Statistics for ailments like lower back pain are skyrocketing – according to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million Americans are experiencing lower back pain at any given time. It’s actually one of the most common complaints in doctor offices worldwide. While many people nurse their pain with ice packs and pain killers, it’s much better to investigate the source of your discomfort: sore muscles. Sure, getting massaged regularly is helpful, but you also have to stretch and straighten your muscles for complete pain relief. These 7 easy stretches for lower back pain relief will do wonders for anyone who spends most of their day – sitting in a stationary position – or anyone who has back pain regardless of their level of activity.
1. The Chair Lower Back Stretch
- Sit straight on a sturdy chair, with your knees far apart.
- Place your left hand on the seat on the chair and grab onto the underside, keeping the back of your hand towards the ceiling.
- Lean to your left side without bringing your chest towards your knees. Keep your shoulders relaxed and straight. Bend your head slightly towards your left shoulder.
- If you experience pain, place a pillow on your left thigh and lean against it as your stretch.
- To get a stretch in your deeper back, roll your right shoulder inward and lean further to the side.
- Breathe deeply.
- To finish the stretch, bring your right arm in front of your body and above your right shoulder and off to the side. Hold for a few breaths.
- Roll your right shoulder further inwards, one breath at a time.
- When you no longer feel a stretch, rest our right arm on the left thigh and return to the original position.
- Relax, and repeat on the other side.
- Grab a chair and get to stretching!
2. Supine Lying Hamstring Stretch
- Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, repeating it with each leg.
- Start by sitting on your mat with both legs out in front of you.
- Place a rope or resistance band under the arch of one foot. Keep the opposite leg extended on the ground.
- Lean back so that the leg you’re stretching is at a 90-degree angle with the other leg on the ground. Breathe and keep the small of your back in contact with your mat.
- Point your toe or bend your knee slightly to explore the stretch a bit more.
- Hold for a few breaths, return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
3. The Knee to Chest Stretch
- Lie on your back and bend the left knee.
- Use your hands to pull the knee into your chest grabbing onto your shin or hamstring. Keep your back on the ground as you do so. You should feel this in the hip and buttocks.
- For a deeper stretch, bring your nose towards your knees, keeping your shoulder loose.
- Hold the stretch for 5 to 30 seconds, repeat 2-3 times, and stretch 3 times a day.
- This stretch is both relaxing and therapeutic. Add it to your morning stretch routine to feel relief all day long.