For many people who sit at a desk all day, lower back pain is an all-too-common occurrence. Much of the time this pain can be alleviated by stretching the hamstrings in the back of the legs. Creating more room in the back of the legs can alleviate a lot of the pressure on the lower back.
To do a seated forward bend, start by sitting on a flat supportive surface with your legs straight out in front of you and your back straight, so your body makes an “L” shape. If this position hurts your lower back, bend your knees slightly. Engage your abdominal muscles, pulling your belly button up and in.
Keeping your back straight, hinge at the waist and reach toward your feet. You can rest your hands on your shins, feet or the floor. It’s important to keep your abdominal muscles engaged as your reach out – it helps protect your lower back.
After you’ve reached as far as you can, slowly relax your upper body toward your legs. Let your head hang. You should feel a stretch in the backs of your legs, but it should not be too intense. If it’s painful, sit up until it’s not.
Breathe and stay in this position for about 30 seconds. Doing a seated forward bend each day will help increase flexibility in the hamstrings, which can keep lower back pain at bay.