Healthy Movements

Healthy Movements  >  Stretching

Align Your Low Back at Home

  • Dr. Steve Young
  • 3 Apr, 2023

Low back pain is a common ailment affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. It can be caused by a variety of factors, from poor posture to injuries and medical conditions. One of the most effective ways to alleviate low back pain is by aligning the spine. Here are some ways to align your low back at home.

Anatomy of the Low Back

Before discussing ways to align your low back, it's important to understand its anatomy. The low back, also called the lumbar spine, is made up of five bones (L1–L5) that support the weight of the upper body and let it move. The vertebrae are separated by intervertebral discs that act as shock absorbers. The low back is also home to many muscles, ligaments, and nerves that help stabilize and move the spine.

Know Your Back

Many people injure their low backs without realizing it. When you sit for a long time with bad posture, it can put extra stress on the muscles and ligaments in your low back. Lifting heavy objects incorrectly or using your back rather than your legs can also result in injury. Additionally, a lack of exercise and being overweight can weaken the muscles that support the low back, increasing the risk of injury. To keep from hurting your low back, you should pay attention to how you stand and move.

Ways to Align Your Low Back

Stretching
Stretching is a simple way to alleviate low back pain and align the spine. Try the knee-to-chest stretch by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slowly bring one knee up to your chest and hold it for 15-30 seconds. Repeat with the other knee.
Core Strengthening
Strengthening your core muscles can help support your low back and promote alignment. Try doing planks, bridges, or bird dogs to strengthen your core muscles.
Yoga
Yoga is a great way to align your low back and alleviate pain. Poses such as downward dog, cat-cow, and child's pose can help stretch and strengthen the muscles of the low back.
Foam Rolling
Using a foam roller can help alleviate tightness in the low back muscles. Lie on your back with a foam roller under your low back, and slowly roll back and forth for 1-2 minutes.
Posture
Maintaining good posture throughout the day can help align your low back. Sit with your back straight and your feet flat on the ground, and avoid slouching or hunching over.
Sleep Position
Sleeping in the proper position can also help align your low back. Try sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees, or on your side with a pillow between your legs.
Ergonomics
Improving ergonomics in your workspace can also help align your low back. Use a chair with good lumbar support, and adjust your computer monitor and keyboard to the proper height.

Aligning your low back is crucial for alleviating pain and promoting good spinal health. By incorporating stretching, core strengthening, yoga, foam rolling, maintaining good posture and ergonomics, and improving your sleep position, you can align your low back and prevent future injury. Remember to be mindful of your movements throughout the day to avoid injuring your low back. If your low back pain persists, seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.

References:

  • Henschke, N., Maher, C. G., Refshauge, K. M., Herbert, R. D., Cumming, R. G., Bleasel, J., ... & McAuley, J. H. (2008). Prognosis in patients with recent onset low back pain in Australian primary care: inception cohort study. BMJ, 337, a171.
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2019). Low Back Pain Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet
  • Williams, K., Abildso, C., Steinberg, L., Doyle, E., Epstein, B., Smith, D., ... & Cooper, L. (2009). Evaluation of the effectiveness and efficacy of Iyengar yoga therapy on chronic low back pain. Spine, 34(19), 2066-2076.

Related Articles

Healthy Movements

StretchingThe Power Of Prevention: Strengthening Your Shoulder Muscles To Avoid Injury

  • Dr. Steve Young
  • 3 Apr, 2023
Read More keyboard_arrow_right

Healthy Movements

5 Easy Stretches to Reduce Low Back Pain

  • Dr. Steve Young
  • 3 Apr, 2023
Read More keyboard_arrow_right