Pain in the lower back is caused due to weak back muscles. The spine is supported by abdominal muscles, back muscles and buttocks. To eliminate the pain, strengthening lower back muscles, which support the spine, is important. When you do the stretches for strengthening your lower back, the most important thing to remember is do not apply the “no pain no gain” rule. You may end up ruining the lower back muscles even more.
The most important thing to remember is to start off with five repetitions of each exercise set. If these repetitions do not cause any problem, you can increase the number of repetitions gradually. Increase the number of stretches for back pain to about 15 counts. Remember, like in any exercise form, do not forget to warm up before you do the stretches.
Cat and Camel Stretch
This is one of the very simple stretches for back pain relief. It is advisable to do this stretch first thing in the morning and the last thing at night before you hit the sack. This will help in releasing the pressure of the spine. Have you ever seen the way a cat stretches itself? The method of doing this exercise is exactly the same. Place yourself on all fours, preferably on the floor. You can do this on the bed as well, but remember the bed is not as sturdy as the floor. Now, very slowly raise your head and slowly pull your abdominal muscles towards the floor. This will make an arch on your back. Stretch as far as you are comfortable with it. Then slowly start dropping your head and tuck your chin into your chest. As you do that raise your back towards the ceiling. This is one count of the exercise. As per your comfort level you should do this at least 10 to 15 times.
Lie on your back and extend both feet. Fold the right knee and pull it towards your chest by holding the knee at the back of the thigh. Pull the knee as much as possible and till you feel a stretch on your lumbar spine and thigh. Hold in the position for sometime and then release. Change the leg and repeat the same. Gradually, you can also do this exercise by bringing both the knees to the chest simultaneously.
Seated Lower Back
This stretching exercise can practically be done any time of the day. Sit on a sturdy chair, but make sure only your buttocks are resting on the chair. Keep a shoulder width distance between the feet. Slowly start bending down, keep your hands relaxed and bend down as much as you can. This is a wonderful and simple stretch for back pain.
Hip Flexor Stretch
This is also a simple stretch which can be done anywhere, anytime. It is recommended to do this stretch every one hour. Stand erect and slowly start folding the right leg till it touches your buttocks. Hold the leg with your hands. Stand in this position for 10 seconds, release and repeat the same on the other side. The more you pull the leg towards the buttocks, deeper will be the stretch on the gluteal muscles.
To do this stretch, lie on your back, bend your knees and place your feet on the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscle and slowly lift your buttocks off the floor. Remember to press your back tightly onto the floor. Hold the position for 15 to 20 seconds but do not hold your breath. Repeat this stretch 10 to 12 times.
This is one of the best stretches for back pain. Stand with your back and hips against the wall. Keep a distance of about one foot between your feet and the wall. Keeping your back flat against the wall, slide down till your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold in this position for 15 counts, release and repeat the stretch 15 times.
Before you start doing these stretches, make sure you have spoken to your healthcare professional. Do not overdo the stretch as it can do more harm than good. A small tip: do not slouch when you work as it aggravates lower back pain.