5 Lower Back Stretches To Help Reduce Pain
Lower back pain is hard to treat and even harder to live with. It can lay dormant for a while before striking at the most inopportune times. These exercises and stretches are simple and quick enough to do regularly, and might help with low back pain.
Lower back pain can make life grind to a halt real fast. It's something that most Americans will experience multiple times throughout their life, and it's tough to treat. Whether you have back pain due to genetics, an injury, or another reason, these low back exercises and stretches can be done on a daily basis to help prevent back pain attacks that slow you down and make life a struggle. The idea is that you slowly strengthen your back and help it loosen up over time, preventing muscle cramps and general stiffness that leads to the pain in the first place.
This is one of the easiest stretches to do. Start by kneeling down (carefully, please!) and then slowly bring your upper body down to the floor. Rest your hands and forearms on the floor and hold that position as long as you can. This exercise should help you stretch out your lower spinal column and lumbosacral joints. When done daily, this routine can help relieve chronic stiffness in the back.
If you can't quite make it to the ground without your back hurting, then try doing the exercise on a bed with a few pillows or blankets underneath your abdomen to help you stay up. Over time, try to get closer and closer to the ground to maximize the stretching in the lower back area.
This stretch also works the lower back, but it gets the sides of the back rather than the center. Start by laying flat on the ground, then bring your knees out to the left for about 10 to 15 seconds (as the picture shows). Hold this position, then rest for a second, and switch to the right. Keep in mind that none of these stretches or exercises should be causing you pain; don't push yourself too far, especially if you are recovering from or have had a serious injury in the past.
The lower back rotation stretch should also help you build a little bit of strength in the lower back, as you are supporting the weight of your legs. Repeat this exercise about 10 times on each side. Work on increasing the time you hold the stretch for each week for maximum spinal benefit.
The knee-to-chest stretch is another easy stretch that you can perform daily to increase your spine health. Carefully lay back first on the floor, and put your feet straight out in front of you. Bring up your right leg to your chest, and hold it in position with your arms and hands. The idea is to bring your knee as close to your chest as you can (without hurting yourself). If you aren't feeling a stretch, try bringing your knee closer.
This stretch may require a bit of balance, depending on how stable you are. Keep in mind you should be feeling a stretch in your lower back, right around the pelvis area. If you aren't feeling anything, try to bring your knee closer to your body. Hold this position for about 10 to 15 seconds, then repeat for the other side. Do this once a day; try to increase the hold time by a few seconds weekly.
The double knee-to-chest stretch is much like the single knee-to-chest stretch, though more advanced. The concept is the same; slowly lower yourself to the ground and lay on your back. This time, however, try to bring up both knees as high as you can while maintaining your balance. This exercise is almost like a reverse of the first stretch, and should help loosen the lower back and lumbosacral joint with time.
With the double-knee-to-chest stretch you will want to take caution with your balance, it may be easy for some persons to fall over in this position. Hold the stretch for about 25 to 30 seconds in this position, rest for another 60 seconds, and continue. Do this stretch about 10 times, and try to up the intensity on a weekly basis.
This exercise is performed by pushing the back to the floor and flattening it as best as you can by contracting the abdominal muscles and sitting in a slight 'up' position. As usual, take care not to strain yourself. You should keep the back flat for about 10 to 15 seconds with 60 second breaks in between. Do about 10 sets of downward pelvic tilts per day for a week, then try to ramp the intensity up some more by increasing the amount of time you hold the pose for.
Your lower back is one of the most important parts of your whole body, and it's important to make sure you take care of it to prevent any unwarranted pain from occurring. These back exercises were designed to help you take care of your lower back to help reduce pain and inflammation, but it's very difficult to undo a back injury. In addition to keeping your back healthy with exercises like these, please take care when lifting heavy objects, and try to keep good posture by standing up straight. This will help ensure your back remains free of pain for as long as possible!
In addition, if you need extra support, you can try a back brace - a proper back brace will help align the spine, and keep weight off the lower back. This in turn helps you prevent pain and inflammation in the area.