If you are looking for lower back stretches to ease pain, read on! Whether you are a gym junkie or an office worker or even someone doing heavy physical work, there’s one thing in common. At one point of another you have had lower back pain that doesn’t seem to budge. In fact this is one of the most common conditions we physios treat. Our lower backs are pretty much the centre of our body. In order to do all other movements easily, our core needs to be strong. Here are 5 simple lower back stretches to strengthen it and keep it nimble.
1. Cobra is a simple and effective lower back stretch
This is actually a yoga pose! Very commonly recommended by physios to reduce acute lower back pain. All you need is a firm bed or mat on the floor. You need to lie facing down. Make sure you keep a thin pillow under your tummy if you cannot tolerate that position. Now plae your hands right under your shoulders. Push up on the arms to extend your upper body backwards. Once you extend your back upto the limit of pain, hold it for a few seconds. Then repeat, simple!
2. Next lower back stretch is a rocking side to side
This stretch is specifically useful in the acute stage of pain. The gentle rocking movement increases flexibility in the lower back. For this stretch you need to be lying on the floor with your hips and knees bent. Now gently move the knees to one side as far as possible. Hold that position for a few seconds so that you feel a stretch on the side. After this, gradually lift your knees up and move to the other side. Repeat a few times.
3. Make bridging part of your lower back stretches
This particular stretch also works on the glut muscles. The starting position is lying on your back with hips and knees bent. Now gently lift your buttocks as high as you can. Hold this position for a few seconds and repeat again. It’s important to squeeze the buttocks gently once lifted to have an effective stretch.
4. Roll away on a foam roller
Probably not a good idea to start with this stretch if you are in a lot of pain. But this is very effective if you have more of stiffness rather than pain. You will ofcourse need a foam roller for this. All you need to do is lie on the foam roller placing it across your lower back. Bend your hips and knees and come up on your elbows. Now using your elbows roll your body on the foam roller. Since you are using your body weight there’s good amount of pressure going through the back here. So you don’t have to do this stretch for long. Only a few minutes will be enough.
5. Finally the cat and camel stretch
Funny name for a lower back stretch! This one is a simple flexibility stretch. You need to be on hands and knees. The hands should be right underneath the shoulders. The knees should be right underneath the hips so you are nice and square. Now arch the back first and look up. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Follow this with squeezing your tummy in and bending the back in the opposite direction. Hold again for 5 seconds. And then repeat!
A word of caution!
It is important that you see a Physio to get the right diagnosis and see if these lower back stretches are right for you. They may need to be modified according to your stage of back pain. In addition to this, the sets and repetitions will depend upon the severity of your condition. Your physiotherapist will definitely be able to guide you with that.