In less time than it takes to get dressed, I can show you two moves to relieve low back pain and release your upper back. These moves can be done pretty much anywhere, and if you don???t care what your co-workers will think of you, lying on the floor you can do it at work; in fact they just might join you! Did you know the most common job related disability in the U.S. is lowback pain (National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke.)?
Remember to be gentle with your body, bring awareness to the moves you are performing. Consult with your doctor before performing any of these moves. Be mindful, never force.
A carpeted floor or rug will work, if you have a yoga mat or (blanket), all the better.
Extended Pelvic clock (PT speak pelvic tilt/lift) start position, lie on your back with knees bent (no more than fist width apart), feet flat on the floor.
Visualize/mental image a clock face on the front of your belly. Noon is at the base of your ribs (xiphoid process) and six at the tip of your pubic bone. Begin tucking the pelvis up towards noon, stop when you get to the base of ribs. Lower back will be up off the floor (small bridge). Begin lowering the spine back down towards the floor and arching the pelvis into six o clock. There should be a gap about the size of your fist between your low back and the floor, ribs are down. Remember to keep the knees in alignment, feet firm on the floor. We are going for movement in the low back with stability. Repeat 3-5 times or more as necessary.
Can???t lie on the floor at work? No problem, stand with your feet under your hips (again knees are a fist width apart). Bend/Soften the knees, keep the knees in alignment with toes, stand tall through spine as though there was a string from the crown of your head attached to the ceiling. Visualize/mental image your pelvis is a salad bowl, spill your salad to the front of your body, this will cause an arch in your low back, now scoop your salad back up and this will cause your low back to flatten out. If a salad bowl image doesn???t work for you, think of a puppy. Happy puppy sticks his tail out; sad puppy tucks his tail under. If there is music playing at your workspace you could get away with calling this a dance move.
I just gave you two moves for one, now let???s move to the upper back. A chair will give you the most support. Sit almost at the edge of your seat, tall on your sitz bones, crown of head reaches for ceiling. Cross your arms in front of your body as if you were giving yourself a hug, hands are on top of your shoulders, they stay there for the whole move (no death grip or power holds) this is about release. Begin by moving the elbows up towards the ceiling, let your ribcage move naturally and allow your eye gaze to go up the wall and overhead. (As if you were watching a bug crawl up the wall and across the ceiling.) The tips of your elbows will stay just slightly in view (raise your elbows, eyes, neck and head to your comfort level). Slowly bring the elbows back down, (eyes, head and neck) follow to start position. Repeat 3-5 times or as necessary. You can do this standing too, use the above standing position and repeat the steps.