The best remedy for your lower back pain could be stretching. We have listed for you different stretches that could help ease your pain and how to do it.
Lower back pain is usual in adults. It affects school-age children too. A majority of people who visit the doctor are experiencing some form of back pain.
Lower back pain is usual in people around the ages of 30 to 50 years. However, it becomes more common as age advances.
Are you sitting on your work or study desk the whole day and still experiencing lower back pain? Maybe your work requires you to stand for long hours. Perhaps, you need to start exercising though you are in pain. This article has the solution for your lower back problems.
The back is the region between the neck and the glutes. It comprises the spine and the back muscles.
The backbone is also called the spine. It is composed of a chain of interconnected bones called the vertebrae. Therefore, the back contains muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, and tendons.
The lower back is the region between your ribcage and the gluteal region. The lower back muscles are part of the core of the whole body. It is the center of gravity. The lower back is strong since it bears a lot of weight. It is flexible too.
The lower back has an inward curve called the lordosis. The lordosis is responsible for the balance of the head and distribution for the weight of the upper body.
The lower back has five vertebral bones. The bones are connected with joints. The joint allows the back and forth movement. It makes the back flexible.
Each vertebral bone has a disc to cushion it during movement. The joint helps to absorb shock for protection. The joints and discs are supported by ligaments, muscles, and tendons. They offer support and stability to the back region and the whole body.
Another component of the back is the lumbar spine nerve. The nerves transmit signals to and from the brain. The five lumbar nerves are labeled as L1 to L5. They provide sensation and help in the movement of the thighs, leg, foot, the groin region.
Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain may occur in different ways. It may occur when the lumbar spine, muscles, ligaments, intervertebral discs, and nerves are affected.
An increase or decrease in the curve of the lower back may also result in lower back pain. The lumbar spinal nerves are made up of the sensory fiber and motor fiber.
The motor fiber sends signals controlling movement. On the other hand, whenever you feel pain, the sensory fiber sends signals to the brain.
Lower back pain is categorized as acute and chronic back pain. Acute back pain lasts for a few days or weeks. Chronic back pain lasts for 12 weeks or longer.
Causes of lower back pain
Some of the causes of lower back pain are as follows:
- Injury to bones and joints
- Disc degeneration
- Spine nerve compression or inflammation
- Muscle strain
- Poor posture
- Narrowing of the spinal canal
Some of the ways to reduce lower back pain include physical fitness, staying active, losing weight, sitting in the right posture, and lifting objects the right way. We are going to explore how stretching can help with your lower back pain.
The Importance of Stretching
Physical fitness is important for your well-being. It will help you to strengthen your muscles and to keep your weight in check. Flexibility is equally important. That is where stretching comes in.
Stretching helps to loosen up and strengthens the muscles and prepares the body for physical activity. It helps you increase your range of motion. This helps in correcting your posture.
Stretching enhances the circulation of blood. Increased blood flow increases your energy levels. It also has other benefits like reducing stress and anxiety.
Best Stretches for Lower Back
You need to be gentle and cautious when performing these stretches. Start small and gradually increase your limit. You can perform the stretches once or twice a day. You can take a break in case you feel pain in your lower back.
Please note that you need to consult a doctor if you have a back injury. Try not to strain the back too much during stretches.
The following stretches are going to help strengthen your lower back. They will help ease the pain you are feeling too.
Knee to chest stretch
The knee to chest stretch increases the flexibility of the lower back. You can start with a single leg stretch before advancing to both legs.
How to perform the knee to chest
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Raise one leg and place your arms on the lower leg.
- Use your arms to pull your legs close to the chest.
- Hold it there for a few seconds.
- Return to the neutral position.
- Repeat the routine several times
The pelvic tilt stretch helps to loosen the lower back muscles and relieves pain.
How to perform the pelvic tilt
- Lie on the back with both feet on the floor and knees bent.
- Lift the lower back slightly off the floor while engaging the core.
- Lengthen your spin and avoid lifting your hips.
- Breathe as you count a few seconds then return to the neutral position.
- Repeat the same routine several times.
Cat cow stretch
The Cat cow stretch stretches the lower back, shoulders, and chest..
How to perform the cat-cow stretch
- Begin with the plank position.
- Place your hands and knees on the ground.
- Perform the cow stretch by inhaling and looking up as you fill the belly with air.
- Perform the cat stretch by exhaling and arching the back towards the ceiling.
As you perform the supine twist, ensure you keep your shoulders and upper back in place. They should not move as you move your knees.
How to perform the supine twist
- Begin with lying on the floor with knees bent and feet on the floor.
- Inhale as you bring your right knee to the left.
- Exhale as you go back to the neutral position.
- Repeat the same procedure for the left leg.
Reclining hand to big toe stretch
How to perform the reclining hand to big toe stretch
- Lie on your back with your feet close together.
- Bend your right knee and hold it close to your chest for a few seconds.
- Stretch your right leg towards the ceiling. You can use a strap or a resistance band to help you.
- Point your right toes for a greater effect.
- Bend your right leg close to your chest before going back to the neutral position.
- Repeat the same procedure with the left leg.
The bridge pose opens up the chest, shoulders, and thighs. It also stretches the spine and the neck. Do not perform this stretch if you have a shoulder or neck injury.
How to perform the Bridge pose
- Lie on your back with bended knees and the sole of your feet flat on the ground.
- Press your feet and arms actively on the floor as you raise your abdomen to the ceiling.
- Engage your feet and thighs to keep the legs together.
- Stretch your arms towards your heels as far as you can.
- Hold your breath for a few seconds.
- Return to the neutral position.
- Do some more reps.
Lower back rotational stretches
The Lower back rotational stretches help to increase the flexibility of the lower back.
How to perform the lower back rotational stretches
- Lie on your back with bended knees and feet on the ground.
- Straighten your right leg.
- Place your bent knee over the left leg and push your knee towards the floor with your left hand.
- Reach with the right arm to the opposite side, looking in the same direction.
- Hold and breathe for several seconds.
- Return to the neutral position.
- Follow the same procedure for the left foot.
Seat forward bend
This stretch works on the hamstring, the neck, and the spine.
How to perform the seat forward bend
- Sit on a mat with your legs straightened in front of you.
- Lean forward from the hip joints
- Take the sides of your feet into your hands or use a strap.
- Lean-to the farthest point you can go. Do not strain yourself too much.
- You can stay in this position or you can round your spine.
Lower back pain can occur when the muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, or tendons are affected. It may be either long-term or short-term. One of the remedies for lower back pain is stretching. Stretching can help in loosening muscles, preparing the body for a lot of work, and making the body flexible. It also helps in the circulation of blood and easing pain.
Some of the best stretches for lower back pain are as follows: the Knee to chest stretch, Pelvic tilt, Cat cow stretch, supine twist, Cat cow stretch, Bridge pose, Lower back rotational stretches and Seat forward bend.