Another variation on yoga’s ‘cat’ and ‘cow’ stretches for back pain, only this time – seated (as opposed to the other ones performed kneeling on the floor). Can be a useful spinal mobilization exercise, especially if kneeling poses are too painful due to problems in the knees. Caution should be taken on the acute and sub-acute stages of back pain episode not to overdo this exercise, as the pain may flair up.
You should introduce this postural exercise early in your rehabilitation process because you must now learn to sit correctly and maintain the correct lordosis in your lower back.
Correcting Sitting Posture Procedure:
- Sit on a stool of chair height (the edge of a chair will do too, if the stool is unavailable)
- Once seated, allow yourself to slouch completely.
- Relax for few seconds in the slouched position.
- Then draw yourself up and accentuate the lordosis as far as possible. This is the extreme of the good sitting position. Hold yourself in this position for a few seconds.
- Now return to the fully relaxed position.
- Repeat 10 – 15 times.
Do these movements slowly and pause in each position for 2 – 3 seconds. It is beneficial to get into a ‘rhythm’ with the movements to hold the positions for the right time intervals and to maintain the smooth controlled movement.
Perform this exercise 10 – 15 times per session. When not in acute pain, repeat the sessions 3 times per day, once in the morning, once around noon, and once in the evening. Additionally, do it anytime when you feel the back pain is arising as a result of a poor sitting posture. Each time make sure the movements are performed to the maximum possible degree, particularly in the upright position.
As a rule, the pain will decrease as the lordosis increases, and you will have no pain at all once you maintain the correct sitting posture. Pain will readily recur if you forget your posture and lose that vital hollow in your lower back.
Your own physical condition and diagnosis may require specific modifications or precautions. Before undertaking any course of self-treatment you should consult a doctor or a physiotherapist.