The lower back or the lumbar spine is a strikingly well-devised structure consisting of several bones that are interconnect with one another and also connect to various other ligaments, muscles, and nerves. All these parts come together to provide support and flexibility. Despite their efficient design, this complex structure can also be susceptible to pain and injury. Lower back pain is usually triggered by an injury to a ligament or muscle. We have compiled a list of a few easy stretches and exercises to alleviate lower back pain. Most of these can be done in the comfort of your home or even at work.
This a very common and easy to do yoga posture that is very good at stretching out contracted ligaments and muscles in the lower back region. It effectively releases tension and helps in pain relief.
Start off with your hands and knees firmly on the mat. Make sure that your hands are directly below your shoulder and knees are below your hips. Once in place, extend your arms directly in front of you and place our palms flat on the mat. Steadily move your hips back towards your heels, while simultaneously lower your head and chest, and stretch out your arms more. maintain the pose for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat 5 to 6 times.
Alternatively, you can use a pillow to prop your belly up and this will make the stretch a little easier by reducing the strain on the lower back muscles.
This stretch is more dynamic in terms of movement and helps move the muscles of the lower back in two different directions. It builds on the Child’s pose and works towards stretching contracted ligaments and muscles and relieving soreness.
Start off with your hands and knees firmly on the mat. Make sure that your hands are directly below your shoulder and knees are below your hips, this should result in your spinal cord being parallel to the mat. Next, stretch your mid back by first raising it upwards and maintaining it for 5 to 10 seconds, then let your mid back drop by letting your stomach fall down while slowly arching your lower back and maintain the pose for another 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat the movement 5 to 6 times.
Lower back Twist
This stretch will not only help in stretching the lower back but will also help stretch the glutes that are often tightened when experiencing pain in the lower back. The movement is simple and will alleviate pain in the back, lower back, and glutes.
Start off by laying down on your back and bend your knees but keep your feet flat on the ground. Next, stretch your hands out to the side mimicking a “T” shape. Make sure your shoulders are flat on the ground as you slowly roll both knees to one side. maintain this stance for 20 to 30 seconds before going back to the initial position and roll both knees to the other side. Repeat this exercise at least 5-6 times.
Alternatively, you can make the stretch easier by placing a pillow beneath your knees before twisting them from side to side.
Lying Knee Twist
This stretch is designed to combine movements that will help in stretching the lower back muscles, the paraspinal muscles, and the abdominal muscles. The stretch is easy to do and will alleviate pain in the lower back muscles while strengthening the abdominal muscles.
Start by lying down flat on your back and stretch your legs straight out on the ground. Next, bring one leg up and bend the knee before crossing it over to the opposite side of the body. maintain this stretch for at least 20 seconds before putting the leg back against the ground and repeating with the other leg. You should ideally feel a gentle stretch across your back and tightening in the core and buttocks muscles. Repeat the exercise 6 to 8 times in total.