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Back Pain Center

Low Back Decompression Exercises

author image Henry Halse
Henry Halse is a Philadelphia-based personal trainer, speaker, and writer. He's trained a wide variety of people, from couch potatoes to professional athletes, and helped them realize their own strength, determination and self-confidence. Henry has also written for various fitness and lifestyle publications, including Women’s Health, AskMen and Prevention.
Low Back Decompression Exercises
A woman is stretching her back in a yoga pose. Photo Credit: Osuleo/iStock/Getty Images

Compression occurs anytime we sit and the low back is not supported by the chair you sit in. Were you to sit that way for very long, you might feel an obvious dull achy pain in the lumbar or even in the neck. There are three spinal curves: the neck, upper mid-thoracic and lumbar. Whenever you slouch, you place strain on all three curves. Consider practicing some gentle exercises to create healthy decompression to help reduce low back pain.

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Dwi Pada Apanasna

Perform Apanasana to directly massage and decompress the low back. Lie on your back and, bending both knees, gently hug your legs towards your chest, placing your palms on the front of your shins. Softly rock left and right to massage the muscles that sit on either side of the low spine -- the quadratus laboratum--that can stiffen and become painful. Return to center and continue hugging your legs in while drawing your shoulders down way from your ears. Remain in this position for several breaths. This provides therapeutic decompression to the lumbar spine.

Eka Pada Apanasana

Proceed to Eka Pada Apanasana to create therapeutic traction to the low back. Lying on your back, extend your right leg straight and dig your right heel into the floor. Bend your left knee and hug that leg in towards your chest. Point your tailbone down to lengthen your lower back. Remain for several breaths before repeating on the other side. This is a single-legged variation of the previous pose.

Setu Bhandasana

Challenge yourself in Bridge Pose, or Setu Bhandasana. Lying on your back, set your feet flat so that they are hips-width apart and your knees are stacked over your ankles. Press into your feet and lift both hips and bring your hands underneath your back, interlacing them. Draw the knuckles of your hands towards the base of your heels. Remain for several breaths before releasing your hands and lowering your back to the floor. Repeat once more slowly. Bridge pose can be safely practiced daily if you have no severe spinal pain.

Stability Ball Stretch

Decompressing your back can be as easy as relaxing on top of an exercise or stability ball. Kneel in front of the ball and lay your torso on the ball. Stretch your arms forward and dig your toes into the floor to roll forward. As soon as your hands touch the floor stop and sink into the ball letting your back round and relax.

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