Throughout the world, 80% of the people, at some point in their life, are affected by lower back pain. It is the most common musculoskeletal disorder and it can vary from acute, sub acute to chronic. Patients with lower back pain, experience pain in the coccyx (tailbone), sacroiliac joint (the point where the spinal column joins the pelvis) or vertebral fracture and in very rare cases infection. Nowadays even young people are susceptible to this condition partly because of hectic work schedule. As such, the abdominal and back muscles must be developed as they provide strength to the spinal cord. Chronic or acute symptoms can throw life out of gear and according to one estimate, lower back pain is credited with the most number of lost work hours and office leaves. Along with medication and surgery, lower back pain requires a strict regime of exercises like stretching and yoga. There are various stretching exercises, which can bring relief to lower back pain and also strengthen the muscles of the back. Explore the pointers given below to know more about lower back stretches.
Stretching Exercises To Relieve Lower Back Pain
- Immediately after you have experienced back pain, you need to take rest to relieve the strained muscles and ligaments. So, it is advisable not to move around much or lift heavy things. Care must be taken not to strain the back muscles.
- Before starting on any exercise, the muscles must be warmed up properly. This can be done by taking a warm shower, stretching the hands and legs, or having a mild massage. Warming up increases the blood circulation and loosens up the muscles. Walking or swimming is recommended for loosening up the joint muscles.
- Lie down on the floor and relax. Bend your knees till your foot is flat against the floor and then stretch your legs, sliding your feet away. Do this exercise for 10 to 15 minutes so that the back muscles receive the stretching motion.
- Put your arms straight down and slowly contract and retract your abdominal muscles all the while breathing normally.
- Have massage regularly. While sleeping put a pillow under your knees so that your back is, free from pressure. After two to three days if the pain persists, then you may need more rigorous stretching exercises.
- Lie down on your back and bend your knees. Pull up your knees one at a time towards your chest and hold it there for 3 to 5 seconds. Do this exercise at least seven times for each leg.
- Get on your knees and hands with your face down. Now curve your back downwards and hold that position for 10 minutes and then bend towards the opposite direction again holding for 10 minutes. Repeat this ten to eight times.
- Pull your feet apart and stand with your hands clasped behind your head. Bend towards your right, so that your right elbow moves towards your right thigh. Now get back to the original position and do it for your left side also. Do this exercise for a minimum of five to seven times.
- Stand with your feet apart and hands clasped behind your back. Now, rotate your elbows and back in such a way that the left elbow comes near the right thigh and vice versa. Repeat for about five to eight times.
- Place your foot on a chair or bed at a height where your thigh is horizontal to your body. Keeping the other foot a little behind the body, lean towards the foot that is placed on the chair or bed. Hold this position for 30 seconds and do the same for the other foot. Repeat the exercise five times for each leg.
- Lie down on your side and bring one leg up in an ‘L’ shape. If you can’t reach there, ask your friend to pull up your leg. Next, tell him/her to tilt your leg towards your head, telling him/her how much you can bear, and try holding that position for 10 seconds. After that, try to push it further. Repeat the exercise for the next leg and do it at least three times.