If you do these stretches for lower back pain daily, you will soon feel much better. They are quite easy to do and you can perform them at home.
Lower back pain is a common ailment, with around one in three people suffering every year. It is particularly common with people who sit at a desk eight hours a day for work. Fortunately, there are some simple stretches for lower back pain you can do at home to ease the pain.
It can be very difficult to pinpoint the exact area of pain and so, this makes it difficult to try and fix the problem. Even if you have x-rays and MRIs, they often can’t source the pain because there are so many parts of your back and tissue.
Your spine is made up of twenty-four separate bones called vertebrae which are stacked on top of each other. Underneath these bones are the sacrum and coccyx which are found at the bottom of the spine. Between the vertebrae are discs which allow the spine to bend.
More than often, the lower back pain does not have a serious cause and for most, the pain will improve and ease between four to six weeks. If you do suffer from back pain, you often find the most relief from staying still, however, research has shown that any kind of exercise will help ease the pain and reduce the risk of further back pain.
Any kind of exercise whether its core strengthening, aerobic exercise or stretching will help with pain relief.
Whilst the other forms of exercise are good for pain relief, stretching is particularly useful because it does provide the fastest relief. When you complete the stretches for back pain suggested below, hold them for at least ten seconds, but ideally, thirty seconds.
Below are some really useful stretches for lower back pain you can undertake at home:
1. Child’s pose
This pose is a very common one undertaken in yoga which should be very familiar to yoga students. This pose will gently stretch the muscles of the lower back and is the pose you are encouraged to take during a yoga class if you are feeling under strain during a class.
Start by sitting on the floor, sitting on your knees, with your hands resting on your shoulders. Next place your hands in front of you, reach ahead of you, place the palms flat on the floor and keep your arms extended.
You should now drop your head and your chest downwards and sit your hips towards the heel. Try and stay in this position for at least thirty seconds.
2. Cat/Cow Stretch
This is a great stretch as it works the lower back muscles in two directions. This builds on the above child’s pose and it can help in soothing lower back pain. To start, you need to be on your hands and knees, your hands should be located under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
In this position, your spine should be parallel to the floor. Inhale and round your back, as if you were a cat stretching by rounding its back. This position will stretch your mid back and between the shoulder blades.
Hold this position for five seconds and then exhale, gently release, let your stomach fall and gently arch your back and hold for five seconds. You should try to continue this for thirty seconds in total, longer if it’s possible.
3. Lower back twist
This type of twist will stretch out your lower back as well as your glutes, which often tighten when you experience lower back pain. To begin, start by lying on your back, and bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Place both your arms out to the side, in a T position.
During the stretch, keep your shoulders flat on the floor as you roll both your knees to one side. Hold this stretch for twenty to thirty seconds and then return to center. Repeat on the other side and hold for the same amount of time. If this is slightly uncomfortable, place a pillow under the knees to reduce the stretch.
4. Knee to chest stretch
This type of stretch lengthens contracted lower back muscles. To begin, start by lying on the floor, on your back, with your knees bent and with your feet flat on the floor. Raise your hands to behind your knees or if it’s more comfortable, below the kneecaps.
Slowly and gently pull your knees to your chest, and use your hands to ease them closer. Try and hold this position for twenty to thirty seconds, then release to the starting position.
5. The pelvic tilt
Lower back pain often makes you feel as though your pelvic area is a no-go area for movement. A pelvic tilt can help bring some gentle movement into the pelvic area. To begin, start by lying on the floor, with your knees bent, and your feet should be flat on the floor.
Keep the lower back as relaxed as possible which means your lower back is ever so slightly curved. Engage your core, which will feel like tightening your stomach muscles, and totally flatten your back against the floor whilst you gently tilt your pelvis. Repeat this movement twelve to fifteen times.
Other than these stretches for lower back pain, you should also aim to do the following:
- Stay active;
- Get out of bed;
- Get back into your normal routine;
- Take some over the counter medicine;
- Don’t wait to go back to work but take it easy;
- Sit up straight to make sure you take pressure off the joints and muscles;
- Use a pillow between your legs if you sleep on your side;
- Apply hot or cold compresses on your back;
The benefits of undertaking these stretches will increase the more you can do them, so if you can do them daily and not rush them, you will feel the benefits.
Finally, be positive, your back pain should ease but take it easy.
By Holly W.
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