Back pain is an extremely common occurrence in most individuals – especially when considering the amount of time people spend sitting and sedentary in modern times. To help reduce your back pain and perhaps prevent it from occurring altogether, below are a few common stretches you can do.
Back Flexion Stretch
For the back flexion stretch, you will need to lie on your back and pull both your knees onto your chest, while also flexing your head forward. You should feel a stretch in your mid and lower back.
Knee to Chest Stretch
This stretch will help with pulling and removing stiffness from the gluteal and piriformis muscles in the buttocks. To perform this stretch, first lie on your back and place your feet flat on the ground with your knees pointing towards the ceiling. Next, place both of your hands under one knee and pull it towards your chest. You can do this a couple of times for each knee until your body feels more flexible and comfortable.
Kneeling Lunge Stretch
The lunge stretch is designed to reduce stiffness in the hip flexor muscles and improve posture in the pelvis. Rather than regular lunges, kneeling lunges are much easier on the body and when done properly, will not further injure your back or cause increased back pain. A kneeling lunge stretch starts with both knees on the ground.
After getting comfortable, you can then move one leg forward so that you have one foot flat on the ground, with equal weight distributed across both sides of your hips. To stretch your hip flexor muscles, place both of your hands on top of your thigh that is parallel to the ground and gently lean forward. Do this on both legs ten times each to stretch your muscles properly.
Piriformis Muscle Stretch
Lie on your back with both legs down – heels on the ground. Bend one knee and bring your leg up so that the base of one of your feet is completely on the ground, while your other leg still lies flat. Use your arm to gently push your bent leg over your flat leg to stretch the lower back muscles on your sides. Do this to stretch on both legs so that you can stretch all the muscles on your lower back.
Cat Cow Stretch
This stretch helps to increase flexibility as well as ease the tension in your core and lower back muscles. The cat cow stretch starts with the cat position, where you get on all fours and arch your back up. You can do this by pulling your belly up to your spine and dropping your head forward. Hold the cat position for five to ten seconds as you stretch your lower back.
After the cat position, you can transition into the cow position by raising your head up and pushing your pelvis forward towards the floor. You will also need to hold the cow position for five to ten seconds and perform the whole stretch 20 times to feel its effects.
While stretches can definitely be helpful in reducing your back pain, they may not be the most effective nor only option. If you feel that your back pain is more serious, consider visiting a chiropractor for professional advice and care.