Some Simple Stretches to Help Relieve Your Lower Back Pain

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With many people still working from home, it’s highly likely that you’re spending more time than before sitting in front of a screen. In fact, many won’t even benefit from their supportive office chair anymore and as a result will be feeling a little more strain in their lower back. 

Does this sound like you?

If so, you’ll know that lower back pain can be a painful and oftentimes debilitating condition. It’s a fairly common health issue that’s likely to have been exacerbated during these lockdowns. Thankfully, there are ways to relieve nagging lower back pain, and staying of course physically active may be the most effective thing you can do.

Whatever is causing your lower back pain, we’ve got some simple stretches you can do at home to help reduce the pain and strengthen your back muscles.

Remember to take your back pain seriously

Before we go into the stretches that can help you, keep in mind that it’s important to use safety and care when doing any kind of exercise or stretching. When it comes to your lower back, you must always be cautious and gentle, and make sure you only practice stretches that you’re comfortable with doing correctly, as this will prevent injury.

The stretches that we’ve mentioned can be done once or twice each day. However, be aware of how you feel after performing them. If any pain seems to get worse or you’re left with feelings of soreness afterwards, then be sure to take a rest day in between stretches. Do not push your body too far, listen to it and do what feels best. Make sure you pay attention to your breathing as you perform each stretch. You should be able to breathe comfortably during each pose or stretch.

Knee-to-chest stretch 

This stretch can work to stretch out and lengthen your lower back, which allows you to gradually relieve any tension and pain. To perform it, simply follow these steps:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Grab your right lower leg with both hands. Clasping your wrists just under the knee.
  • While keeping your left foot flat on the floor, gently pull your right knee up towards your chest until you feel it stretching your lower back.
  • Hold your right knee against your chest for around 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Release your right knee and return to the starting position. Repeat this 2 to 4 times, and then do the same with the other leg. 
  • Repeat 3 times in total for each leg.

Child’s pose stretch

You’ve likely heard of this more traditional yoga pose before, as it’s one of the most widely used stretches that can work a lot of muscles, from your hamstrings to your spinal extensors. It’s a highly relaxing stretch that can loosen up tight lower back muscles and promote better flexibility and blood circulation. To perform it, simply follow these steps:

  • Place your hands and knees onto the ground and allow yourself to sink back through your hips to rest them on your heels.
  • Hinge at your hips as you fold forward, walking your hands out in front of you.
  • Rest your belly on your thighs.
  • Extend your arms in front of or alongside your body with your palms facing up.
  • As you stretch, pay attention to your breathing and relax any areas of tension in your body. Be sure to hold the pose for about a minute. Repeat as many times as you want.

Seated spinal twist stretch

This is a classic stretch exercise that really works your back, hips and glutes. It’s ideal for helping to increase your mobility in your spine and stretches your abdominals, shoulders and neck. To perform it, simply follow these steps:

  • Get yourself a cushion and sit on the edge of it, with your legs extended out in front.
  • Bend your right knee and place your foot to the outside of your left thigh.
  • Bend your left leg, placing your foot near your right thigh.
  • Lift your arms up with your palms facing each other.
  • Starting at the base of your spine, twist to the right side.
  • Place your right hand behind you for support.
  • Place your left arm around your right leg as though you’re hugging it, or bring your upper arm to the outside of your thigh, and hold this pose for up around a minute. Then simply repeat on the other side.

Sphinx stretch

Another very popular stretch is the sphinx stretch, which is essentially a nice gentle backbend that allows you to be active and relaxed. You can utilise this stretch to help increase the strength of your spine and chest, as well as your glutes. To perform it, simply follow these steps:

  • Get into position by lying on your stomach with your elbows underneath your shoulders.
  • Ensure your hands are extended in front with your palms facing down, and set your feet slightly apart.
  • Gently lift your head and chest, while engaging your lower back, buttocks and thighs.
  • Breathe deeply as you do this.
  • Press your pelvis into the floor.
  • Look straight ahead or you can slowly close your eyes.
  • Hold this pose for around 1 to 3 minutes.

There’s plenty more stretches where they came from, but when it comes to relieving your lower back pain, these are some of the most effective. Remember, engaging in regular physical activity and stretching can work wonders for strengthening your back and reducing pain.