Low back pain is among the top 25 most commonly diagnosed conditions, affecting on average 80% of people at one point in their lives. Whether it is a mild annoying ache or severe debilitating pain, low back pain plagues the lives of millions of people around the world. Luckily there are many advanced medical interventions and lifestyle changes that can greatly improve the quality of life for people affected by low back pain.
Low back pain can come from a variety of causes. The most common cause being due to damage to the musculoskeletal system in the lumbar spine. This includes both severe traumas such as: car accidents, sports injuries, and falls, as well as minor micro-injuries such as: poor posture, lack of movement, sitting for extended periods of time, and tight muscles and ligaments.
Inactivity is a major cause of back pain in modern times. The average american sits between 6-13 hours per day for work or school. Combining that with an average of 8 hours of sleep equals a total of 21 hours of sedentary lifestyle per day. It’s no wonder low back pain is so common!
Here are 5 Easy Low back Stretches you can do to relieve and prevent low back pain!
The only thing you need is a yoga mat, blanket, or towel.
If these stretches make your low back pain worse, DO NOT try them. Consult with your local chiropractor for advice to further investigate why. If you have any questions please feel free to call us at. (415) 758-2970.
1. Child’s Pose
a. This classic yoga stretch is an easy way to destress and reset your mind and body! In addition it relieves
tension throughout the spine, shoulders, and neck by stretching muscles and ligaments and increases flexibility.
b. Start in a crawling position with your hands and knees flat on the floor.
c. Extend your arms straight in front of you and bring your hips back so that your butt touches the bottom of your feet, stretching out your whole back.
d. Keep your head face down in a neutral position (your forehead should touch the floor)
e. Hold this position for 30-60 second focusing on breathing slowly and deeply, inhaling and holding for 5-10
a. This stretch increases flexibility in the low back to relieve tension and helps to engage core muscles to prevent low back pain.
i. Starting position: on your hands and knees with your knees hip-width apart in a neutral position.
ii. “Cat pose”: Arch your back by pulling your belly button up toward your spine, letting your head drop forward.
iii. Hold for 5–10 seconds. You should feel a gentle stretch in your lower back.
iv. Return to the starting position with hands and knees relaxed.
v. “Cow pose”: Raise your head up and let your pelvis fall forward, curving your back down toward the floor.
vi. Hold for 5–10 seconds, then return to the starting position.
vii. Repeat the cat-cow stretch 15–20 times.
3. Knee to chest
a. This stretch will help to relieve tension and pain by lengthening the muscles and ligaments around the low back and hips.
b. Begin by Laying down with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor
c. Bring your right leg towards your chest while extending your left leg flat to the floor
d. Interlace your fingers around your leg or behind your knee to bring it towards your chest (you should feel a stretch in your low back)
e. Hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds and repeat on the other leg.
4. Lower Back Trunk Rotations
a. This stretch is good for relieving low back tension as well as activating core muscles of the pelvis, hip, and
b. Lie on your back and bring your knees up toward your chest to create a 90 degree angle.
c. Bring your arms out to both sides, with your palms face-down on the floor.
d. Keeping your knees together and hands on the floor, gently roll both bent knees over to your right side and
hold for 15–20 seconds.
e. Return your knees to the starting position: parallel to the floor at 90 degrees
f. repeat the stretch on your left side for 15–20 seconds.
g. Repeat 5–10 times on each side.
5. Piriformis stretch
a. One of the most common areas of tightness in the glutes, tension in the piriformis muscle can cause pain
and tightness in the low back and glutes.
b. Lie on your back with both knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
c. Place your right ankle at the base of your left thigh.
d. Then, place your hands behind your left thigh and pull up towards your chest until you feel a stretch.
e. Hold this position for 1 to 3 minutes
f. Then do the opposite side.