Sitting at a desk all day or lifting heavy loads for hours at a time can take a toll on your back. You may suffer painful symptoms that grow worse over time. Back injuries from poor posture, weak muscles, or awkward lifting techniques are often severe, and include disc herniation, spinal cord injuries, nerve compression, fractured vertebrae, and muscle sprains and strains. Whether your injury was caused by gradual wear and tear or by a sudden accident, it may result in months of rehabilitation, medication, and even surgery. That is why it is important to take steps to strengthen your back muscles to reduce your risk of a back injury at work. Exercising and stretching will increase your flexibility and help keep your back healthy.
Back Exercises While Standing
Trunk extension stretch. For this exercise, you will stand up straight and press your hands into the small of your back with your thumbs pointed downward. You will then arch your back until you feel a slight stretch in your abdominal muscles and pressure in your lower back. Hold for 15-20 seconds, and repeat for 3-5 times.
Hip flexor stretch. For this exercise, you will stand up straight and hold onto your desk for support. Put one foot behind you to rest on a chair, and make sure the foot you are standing on is pointed forward and slightly bent at the knee. Depending on how flexible you are, you may be able to rest your leg on the seat, arm, or back of the chair. Push your pelvis forward and contract your glutes until you feel a stretch on the front of your hip and thigh muscles. Hold for 15-20 seconds, and repeat 3-5 times with each leg.
Back Exercises While Sitting
Knee-to-chest stretch. For this exercise, you will sit in a chair and raise one knee up to your chest. Use both hands to grasp your knee and gently pull it toward your chest until you feel a slight stretch in the back of your hip and your lower back. Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat 3-5 times with each leg.
Hip stretch. For this exercise, you will sit and cross one leg over the other. Make sure your ankle is sitting directly on top of your leg that is on the floor. Put one hand on the knee of the crossed leg and gently press down as you lean forward. You should feel a slight stretch in your hip and buttock area. Be sure not to hunch over, but to gradually stretch your body forward as you press on your raised knee. Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat 3-5 times with each leg.
Back Exercises While on the Floor
One-knee-to-chest stretch. For this exercise, you will lie on your back on the floor, and slowly bring one leg up to your chest. You can use your hands to gently grasp your knee and draw it to your chest. This will result in a mild to moderate stretch in your lower back, buttock area, and hip joint. Hold this position for 15-20 seconds, and repeat 3-5 times with each leg.
Lower trunk rotation stretch. For this exercise, you will lie on your back with both your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Gently move your legs to one side, keeping your knees together. You should feel a stretch in your back and hip on the opposite side of the stretch. Hold for 15-20 seconds, and then repeat 3-5 times in both directions.
If You Have Suffered a Back Injury at Work, Our Firm Is Here to Help
The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC has represented injured clients for more than 20 years. By using these back stretching exercises, you can decrease your risk of a serious back injury at work. However, even if you follow these stretching exercises and use proper posture, you may still be the victim of a back injury. Our Atlanta workers' compensation lawyers will help you file a claim and pursue the financial relief you need to move forward.
Call our office today at (770) 629-9321 to receive a free case evaluation.