Whether it’s from work injuries or a chronic condition, lower back pain interferes with your daily life, mental health, and performance. Along with physical therapy, doing stretches at home can help keep the muscles elastic, strong, and resistant to injury. Here are the three best stretches to relieve lower back pain.
How to Stretch to Ease Lower Back Pain
1. Leaning Stretch
This stretch helps stretch your spine while holding it in alignment, and it’s gentle enough that it can be used for moderate to severe pain — if given the okay by your physician. Start by standing in a relaxed position, with feet flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart, and bend slightly at the knees. Then, slowly lean forward, like you’re touching your toes. When you’ve gone as far as you can without it hurting, hold the position for 20 seconds, then slowly straighten back up. Repeat three to four times, and feel free to add leg stretches to the move if your pain is radiating down into your thighs.
2. Child’s Play
A stretch called the child’s pose – which is common in yoga – effectively stretches muscles throughout your entire back and shoulders, as well as down into the buttocks, making it great for work injuries from lifting or stooping. Begin by kneeling on a mat with your knees and feet together, sitting back on your heels, with your arms at your sides. Slowly start leaning forward, bending at your waist, and rest your forehead against the floor. You should feel the stretch through your back and shoulders, and if you can’t reach the floor with your forehead, just go as far as is comfortable. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds, then straighten and repeat two to three times.
3. Knee-to-Chest Stretch
This one pulls the muscles in your lower back tight, down through your glutes, and will also help with leg and knee pain. Lie on your back on a mat with your feet pointed toes up and shoulder-width apart. Starting with the right leg, bend your knee and lock your fingers together behind it. Carefully pull it back towards your chest in a slow motion, as far as you can without feeling pain. Hold the maximum stretch for 20 seconds, then slowly lower it and repeat with the opposite leg to complete a rep. Do five to 10 reps, depending on your ability.
For lower back pain relief, speak with an expert at Physical Therapy of Andalusia in Andalusia, AL. For over 39 years, they’ve offered tailored physical therapy for the treatment of sports and work injuries, chronic inflammation, and rehabilitation after surgery or a car accident. They provide targeted treatment for hand dysfunctions and neurological and musculoskeletal disorders, too. With a cutting-edge facility and passionate staff, they’ll improve your comfort, mobility, and quality of life. View their services online, and call (334) 222-5785 for a consultation.