Nowadays, lower back pain is one of the most common health concerns that people face. It can be caused by a wide range of underlying issues, but it can also just be a symptom of sitting too much during the day.
While there are many remedies you can try to alleviate your discomfort, stretches are often the easiest and most effective. Here are 3 great stretches for lower back pain that can help you no matter where you are.
Can Stretching Really Help With Lower Back Pain?
Lower back pain is usually caused by sore and stiff muscles. As you probably know, stretching exercises are the best remedy for sore muscles because they improve blood flow and flexibility. Moreover, they help strengthen the muscles, lessening the chance of the pain coming back.
Of course, not all sources of lower back pain can be treated with stretches. Thus, it is essential to visit your doctor if the pain persists or gets worse. They will determine what’s causing the discomfort and recommend treatment accordingly.
Best Stretches for Lower Back Pain
1. Child’s Pose
This pose is quite popular in Yoga circles. It helps stretch your spinal extensors, thigh muscles, and glutes. As such, the pose can relieve any pain you feel in your neck, shoulders, spine, and lower back.
Here is how to do it:
• Kneel on the mat, keeping your knees apart
• Rest your buttocks on your heels
• Slowly fold forward until your belly rests on your thighs
• Extend your arms fully with your palms facing down
• Hold the pose for about a minute and take deep, calming breaths
You can repeat this exercise 3 to 4 times a day, as long as it isn’t causing you pain.
2. Knee-to-Chest Stretch
This stretch is one of the easiest to do. It can relax your hips, glutes, and thighs, all the while improving blood flow all around your back.
To stretch like this, you have to:
• Lie down on your back and keep your knees bent with your feet flat on the mat
• Draw one knee up to your chest and clasp your hands over your shinbone (you can keep the other leg bent or lay it flat on the floor)
• Hold the position for half a minute, and try not to lift your hips as you do
• Repeat with the other leg
For extra comfort, you can put a soft pillow under your head.
3. Piriformis Stretch
As its name suggests, this exercise focuses on the piriformis muscle. Thus, it is quite effective in relieving tension in your lower back and buttocks, as well as the entire spine.
Follow these steps to do the stretch:
• Lie down on the mat, bend your knees, and lay your feet flat on the surface
• Place your left ankle on your right thigh
• Clasp your hands around your right thigh and pull it toward your chest, all the while pulling your head toward your right thigh as well
• Hold the position for up to a minute
• Repeat with your right ankle on top of your left thigh
It may be a good idea to put a cushion under your head when doing this exercise. It will offer your neck the extra support necessary to complete the stretch.