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5 Easy Stretches to Reduce Low Back Pain

  • Dr. Steve Young
  • 3 Apr, 2023

Lower back pain is one of the most common health complaints among people of all ages. It can range from a dull ache to a sharp, stabbing pain that can interfere with daily activities. While there are many causes of lower back pain, one of the most common is poor posture and a lack of flexibility. In this article, we will discuss 5 easy stretches that can help reduce lower back pain and improve overall flexibility.

Child's Pose
Child's Pose is a gentle stretch that can help lengthen the spine and relieve tension in the lower back. To perform this stretch, start on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Slowly lower your hips back towards your heels, stretching your arms out in front of you. Keep your forehead on the floor and hold the stretch for 30 seconds to a minute.
Cat-Cow Stretch
The cat-cow stretch is a gentle way to warm up the spine and increase mobility in the lower back. To perform this stretch, start on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. As you inhale, arch your back and lift your head toward the ceiling, allowing your stomach to sink toward the floor. As you exhale, round your spine and tuck your chin towards your chest, drawing your belly button towards your spine. Repeat this movement for 10 repetitions.
Piriformis Stretch
The piriformis muscle is deep in the buttock. When it gets tight or inflamed, it can cause lower back pain. To stretch this muscle, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Cross your right ankle over your left knee and gently pull your left knee towards your chest, feeling a stretch in your right buttock. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Hamstring Stretch
Tight hamstrings can contribute to lower back pain by pulling on the pelvis and flattening the natural curve of the spine. To stretch your hamstrings, sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Reach forward with both hands, trying to touch your toes. If you can't reach your toes, place a towel or yoga strap around your feet and gently pull yourself forward. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
Spinal Twist
The spinal twist is a great way to stretch the muscles of the lower back and the hips. To perform this stretch, lie on your back with your arms outstretched to the sides, forming a "T" shape. Bend your right knee and cross it over your left leg, allowing it to rest on the floor. Use your left hand to gently guide your right knee towards the floor on the left side of your body, feeling a stretch in your lower back and hip. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Incorporating these five easy stretches into your daily routine can help reduce lower back pain and improve overall flexibility. Remember to start slowly and gently, holding each stretch for at least 30 seconds. If any of the stretches hurt or make you feel uncomfortable, stop right away and talk to your doctor.

References:

  • Shiri, R., & Karppinen, J. (2010). The association between smoking and low back pain: a meta-analysis. American journal of medicine, 123(1), 87-e7.
  • Machado, L. A., de Souza, M. S., Ferreira, P. H., Ferreira, M. L., & The Lancet Low Back Pain Series Working Group. (2018). Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: a joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American.

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