If you are one of the 31 million Americans that experience low back pain, you know relief can be hard to come by. While pain relievers temporarily mask the pain, stretching offers both pain relief and increased mobility in a matter of minutes. These stretches are an ideal way to loosen tight muscles and keep your back moving. Hold each for 15 seconds before releasing and moving on to the next stretch.
Many of the best stretches for your lower back happen while lying on the ground. Choose a carpeted floor or lay on a yoga or gymnastics mat if you have one available for maximum comfort.
Lay down with your feet flat on the floor, your legs forming a 90-degree angle. Pushing your weight through your heels, lift your bottom in the air until you feel the stretch. If you experience any pain, lower your buttocks slightly and flex your leg muscles.
The Side Roll
From "The Bridge", tilt your knees to one side and place your opposite arm out to the side. You should feel this stretch in your hip and lower back. After holding for 15 seconds, bring your knees back to center and repeat with the opposite side.
Single Leg Chest Hold
Still laying on your back, bring one knee up to your chest, holding it with your hands. Extend the opposite leg out on the floor as straight as you can. Hold this position for 15 seconds and then repeat with the opposite leg.
Double Leg Chest Hold
Bring both knees to your chest and hold this position. You should not experience pain in this stretch. If you do, release your legs away from your chest until you no longer feel pain.
Most people don't realize the role your hamstrings, quadriceps and gluteal muscles play in low back pain. Often the painful pulling you experience in your low back originates in one of these areas. Stretching your hamstrings, quads, and glutes can have a profound effect on the pain you feel in your lower back.
Figure 4 Stretch
Sitting on a mat or the floor, bend one leg until the sole of your foot is touching your thigh. The other leg should be outstretched. Without curving your spine, reach toward the outstretched toe or ankle, whichever is more comfortable. You should feel this stretch in your hamstring. Switch legs and repeat the stretch.
Sitting on a mat or the floor, cross your foot over your leg and turn your body the opposite direction of where your foot is placed. Be sure to pull your knee into your chest as you turn. You should feel this stretch along the outer thigh and into your glutes. Repeat the stretch on the opposite side with the opposite foot crossed over the other leg.
If you experience any pain while performing these stretches, please call Pure Wellness for more information on how these stretches can be modified for your benefit. If you are experiencing low back pain, our doctors can help restore your strength, improve your flexibility and eliminate discomfort. Call today for your consultation.