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How Can You Stretch Your Lower Back

Easy Stretches To Release Lower Back And Hip Pain

11 Best Lower Back Stretches For Pain & Stiffness

If you are suffering from lower back or hip pain, you are not alone. More than 26 million Americans, between the ages of 20 and 64, experience back pain and, very often, lower back and hip pain are related.

In our current age of technology, many of us find ourselves sitting in front of the computer for most of the day. All of this sitting can cause tightness in the hamstrings, shoulders, and hip flexors, as well as a weakening of the core .

Our deepest hip flexor, the Psoas, is directly connected to our lumbar spine. So if our hip flexors get tight, they will begin to tug uncomfortably at the lower spine, thus causing stiffness and achiness in the lower back and uncomfortable hip pain.

Suffering from a sore neck, back and shoulders? Get our mobility guide to ease pain and soreness.

Fortunately, regularly stretching can help reverse some of this tightness. Here are 9 easy stretches that can be done just about anywhere to relieve lower back and hip pain.

Adding Stretches To Your Treatment Plan

  • 1Focus on rest, ice, and pain relief for the first 24-48 hours. Stretching a pulled back muscle right away will only make things worsegive the injury some time to heal first! For at least the first 24 hours, and possibly up to 48 hours, reduce your activity level and focus on managing your pain and discomfort. Use strategies like the following:XTrustworthy SourceCleveland ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Apply an ice pack wrapped in a towel for up to 15 minutes at a time and up to 10 times per day.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to reduce inflammation and pain.XExpert Source
  • What Causes Lower Back Pain

    Before we get into how to stretch your lower back muscles, let’s discuss the common causes for lower back pain. Depending on the cause of your pain, you may wish to take a different approach to stretching altogether.

    We spoke with Alexandra Merisoiu, founder of Move Wild Academy and Legacy Karate . She holds a Level 4 certificate in physical activity and lifestyle strategies for managing low back pain. “Lower back pain is often caused by poor posture, tight muscles and lack of general mobility and flexibility,” she said. “This is called non-specific lower back pain as it is not caused by events such as accidents, slipped discs or any other obvious reason.”

    This kind of pain is important to address, as it can eventually lead to injuries in other muscle groups due to the added tension. “Moreover the discomfort can affect your mood, concentration, productivity and general wellbeing,” she says.

    Merisoiu recommends doing regular stretches to relieve tension in the lower back, while also working on improving posture and increasing mobility and flexibility to prevent this type of lower back pain in the future.

    If you’re wondering how to achieve this, our handy guide on how to improve your flexibility is a good place to start. You could also try strengthening the muscles in the area by doing some simple dumbbell back exercises .

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    Find A Good Sleeping Position

    Getting to sleep can be difficult when you are suffering from back pain so its important to find a comfortable sleeping position. If you like to sleep on your back, you might find it helps to place a pillow under your knees. If you prefer to sleep on your side, try to bring your knees closer to your chest, in a foetal position, or place a pillow between your knees.

    You can find more tips for getting a good nights rest in our sleep infographic

    How To Crack Your Lower Back

    15 Easy Stretches to Release Lower Back and Hip Pain
  • While youre sitting down, bring your left leg over your right leg.
  • Put your right elbow on your left knee, then rotate your upper body to the left.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds.
  • Return to your initial seated position.
  • Repeat this with your right leg over your leg, turning the opposite way.
  • Get down on your hands and knees.
  • Gradually arch your back, pulling your stomach upward and pushing your back out.
  • Gradually push your stomach back downward and pull your back inward, letting your stomach hang towards the ground.
  • Go back to your original position.
  • Do a set of at least 3 of these, doing 2 sessions daily.
  • Lie on your back.
  • Pull your knee up toward your chest, one leg at a time, and stabilize them as close to your chest as possible with your hands.
  • Repeat 2 to 3 times per session, at least twice a day.
  • Lie on your back.
  • Raise your knees up so theyre bent.
  • Keeping your shoulders still, move your hips to one side so that the knee on that side is touching the ground.
  • Hold this position for ten seconds.
  • Slowly return your knees to their previous position.
  • Repeat in the other direction.
  • Do this 2 to 3 times, at least twice a day.
  • Lie on your back.
  • Bring your feet up towards your butt so that your knees are up.
  • Lift your pelvis up so that your body is straight from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Lie on your back.
  • Raise your knees up so that theyre bent. Make sure the bottom of your feet are fully flat on the ground.
  • Flex your stomach muscles so that your abdomen is firm.
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    How To Do The Cat

  • Start kneeling down with your knees below your hips, and hands below your shoulders

  • Form the ‘tabletop’ position, with a flat, straight back and neutral neck position

  • Lower into the cow pose, exhaling and pushing your stomach down, arching your back while keeping your shoulders and hips in the same position

  • Move back through the ‘tabletop’ position, inhaling and pushing the spine up, arching into the Cat Pose.

  • Maintain a steady flow throughout the Cat-Cow pose

  • Which of these five back flexibility exercises will you be trying first? Let us know in the comments below.

    Try our shoulder mobility exercises.

    Learn more about how the Gymshark Conditioning App can compliment your mobility work. The workout app that lets you build custom workouts, track your progress, follow exclusive athlete training plans and much more. Take a peek, you know you want to.

    Supine Abdominal Draw In Stretch

    Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

  • Push the small of your back down and into the floor by tightening your lower abdominal muscles.
  • Hold for a count of 10.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

  • Push down through your feet as you slowly lift your bottom off the floor.
  • Hold for a count of 10.
  • Return to starting position.
  • Kneel on the floor in an all-fours position on your hands and knees.

  • Curl your back up toward the ceiling like an angry cat.
  • Hold for a count of 5.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Pull your stomach down to the floor, hollowing out your back.
  • Hold for a count of 5.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat nine more times.
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    Exercises To Help Lower Back Pain

    The exercises below are meant to strengthen and improve flexibility in your muscles to support your lower back. Lower back pain may be recurring or a one-time experience. Doing these back strengthening exercises daily will ease lower back pain and prevent future episodes by strengthening your abdominal, hip, and back muscles.

    Knee to Chest Stretch

    This stretch is an easy way to warm up for your workout.

    âStep 1: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

    âStep 2: Use both hands to pull one knee into your chest.

    âStep 3: Tighten your abdominals and press your spine to the floor. Hold for 5 seconds.

    âStep 4: Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

    You can repeat this stretch 2 to 3 times in the morning and at night.

    Lower Back Rotational Stretch

    This is another easy stretch to get your muscles ready to move.

    âStep 1: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

    âStep 2: Keep your shoulders firmly on the floor, roll your bent knees to one side and hold for 5 to 10 seconds.

    âStep 3: Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

    You can repeat this 2 to 3 times in the morning and night.

    Glute Bridges Exercise

    This exercise aims to strengthen your glute and abdominal muscles.

    âStep 1: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

    âStep 3: Hold the position as long as you can, starting with 3 deep breaths. Then return to the starting position.

    Modified Seated Side Straddle

    Stretch Your Back! Best stretches for back pain and mobility

    The seated side straddle exercise stretches the hamstring, the abductors, and the extensor muscles in the middle and lower back. The seated side straddle requires a person to follow these steps:

    • Step 1: Sit with both legs flat against the floor and extended out in front of the body. The feet should be far enough apart that the legs form a V shape.
    • Step 2: Bend the left leg, bringing the left foot up to touch the right knee and letting the left knee fall out away from the body.
    • Step 3: Keeping the back straight, bend from the hips and reach forward toward the toes of the right foot.
    • Step 4: Slowly round the spine, bringing the hands toward the right ankle or shin while lowering the head as close as possible to the right knee.
    • Step 5: Hold the position for 30 seconds, then relax for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
    • Step 6: Perform 56 repetitions.

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    How To Do The Cobra To Downward Dog Stretch:

  • Lying flat on a mat, place your hands just in front of your hips

  • Straighten your arms, keeping your hips in contact with the ground

  • Look up and arch your back

  • Moving to the Downward Dog:

  • Keep your hands in the same position

  • Lift your hips off the ground, as high as possible while keeping your legs straight

  • Move on to your toes, pushing your palms into the ground

  • Move your head in-between your arms, looking back at your feet

  • . . .
    . . .

    How To Prevent Lower Back Pain In The Future

    While stretches can be hugely beneficial in relieving lower back pain, it’s also important to change your lifestyle to prevent lower back pain in the future. Here are a few ways you can stop the pain for good.

  • Improve your sitting posture. Merisoiu says, “Ensure your entire back is on the back of the seat with your butt close to the seat. Avoid forming a gap between your lower back and the seat.”
  • Stay active. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, try to get up and move every hour or so to prevent tension building up in your lower back, and to improve the natural mobility in your joints.
  • Incorporate a resistance band into your workouts. This will strengthen the muscles around your lower back and prevent pain. Try adding a resistance band to your squats, lateral leg raises, bridges, and more.
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    The 5 Best Back Stretches To Improve Back Flexibility

    Are you struggling with back pain? Or maybe you just want to improve your general mobility?

    We’ve got five awesome exercises to help loosen tight backs and improve back flexibility, to make sure you can keep checking in at the gym and smash your workouts.

    Don’t let a tight back and muscular aches impact your sessions setting aside 5 or 10 minutes after each workout is a great way to implement these back stretches and improve your back mobility in general.

    Stretching your back and increasing the flexibility of your posterior chain will improve the elasticity of your muscles, reducing the chance of injury and aches.

    When To Visit A Doctor For Your Lower Back Pain

    Stretches for Lower Back Pain Relief

    Back pains now and then are quite common. But if the pain is accompanied by other symptoms, its time to consult a doctor or a pain management specialist. They determine the exact cause of the back pain and recommend a treatment plan. Here are other signs that tell you its time to visit a doctor for the back pain:

    • The patient has a fever. Back pain and fever are both symptoms of flu, but theyre also signs of serious infection.
    • The patient has encountered a trauma, such as a high fall or car accident.
    • The patient is over 50 years old.
    • Theres tingling or numbness in the back.
    • The patient experienced a loss of bladder and bowel function.
    • The pain persists for over six weeks.

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    Get Loose How To Do Lumbar Stretches To Ease Lower Back Pain

    Are you someone who suffers from lower back pain?If so, youre not alone. In fact, its estimated that in the US, 80% of adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Lower back pain can wreak havoc on your life. Luckily, there are a lot of treatments out there that can help you alleviate your pain. One of the best treatments is lumbar stretching. What lumbar stretching should you do for lower back pain?Check out this guide to discover how to do lumbar stretches to ease lower back pain.

    How To Do Kneeling Thoracic Twists:

  • Start by kneeling down on one knee

  • Place both palms flat on the ground in line with your front foot

  • Rotate your torso, lifting your arm up and over your front leg

  • Twist until your shoulder, elbow and hand are inline pointing towards the ceiling.

  • Keep your neck and head neutral throughout the movement, following the torso naturally

  • Slowly return to the start

  • Perform this back mobility exercise on both sides.

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    Best Lower Back Stretches

    Here, Stockley will demonstrate the lower back stretches that could help ease lower back pain and tight muscles, but before you get into them, take note of her tips:

    • Allow the breath to activate the stretch and give your body time to settle into each stretch
    • Dont strive for flexibility, just aim to open up the body and find space in the area of pain
    • Pay attention to the area of tension in the stretch is it resisting? Does it soften? Does it feel better? Or has the lower back stretch made it feel more painful?
    • Avoid ballistic stretching as these sudden movements can put more stress on the muscles
    • Hold each stretch for as long as feels comfortable aim for 30 seconds each if youre starting out, then build up to 2 minutes. If it’s a dynamic stretch , aim for 10 reps

    Why Is Stretching Good For You

    3 Easy Stretches For Your Tight Lower Back (WORKS FAST!)

    Stretching the lower back results in the lengthening of the back muscles. Its the lengthening of those back muscles that results in a reduction of pain. With age, muscles naturally get shorter and tend to be tighter.

    Building the muscles around the spine results in the lengthening of those back muscles. A neutral spine and proper posture helps in keeping those muscles surrounding the spine strong.

    This is great because strong muscles in the back are muscles that are consistently stretched and lengthened the stronger the muscles in the back and in the overall core, the less injuries and the less pain! Isnt that what we all hope for?

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    Video: 4 Easy Stretches For Neck And Shoulder Pain

    See how to correctly perform the 4 neck stretches listed above.Watch Now

    Stretches that are not recommended include neck circles or quickly stretching the neck forward and backward or side to side. These stretches may cause muscles strain or place additional stress on the cervical spine.

    See Neck Stretches

    Stretching For Back Pain Relief

    Regularly stretching the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support the spine is an important element of all back exercise programs. Stretches designed to alleviate neck and back pain are likely to be prescribed by a doctor, physical therapist, or spine specialist.

    See Specialists Who Treat Back Pain

    Benefits of stretching include:

    • Reducing tension in muscles supporting the spine tension in these muscles can worsen pain from any number of back pain conditions
    • Improving range of motion and overall mobility
    • Reducing risk of disability caused by back pain

    Pain that lasts longer than 3 months may require weeks or months of regular stretching to successfully reduce pain. Stretches may be included as part of a physical therapy program, and/or recommended to be done at home on a daily basis.

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    When Is Stretching Not A Good Idea For Back Pain

    Low back pain is a very common problem affecting millions of people at any given time. The economic toll of chronic low back pain has been estimated to be between $12 to $90 billion from loss of work productivity, cost of treatment, and disability payments, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

    Most patients who develop low back pain have a vague memory that stretching is helpful for the low back and try to fix the problem by doing stretches that target that area. However, if the cause of the low back pain stems from an injured intervertebral disc, stretching can exasperate the injury and cause even more pain.

    The intervertebral disc provides space between the bony vertebrae and functions as a shock absorbing structure. In some cases, injury to this disc can inflame the exiting spinal nerve root and cause pain, tingling, numbness and weakness, or any combination thereof, down your lower extremity. Patients often refer to this as sciatica. Health care providers usually describe these symptoms as radiculopathy, or inflammation of a specific spinal nerve root .

    When low back pain begins, the patient may put a stretching program into action by stretching the hamstring muscles in the back of their thighs. This stretch can be beneficial for cases of uncomplicated, mechanical low back pain. However, if the patient has pain radiating down the back of their legs from an inflamed nerve , then the stretching may not be a wise idea.


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