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5 Stretches to Relieve Lower Back Pain

Stretching joints, nerves, and muscles is very important to ensure that there are no imbalances throughout the musculoskeletal system. Reduced flexibility in these areas may lead to lower back pain. Not all of these stretches may be appropriate for everyone. A stretch should not induce painful symptoms. Rather, a stretch should feel relieving to the lower back and may even help to reduce any symptoms. Here are 5 stretches to relive lower back pain:

Back Pain

Standing Hamstring Stretch

This is the most common technique. While standing, simply bend forward at the waist with arms hanging down and with legs relatively straight. Try to touch the toes but do not strain to do so. Stop when a stretch is felt in the hamstring.

Knee to Chest

Use this stretch to align pelvis and stretch lower back and rear end muscles. Lie flat on your back with toes pointed to the sky. Slowly bend your right knee and pull your leg up to your chest. Wrap your arms around your thigh, knee or shin, and gently pull the knee towards your chest. Hold for 20 seconds and slowly extend the leg to starting position. Repeat three times each leg.

Cobra Stretch

This movement is helpful to stretch tight abdominal muscles and the lower back. Start by lying on your stomach with your legs extended and with palms planted on either side of your head with your forearms and elbows flat on the ground. Slowly, push your body upwards, so your weight is resting on your forearms. Be sure to keep your hips on the ground. Once you reach a comfortable position that gently stretches your abdominal muscles and lower back, hold for 10 seconds. Slowly return to starting position and repeat five times. If you have more flexibility in your lower back, try straightening your arms.

Back Flexion Exercise

Similar to the knee to chest stretch, but this one activates the neck as well. While lying on one’s back, pull both knees to the chest while simultaneously flexing the head forward until a comfortable stretch is felt in a balled-up position.

Prayer Stretch or Child’s Pose

This stretch is for the lower back muscles along the spine and is a very common yoga pose. On your hands and knees, sit back so your buttocks is resting on your heels. Reach your hands forward to lengthen your spine and feel a stretch in your middle back. You can reach your hands to either side to focus the stretch on the opposite side of your spine. Hold for 10-30 seconds and perform 2-3 repetitions.

These stretches are not recommended for all spine conditions. Conditions such as a bulging disc can be irritated with activity, so proceed with caution.

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