Easy Stretches to Ease Your Lower Back Pain

The way you sit, walk, exercise, sleep, and so many other activities can all contribute to lower back pain. And chances are good that all you want to do is stay in bed when you have the aches and, frequently, crippling soreness of lower-back pain. However, studies show that performing stretching exercises, strength training, and aerobic activity two to three times per week can help prevent and treat lower back pain. In order to find lower back stretches you can perform at home to relieve your lower back pain, we spoke with experts.

Although lower back stretches won’t help every case of back pain, sometimes tight hips and legs accompany lower back pain, so strengthening and loosening these muscles can help you feel better. According to Jamie Costello M.S.C., fitness director at the Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa, gentle stretching is convenient to do when you’re in pain and frequently brings about the quickest relief.

Rami Hashish, Ph.D., D.P.T., a body performance and injury expert, adds that tightness or lack of mobility in the legs, hips, or upper back are frequently the cause of low back pain. To help prevent and treat back pain, he suggests performing a set of exercises that emphasise core strength, posture, stability, and flexibility.

However, Hashish advises consulting your doctor as soon as possible if your pain has persisted for longer than two weeks, you experience extreme pain or pain at rest, have a loss of sensation, have trouble walking or moving your legs, or experience bowel or bladder dysfunction.

How to perform lower back stretches

  • Stretch your lower back carefully, especially if you have an existing injury or other health concerns, and if you’re in pain, it’s best to consult your doctor before beginning a new type of exercise, Costello says.
  • Consider if you are flection sensitive (leaning forward creates pain) or extension sensitive (arching backward creates pain), says Karen Litzy, P.T., D.P.T., owner and physical therapist at Karen Litzy Physical Therapy. When beginning stretching, she suggests being extra careful when working through movements that are flection or extension based.
  • Aim to hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds and preferably 30 seconds or longer, Costello recommends. The pain-relieving benefits will increase the longer you hold these stretches.
  • Rather than rush through the moves, Costello encourages turning on soothing music and using this stretching time as a chance to relax and renew.
  • Don’t forget to breathe! It may sound silly, but Costello says focusing on using your breath can help you cope with any feelings of discomfort.
  • In general, be sure to include other activities like walking in your every day along with these stretches, Litzy says.

1. Child’s Pose

This popular yoga position gently stretches the low back muscles, which are probably tightened if you’re in pain. Hashish also claims to help open your hips in addition to relaxing the lower back. Litzy advises spreading your knees apart as far as you can without hurting yourself if you discover that your hips are giving you trouble.

How to execute the child’s pose?

Start out on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips. Put your hands flat on the ground in front of you as you extend your arms. Slowly lean back from your heels to your hips, lowering your head and chest as your arms reach farther out in front of you toward the wall. If this stretch is too much for you, prop yourself up a little bit with a pillow under your belly to lessen the strain on your low back muscles. Hold this position for at least 20 and possibly 30 seconds.

2. The “Cat/Cow Stretch”

In order to lengthen contracted muscles and ease soreness, this dynamic movement engages the low-back muscles in two directions and builds on the Child’s Pose. According to hashish, it can also aid in improving overall balance and core strength. Make sure to concentrate on your pelvis, says Litzy, and pretend that you have a tail that you want to tuck under you or stick toward the ceiling.

Performing a cat-and-cow stretch:

Start out on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your knees directly beneath your hips. In this position, your spine should be perpendicular to the floor. Then, arch your back, stretching the area between your shoulder blades, much like a cat would do when stretching. Hold for another five seconds, then release your hold and let your stomach drop as you gently arch your low back. For at least 30 seconds, keep doing these motions.

3.Supine Twist

This stretch aids in stretching not only your lower back but also your glutes, which can constrict when you have low back pain and ultimately aggravate the pain. According to hashish, it also has a positive impact on overall spinal flexibility.

Supine twist technique:

Lay on your back, knees bent, and feet flat on the ground to start. Put your arms out to the sides in the shape of a “T.” Roll both knees to one side gently while keeping your shoulders on the ground. Keep your knees in the centre for 20 to 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat. Place a pillow or stack of blankets under your knees when you twist to each side if the stretch is too much for you.

4. Knee-to-Chest Stretch

This pose lengthens and stretches tight low back muscles, just like the other stretches on this list, according to Hashish. If the child’s pose puts too much emphasis on the hands and hips, Litzy continues, this is a great substitute.

Knee to chest stretch technique:

Lay on your back, knees bent, and feet flat on the ground to start. Either rest your hands behind your knees or just below the kneecaps. Using your hands to gently pull your knees, slowly bring both knees to your chest. Return to the starting position after holding for 20 to 30 seconds while rocking your hips up and down to help massage your low back.

5.The Pelvic Tilt

Lower back pain can make you feel as though your entire pelvic region is immobile. By easing sciatica and bolstering abdominal muscles, this stretch can help you gradually regain some movement in this area, claims hashish.

Laying on a yoga mat with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor is the first step in performing a pelvic tilt. Try to unwind your low back and maintain a neutral spine. Engage your core muscles, then tilt your pelvis slightly upward to flatten your low back against the floor. 12 to 15 times, repeat.

6. Supine Figure 4 Stretch

This traditional yoga position is beneficial for both massaging your low back and opening up the hips. According to Hillary Wright, adjunct professor of biology, anatomy, and physiology at Manhattan College, “this pose stretches your piriformis and your outer glutes, both of which can contribute to a tight lower back.” According to Hashish, it is a useful stretch for reducing pain and enhancing hip mobility.

How to perform the supine figure. Stretch 4 On a yoga mat, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Flex your right foot and cross your right ankle over your left thigh while lifting your right leg. Stay here if this is sufficient, or draw your left knee in and hold onto your left thigh to intensify the exercise. Hold for ten to fifteen breaths before switching to the opposite side.

7. Hands-to-Big-Toe Stretch while supine

According to Wright, “tight hamstrings and adductors, also known as your inner thighs, can cause a tight lower back.” According to Hashish, this position stretches the hamstrings, calves, ankles, and back of the legs. To Litzy, if you experience sharp pain running down one leg, this stretch may put too much strain on the leg and should be avoided.

How to stretch from hand to big toe while lying down?

Depending on how tight your hamstrings feel, interlace your hands behind your thigh or calf. Maintain an active opposite leg and a grounded opposite hip. You should maintain a flat back and shoulders. 10 breaths should be held. Allow your right leg to lower out to the right while continuing to keep your opposite hip grounded. If the opposite hip lifts up, only lower the right leg out to the side as far as you can.

8. Cow-Face Pose (Gomukhasana)

According to Wright, this pose stretches your outer glutes, which when tight, can lead to low back pain. According to hashish, it can also loosen up tightness in the shoulders, chest, hips, and ankles.

How to strike the cow-face position

With your left knee directly in front of you, move your left heel toward your right glute while seated. Now stack your knees so they are both facing forward and place your right leg on top of your left. They can’t stack directly on top of one another, but that’s okay. Your toes should be pointing backward as your feet should be on either side of you. By sitting up straight or adding a small forward bend to increase intensity, you can maintain a long spine.

9. Bridge Pose

According to Wright, lengthening through the sit bones encourages activation of the lower part of the gluteus maximus, which supports the low back and helps to relieve pain and tension by supporting it. “Softening around your sacrum allows some tension around the low back to be released,” he adds. Hashish adds that while strengthening the back, buttocks, and hamstrings, it is a great option for chest and hip stretches.

Lie on your back, bend your knees, and place both of your feet firmly on the yoga mat to perform the bridge pose. Ensure that your heels are close to your glutes and that your feet are hip-width apart. To raise your hips, firmly plant your feet. From here, try to lengthen your sit bones toward your knees and soften the area around your sacrum. Hold for a minute.

10. Forearm Plank

By strengthening the muscles around your low back, this plank variation, according to Wright, activates your core, which will help relieve some of the pressure on it.

Performing a forearm plank:

Drop your forearms onto the mat beneath your shoulders while in the top push-up position. Depending on how your shoulders feel, you can either bring your forearms parallel to one another or interlace your hands. Activate your core while kicking through the heels. Hold for at least 30 seconds before extending it to a full minute.

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