Lady stretching to help lower back pain

Stretches To Help Lower Back Pain

In the UK, around 1 in 15 people will consult their doctor about lower back pain, it’s so common because many things can attribute to it. Especially, now the majority of us spend most of our time sitting which can cause muscles to become tight pulling the pelvis out of line.

Keep in mind when stretching to ease your lower back pain you need to be careful. Especially if you have any pre-existing injuries or health concerns. You can stretch once or twice a day but, if you start to hurt or any existing pain worsens then take the day off. 

TIP: When you’re performing these stretches pay close attention to your breathing, you should be able to breathe comfortably and smoothly throughout each position.

Stretches for lower back pain

Cobra stretch

This is a counter stretch and helps to activate and strengthen your spine, butt, and chest. 

Here’s how to perform it:

  1. Lie on your stomach with your palms facing down under your shoulders and your elbows pointing down your body.
  2. Set your feet slightly apart
  3. Engage your lower back, butt and thighs as you push up with your hands lifting your head and chest. 
  4. Keep your core tight and remember to breathe.
  5. Press your pelvis into the floor
  6. Keep your head up and hold for 1 to 3 minutes

Knee-to-chest stretch

Helps to relax butt, hips and thighs. 

  1. Lie on your back with your legs flat.
  2. Bend one knee up and keep your foot on the floor.
  3. Bring this knee up towards your chest, grabbing behind your thigh or just below your knee cap with both hands.
  4. Avoid lifting your hips and pull your knee into your chest. 
  5. Breathe deeply.
  6. Hold for 1 to 3 minutes.
  7. Repeat with your other leg.

If you’re struggling to reach down to grab your knee you can wrap a towel around your leg. 

Pelvic tilt

These help to strengthen the abdominals and stretch muscles in the lower back.

  1. Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Flatten your back against the floor while engaging your abs.
  3. Tilt your hips up as if you’re thrusting but do not use your legs.
  4. Hold this position for up to 10 seconds and breathe normally.
  5. Release and take a few deep breaths.
  6. Do 1 to 3 sets of 3 to 5 repetitions

Piriformis stretch 

This stretch can help relieve pain along the sciatic nerve.

  1. Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your right ankle on the base of your left thigh just above the knee. 
  3. Wrap your hands around the back of your left thigh and pull towards your chest until you feel a stretch.
  4. Hold for 1 to 3 minutes.
  5. Repeat on the opposite side. 

Cat-cow stretch

This stretch allows the overworked muscles to lengthen and take a break. Be careful with the cow part of this stretch as it can increase pain if done incorrectly.

  1. Get on to all fours, knees and palms on the floor with your thighs at a 90 degrees angle with the floor. 
  2. Press into your hands and feet as you inhale and look up, allowing your belly to fill with air. 
  3. Exhale, tucking your chin into your chest and arching your spine upwards. 
  4. Repeat this pattern for 1 to 2 minutes. 

Childs pose

A traditional yoga pose works your bum, hamstrings and spinal extensors. It helps to relieve pain and tension along your spine, shoulders and neck. 

  1. Sit on your heels with the top of your feet plush against the floor.
  2. Bend at the hips and you lean forward, slowly sliding your hand out in front of you.
  3. Rest your stomach on your thighs
  4. Extend your arms out in front of you with your palms facing up
  5. Ensure you’re breathing deeply and focus on relaxing any areas of tightness. 
  6. Hold for up to 1 minute. 

These are just some of the stretches we found to be helpful, have a try and let us know how you get on!

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