Getting relief from low back pain is one of the biggest challenges for many people. There are numerous factors that contribute to low back pain, which makes it difficult to find solutions that work.
Stretching has been shown to provide relief from low back pain. It restores balance in muscle tension and reduces undue stress on the joint tissues. Stretching enhances mobility, which eliminates compensations you might be making in your daily activities.
Things to Keep in Mind When Stretching
In order to get the most benefit from stretching, you need to follow a few key steps. Make sure you wear appropriate clothing that will allow for the proper movement to take place. Any restriction limits the range of motion and defeats the purpose.
Only stretch to a comfortable position. Sharp pain or excessive stretching can do more harm than good. Pay attention to the signals your body gives you while stretching.
Stretches need to be held for about 30 seconds to allow the muscles to relax and elongate. Don’t rush your stretches.
The knee-to-chest stretch lengthens the hamstrings, glutes, and lumbar erector muscles. When these muscles are short and tight, they place tension on the lumbar spine and pelvis. This creates imbalances that can lead to pain over time.
Lying flat on your back, slowly bring one knee towards your chest, using your hands to hold your knee in place. Hold for 30 seconds before lowering the leg back to the ground. You can repeat this stretch 3-5 times.
The hamstrings stretch isolates the hamstrings muscle group. When the hamstrings are overly tight, they can pull down on the pelvis and cause a posterior tilt. This can flatten the lower back and create pressure on the discs of the lumbar spine.
Stretching the hamstrings can normalize the length-tension relationships of the muscles around the pelvis.
From the same position as the knee-to-chest stretch, raise one leg off the ground and use both hands to grab the back of your thigh. Straighten the leg at the knee joint and begin pulling the leg further up and back towards you until you feel a stretch along the backside of the leg.
Hold for 20–30 seconds before returning to the starting position.
This stretch gets its name from the look a cat gets when it’s frightened. It addresses the posterior muscles of the shoulders, spine, and low back. Tension along these muscles, which include the quadratus lumborum, lumbar erectors, rhomboids, and trapezius, is common in individuals with back pain.
Starting on your hands and knees with your head facing the ground, slowly round out your back as if you’re raising your spine towards the ceiling. Round your shoulders forward to stretch the rhomboids and trapezius muscles.
Hold and then return to the starting position.
These 3 stretches are easy to do and provide significant relief for low back pain. Take the time to perform them correctly to get the most benefit. These will restore the natural length of the muscles, improve joint mobility, and provide long-lasting relief.