Lower back pain can be insidious, and while it is localized to a relatively small area of the body, its effects can range from annoyance to life-limiting debilitation.
Research suggests that low back pain is a prevalent reason for missed work. The causes of low back pain are numerous, and prevention requires thoughtful movement and lifting practices and targeted strength training and range of motion exercises.
Many disease processes such as spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and fibromyalgia can cause significant and debilitating lower back pain. Consider that your lumbar region carries most of your upper body weight. Too often, low back pain is the result of tight muscles. The muscles that act on the low back are many, and their functions and anatomy are complex.
If you are experiencing lower back pain, you must consult your health care team for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.
Lower Back Pain Causes
Back pain can be acute, meaning that it happens suddenly, or chronic, meaning that it lasts for many weeks. Sprains of the low back can occur due to overstretched or torn ligaments, and strains can occur due to tears in the tendons or muscles. A sudden, extreme contraction of a low back muscle, or several low back muscles, can cause a painful spasm.
By taking the time to add a few focused stretches which target your lower back, you can relieve and prevent some of the pain associated with this overworked and neglected body region. Once you have been accurately diagnosed, your health care provider may recommend gentle stretching to ease your back pain and increase your flexibility and motion range.
Lower Back Pain Stretches
Give these simple stretches a try!
1. Lie on your back, and exhale while pulling both knees in toward your chest, with your hands on your shins. Now, gently rock side to side while continuing to pull your knees in gently.
2. From this position, and with your knees still together, slowly lower your legs over to one side. From here, pull one knee away and upward, pulling it toward your shoulder. Keep both knees on the floor. Repeat on the other side.
3. While still on your back, put both feet flat on the floor, with your knees bent and pointing toward the ceiling. Bring your right ankle up off the floor and place it across your opposite knee while holding your knee and ankle. Breathe in, then breathe out as you push your right knee away from your body. Repeat on the other side.
4. Roll over, and rest on your hands and knees. Now, gently alternate arching your back in both directions, imagining a mad cat with an arched back and then a swaybacked horse.
5. Stay on your hands and knees, and slowly lower yourself backward until your buttocks are resting on your heels. Now, slowly and gently slide your hands forward until your forehead is resting on the floor. Keep your chin tucked in, and reach your hands forward along the floor.
Other Tips How to Relieve Lower Back Pain
- Stretching should always be done with a warm body; take a brisk walk, or do 10-15 minutes of cardiovascular exercise prior to your stretching.
- Stretching should be accompanied by intentional breathing, so avoid holding your breath.
- Work toward improving your flexibility and range of motion gradually and without any pain during stretching.
- Move slowly and with attention to stretching the fascia, not just the muscle.
- In addition to these soothing stretches, ensure that your wellness plan includes exercises that will strengthen your entire core, including your lower back.
- These exercises should focus on strength, as well as mobility, flexibility, and ideal positioning and postural alignment.
- Consider your stretching routine as a must; a complete wellness program must include recovery and relief.
- Take your stretching routine to the next level by adding muscle roller sticks and massage balls into your routine.
- These affordable and effective tools from Physix Gear Sport will target sore spots, increase circulation, and ease tension.
- Stretching can do more than ease muscle tension; many find that stretching calms the mind and soothes the spirit.
- Give stretching your entire body, including your lower back, a try! Your body will thank you for it!