Lower back pain – we’ve all suffered it at some point, some much more than others. And there are many causes for it.
This is because the lower back is comprised of muscles, nerves, bones, joints and ligaments. This means that pain is often different for each individual, and can be triggered by multiple factors including injury, specific activity, posture, or a chronic condition.
Pain can be present in many parts of the body, such as the bony lumbar spine, discs between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spine and discs, spinal cord and nerves, muscles of the low back, internal organs of the pelvis and abdomen.
To add salt to the wound, since the bottom of the spine supports a lot of the body’s weight, damage or disruption to this area can refer pain to other parts of the body.
Alas, there is some good news – and that is, while we’d always recommend the advice of a professional to determine your unique situation, gentle and regular stretching can often relieve and prevent lower back pain.
We’re going to show you five stretches to prevent and relieve lower back pain. These specific exercises and poses can help alleviate those painful symptoms, and most importantly provide support and strengthen those lower back muscles to give your back a fighting chance for recovery and a brighter future from pain. Doing these exercises regularly will help protect your back, increasing its strength and flexibility and preventing damage.
But before we start, remember that before beginning any routine of stretching, it is important to warm up your muscles with light activity for 10 to 15 minutes. While stretching, the rule of thumb is stretch your muscles to the point where you can feel it without being in pain then holding for thirty seconds at a time.
- Lay on your stomach with your legs fully extended with your arms holding up your body.
- Push up so as to stretch the abdominal and lower back muscles:
Knee to Chest
- Lay flat on your back with your toes pointed upward.
- Bend one leg and bring your knee to your chest.
- This helps to stretch the lower back and rear muscles:
Lying Knee Twist
- Lay on your back with your legs extended straight out.
- Bend a knee up and over the side of your body.
- Once in this position, hold the pose as it stretches the paraspinal muscles and strengthens the abdomen:
Piriformis Seated Stretch
- Sit with your back straight and then cross one leg over the other by placing one foot by your hip on the opposite side.
- Stretch by holding your hands on your knees and gently pushing to directly stretch the piriformis muscle that is often the source of throbbing pain and sciatica:
Cat Cow Pose
- Kneel on your hands and legs.
- Stretch your lower back muscles, exhaling as you arch your back.
- As you inhale, tighten your core muscles and round your back:
In order to prevent painful symptoms from occurring or causing distress, a combination of stretches can be used to target specific muscles. The lower back muscles and supportive muscles of the torso and legs can help to bear weight more evenly, thus preventing lower back pain.
The stretches and poses we’ve looked at here can help relieve some of the pain that chronic back pain sufferers experience on a regular basis, and equally help to tone the muscles to support the bones and nerves in this crucial area.
Keep on top of your stretches and you’ll soon find yourself with a stronger, happier back. Don’t forget – always seek professional advice for your unique needs and details.