5 Lower Back Stretches to Reduce Pain


FIRST, A FEW QUICK TIPS

It’s important that you stretch your back with safety and care. Be cautious if you have any type of injury or health concern. It’s best to talk to your chiropractor first.

Our Youth Massage™ chiropractors recommend you do these once or twice a day. If the pain seems to get worse, or you’re feeling very sore, take a day off from stretching.

Be mindful of your body’s limits and don’t push your body to do too much. Listen to your body and do what feels best for you in each moment.

As you go through these stretches, take your time and play close attention to your breathing. Use your breath as a guide to make sure you don’t strain or overdo it. You should be able to breathe comfortably and smoothly throughout each pose or stretch.

 

1. Child’s Pose

This traditional yoga pose works your gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and spinal extensors. It helps to relieve pain and tension all along your spine, neck, and shoulders.

Its relaxing effect on your body also helps to loosen up tight lower back muscles, promoting flexibility and blood circulation along the spine.

 

To do Child’s Pose, follow these steps:

With your hands and knees on the ground, sink back through your hips to rest them on your heels.

Hinge at your hips as you fold forward, walking your hands out in front of you.

Rest your belly on your thighs.

Extend your arms in front of or alongside your body with your palms facing up.

Focus on breathing deeply and relaxing any areas of tension or tightness.

Hold this pose for up to 1 minute.

You can do this pose several times during your stretching routine. Feel free to do it in between each stretch.

 
Modifications

If you feel like you need some extra support, you can place a rolled-up towel on top of or underneath your thighs.

If it’s more comfortable, widen your knees and rest your forehead on a cushion.

 

2. Knee-to-chest stretch

This stretch relaxes your hips, thighs, and glutes while promoting overall relaxation.

 

To do a knee-to-chest stretch, follow these steps:

Lie on your back with both knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

Keep your left knee bent or extend it straight out along the floor.

Draw your right knee into your chest, clasping your hands behind your thigh or at the top of your shinbone.

Lengthen your spine all the way down to your tailbone and avoid lifting your hips.

Breathe deeply, releasing any tension.

Hold this pose for 1 to 3 minutes.

Repeat with the other leg.


Modifications

Place a cushion under your head for extra padding. You can also use wrap a towel around your leg if it’s hard for your arms to reach.

To deepen the stretch, tuck your chin into your chest and lift your head up toward your knee.

 

3. Piriformis stretch

This stretch works your piriformis muscle, which is found deep in your buttocks. Stretching this muscle relieves pain and tightness in your buttocks and lower back.


To do a piriformis stretch, follow these steps:

Lie on your back with both knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

Place your right ankle at the base of your left thigh.

Then, place your hands behind your left thigh and pull up towards your chest until you feel a stretch.

Hold this position for 1 to 3 minutes.

Then do the opposite side.


Modifications

To make the stretch more comfortable, keep your bottom foot planted on the floor. Rest your head on a cushion for support.

 

4. Seated spinal twist

This classic twist works your hips, glutes, and back. It increases mobility in your spine and stretches your abdominals, shoulders, and neck. The pressure of this stretch also stimulates your internal organs.

 
To do a seated spinal twist, follow these steps:

Sit on the edge of a cushion with both legs extended out in front.

Bend your right knee and place your foot to the outside of your left thigh.

Bend your left leg, placing your foot near your right thigh.

Lift your arms up with your palms facing each other.

Starting at the base of your spine, twist to the right side.

Place your right hand behind you for support.

Place your left arm around your right leg as though you’re hugging it, or bring your upper arm to the outside of your thigh.

Hold this pose for up to 1 minute.

Repeat on the other side.

Modifications

To make this pose more comfortable, keep your bottom leg straight.

For an extra stretch, add in neck rotations during this pose by inhaling to look forward and exhaling to turn your gaze backward. Do 5 to 10 on each side.

 

5. Pelvic tilt

Pelvic tilts build strength in your abdominal muscles, which helps relieve pain and tightness in your lower back. They also have a beneficial effect on your glutes and hamstrings.

 

To do a pelvic tilt, follow these steps:

Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Engage your abdominal muscles as you flatten your back against the floor.

Breathe normally, holding this position for up to 10 seconds.

Release and take a few deep breaths to relax.

Do 1 to 3 sets of 3 to 5 repetitions.

 

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