Long days spent leaning forward or rounding your back at your desk and on your computer can lead to lower back pain. Pain in this region of the body has the ability to disrupt sleep patterns, meaning you wake up feeling anything but refreshed.
Nightly routines call for turning off any distractions and making your environment as peaceful as possible, but lower back pain is one distraction that can not be removed. This means that you’ll be more focused on the pain than you typically are, making it incredibly difficult to get comfortable and fall asleep.
In some cases, back pain is so severe that it causes people to wake up several times in the middle of the night because of the pain they are experiencing; causing their sleep to be ineffective at renewing energy.
This becomes a vicious cycle because decreased quality of sleep increases the pain felt the next day. However, you don’t have to live with lower back pain if you try doing some of these simple stretches to do before going to bed.
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Cat and cow yoga poses
These two yoga poses complement each other because it is easy to flow from one into the next. This exercise will help to loosen back muscles to return the spine its neutral position. Begin by getting onto your hands and knees. Round your back and lower your head for a few seconds, like a cow. Then slowly start to raise your head, pull your shoulders back, and arch your spine like a cat. Go between the two poses about 10 times.
Knee to chest stretch
The second stretch involves lying on your back and will help stretch the lower back as well as align your pelvis. Bend one of your knees and use your hands wrapped around either the knee or thigh to bring it towards your chest slowly. Maintain this position for 20 seconds before returning to the original position and switching legs. Repeat this two more times.
Lower back rotations
This stretch will help your lower back, just like the previous one. Again, begin on your back but this time bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Roll your knees to one side while doing your best to keep your back flat on the ground.
Then hold it for 10 seconds and return to the starting position. Move your knees the other way and repeat for another ten seconds. Repeat this a couple more times and revert to the initial position in between each side.
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Upward and downward dog yoga poses
These poses also help complement each other, similar to the cat and cow poses. The downward dog begins on the hands and knees as you slowly raise your rear-end toward the ceiling and extend your arms straight. Hold this poses for 5-10 breaths. If you feel able, you can move into upward facing dog from this position
From here you can move into the upward facing dog, which typically begins flat on your stomach in a push-up position. But instead of going up on your toes like you would do a push-up, press the tops of your feet into the floor so that the bottoms are facing up. Place your hands below your chest and use your back to bring your back off of the floor and hold for 5-10 breaths.
Quick word of caution
Be sure to be careful when performing these exercises as you can hurt yourself if not done correctly. Also, be careful to know your limits when it comes to how many times the exercise is conducted to prevent injury as well.