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Stretches to Keep Your Back Happy and Healthy this Holiday Season

It’s the most wonderful time of year! The time of year where many of us are busy decorating the house, preparing meals, wrapping gifts, baking cookies, and traveling to see loved ones. Prolonged positions, whether cooking or traveling, can cause discomfort or stiffness in our low backs. Our bodies crave movement, so changing positions regularly throughout the day can improve these symptoms. It is important to keep our backs happy and healthy this holiday season, so we can fully enjoy this time of year!

Give these 5 stretches a try!  Remember, only move through a comfortable range of motion!

1.   Counter Lumbar Flexion:  Place your hands on the counter and slowly back away from the counter until a gentle stretch is felt.


2.  Counter Lumbar Extension:  Rest your bottom against the counter and gently lean back for a light stretch.


3.  Seated Lumbar Flexion:   Seated in a chair, lean forward and rest your elbows on the thighs and relax into the low back stretch. Use your hands to push through the thighs to sit back up.


4.  Seated Hip (Piriformis) Stretch:   While sitting in a chair, cross your affected leg on top of the other as shown. Next, gently lean forward until a stretch is felt around the hip of the leg that is crossed. Push down on knee if you need more of a stretch.


5.  Lower Trunk Rotation:  Allow knees to rotate to the side until gentle stretch is felt in the lower back. Relax and breathe.

Happy Holidays from your friends at Omaha Physical Therapy Institute!

Ashlie Eckmann, PT, DPT


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Disclaimer:  This is advice is educational and should not be the sole source of medical advice.  Consult with your physical therapist or primary care physician for further questions and treatment tailored specific to you and your goals.