthy eating habits add to our health woes. For many people today, lower back pain has become a constant companion. It is a painful condition and can also lead to disruption of daily activities.
The most common causes of lower back pain are sprain or strain due to lifting heavy objects in an incorrect manner
Twisting the spine while lifting objects
Sudden movement or a fall that places too much stress on the lower back
People who are overweight or carry extra weight around the abdomen as it weakens muscles in the area and affects spinal support
Sports injuries, which involve twisting of the spine or unbearable impact l Stiffness due to tight lower back muscles
Surprisingly, back pain can result from depression and anxiety
Exercise strengthens muscles and provides adequate support to the spine. It also improves movement and helps you avoid another injury. The best way to prevent lower back pain is to walk properly — lift your legs while walking and do not drag. Hold heavy items close to your body. Do not twist your torso while lifting objects. Bend your knees while lifting anything from the ground.
Exercises for lower back pain
Hyperextension (Bhujangasana): Lie down on your stomach. Raise upper body while inhaling, hold for two-three seconds and exhale while going back to normal position. Do this three to five times. This contracts and strengthens lumbar muscles. Those with a hyperextended back (lordosis) should avoid it.
Knee to Chest (Pavanamuktasana): Lie on your back. Bend one knee and pull it towards your chest as you exhale. One can start with single leg by keeping other leg straight, if there's difficulty in lifting both legs. This pose lengthens stiff lower back muscles and relieves L4 and L5.
Cat Pose (Marjariasana): This pose has to be done on all fours. It not only helps you stretch but also strengthen the spine. Inhale as you arch the back and exhale as you hunch. As you exhale, pull your stomach in order to increase your stretch on the lower back and get a better hunch.
Supine four pose: This pose stretches the outer glutes and piriformis, both of which can contribute to a tight lower back. It relieves sciatic pain. Lie on your back and bend both the legs in the knees keeping your feet on the floor. Place your left ankle above your right knee and with the support of both hands pull your right leg towards your chest. You will feel a stretch in your left buttock and lower back. Repeat with the other leg. Exhale when you pull your thigh towards your chest.
Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana): Lie on your back (supine pose), bend your right leg from the knee and put it above/across the left leg. The left leg should be straight. Do not twist your upper body. Use left hand to press right leg at the knee. This helps you stretch your lower back but also your glutes, which can tighten when you are experiencing lower back pain.
Fish Pose (Matsyendrasana): Also known as Seated Twist Posture, Matsyendrasana helps improve posture and spinal mobility in those with lower back pain. Try to maintain an upright lower back as you perform this posture. Inhale deeply and exhale as you twist around.