Lower back pain can happen to anyone. While most people associate it with getting old, it’s actually a very common occurrence in people of all ages, health, and level of activity.
Lower back pain can come from a plethora of physical activities, whether it’s Crossfit, weightlifting, cycling, or playing tennis. Lower back pain can also come from a lack of physical activity, and office workers are often prone to back pain from sitting in a chair all day.
No matter what the reason for it, lower back pain sucks. Luckily, there are plenty of stretches that you can do to help ease lower back pain. Whether you do them at home or come in for professional stretching, these lower back stretches will help ease your pain.
1. Knee to Chest Stretch
The knee to chest stretch is one of the simplest and most effective stretches to relieve lower back pain. It can be done at home and takes very little time. Basically, you don’t have an excuse to skip this stretch.
To start, lie on your back, plant your feet on the floor, and bend your knees.
Grab your right lower leg or clasp your hands together beneath the right knee. Keep your left foot on the floor as you pull your right knee up to your chest. You should feel a small stretch in your lower back.
Keep your knee held against your chest for half a minute to a minute, staying conscious of how your lower back and hips are feeling. Afterwards, release your leg and return to the starting position.
Repeat this with your opposite leg, switching 2-3 times, or as long as feels necessary for your lower back.
2. Cat-Cow Stretch
Yoga regulars should already be familiar with this classic lower back stretch. The cat-cow, also known as Chakravakasana, is another simple stretch with a lot of benefits.
This stretch simply involves moving the spine from a rounded position to an arched position.
Start the stretch on your hands and knees with your knees positioned hip-width apart. Inhale and arch your back for cow pose, holding for five to ten seconds. After that, exhale and round your back for cat pose, holding again for five to ten seconds. Repeat that as much as necessary. It’s that simple.
This stretch also has the benefit of being calming if you match the movements to your breathing.
3. Child’s Pose
This is another traditional yoga pose that can be easily done outside of yoga practice and has great benefits to the lower back.
Start with your hands and knees on the ground and sink down, resting your hips on your heels. Walk your hands out in front of you and fold forward.
Rest your belly on your legs, relaxing your body. You can either continue to extend your arms in front of your body or keep them next to your body with your palms up.
Close your eyes if you want, focusing on your breathing and making sure there isn’t any tenseness in your body. This is a great way to pinpoint exactly where the pain in your lower back is focused.
4. Seated Spine Twist
This is a classic twist that’s used anywhere from at home to yoga to warmups for workouts and sports. This stretch is most helpful for the lower back but also stretches your neck, your abs, and your shoulders.
To start, sit on the floor or on the edge of a yoga mat or cushion, with your legs extended forward.
Bring your right leg up and place your right foot on the outside of your left thigh. Follow that by bending your left knee so that your foot is pointed to the right, close to the right thigh.
Twist your spine to the right, putting your right hand on the floor behind you for support. Wrap your left arm around your right leg. Hold this pose for anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute, focusing on the stretch and your breathing.
After that, repeat the same steps using the opposite side. Do this as many times as feels necessary.
5. Pelvic Tilt
The pelvic tilt is a simple, effective way to relieve tightness and pain in your lower back. This stretch is also a good way to build your abdominal muscles to get toned.
To start, lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent.
Arch your lower back, pushing your stomach up towards the ceiling and flattening your upper back against the floor. Make your abdominal muscles stay engaged.
Hold this stretch for 5 to 10 seconds before releasing back to the floor. Repeat this 15 to 20 times, building up to more repetitions as your abdominal strength increases.
6. Trunk Rotation
This stretch is a little more complex than the rest, but still easy to do at home and extremely beneficial.
Start by laying on your back with your knees up towards your chest. Extend your arms to the sides, with your palms facing the floor.
Keep your knees together and rotate your legs to the left until you start feeling a stretch. Go as far as your back allows, making sure to keep your upper back flat on the floor and keeping your hands on the floor for support.
Hold this for about 15 seconds, and then move back to the center. Repeat the same stretch on the right side. Do this a couple of times until you’re feeling loose and limber.
Taking Your Lower Back Stretches to the Next Level
Now that you know how to do some of the best lower back stretches to help ease your lower back pain, it’s time to take that knowledge to the next level.
All of these stretches can be done at home, but if you want to maximize your stretching capability, come in and see us for professional stretching therapy. And as always, keep reading our blog for more stretching tips.