If you have lower back pain, you'll do almost anything to get rid of it. But sometimes, relief lies in a handful of simple stretches. Stretching is an important part of holistic health - whether you’re recovering from an injury or looking to maintain proper alignment.
Whether you have pain or not, these 4 stretches can help you find relief and keep yourself limber, so you can do more with your body...and your life!
Knee to Chest Stretch
This is a great stretch not only just for the lower back region but also for the often problematic SI Joint. To get relief from pain, lie on your back with your knees bent and both your heels on the floor. Then place both hands behind one knee and pull it toward the chest.
This stretches the gluteus and piriformis muscles in the buttock and stretches the SI joint. It’s also great for relieving some of the pins and needle feelings associated with sciatica.
Kneeling Lunge Stretch
Your hip flexors impact your whole body. So while you might hear about a stretch that stretches the hip flexors and think you don't need it for your lower back, think again. Hip flexors can even impact your posture if they're too tight.
For this stretch, start on both knees. Move one leg forward so the foot is flat on the ground and keep your weight evenly distributed through both hips instead of on one side or the other. Place both hands on the top of the thigh, and gently lean forward to feel a stretch in the front of the other leg. This stretch affects the hip flexor muscles, which attach to the pelvis and can impact posture if too tight.
You don't have to say a prayer to get your back to feel better, just try the prayer stretch.
This one is easy. Just tuck your legs underneath you, sit back on your heels and bend forward at the waist, extending arms out over the head onto the floor in front in of you. This is a lot like child's pose in yoga, except your arms are outstretched. The goal of this stretch is to lengthen the lower back muscle. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds and then sit back up. Repeat 3-5 times.
Core Stability – Pelvic Tilt
A lack of core stability can lead to lower back pain. If your abs are working hard enough, the muscles in your lumbar spine have to work harder to balance your body.
To tighten your abs and improve your core stability, try a pelvic tilt.
To start, begin on your back with your knees up. Tighten your abdominal muscles and press the small of the back into the floor, and rotate your pelvis up. Hold this contraction for 10 seconds and repeat 10-20 times.
Stretching can help keep your body aligned, and maintaining proper alignment is an important step in minimizing pain and discomfort. In addition to a regular stretching routine, you can help your alignment by making sure your weight is evenly distributed when walking by trying our Orange Insoles in your favorite shoes.