Lower back pain can be uncomfortable and may even interfere with your daily routine. Yet, it’s also extremely common: an estimated 80% of the population will experience it at some point or another. In most cases, the issue will improve on its own. Back pain is only considered chronic when it persists for more than three months. While it’s a good idea to seek professional help for any persistent pain that doesn’t go away on its own, there are a few stretches that may help you find relief in the meantime.
This stretch is best performed with the support of a foam roller or firm pillow. Lie with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and back flat. After lifting your hips, insert the foam roller or cushion beneath them. Relax your body and hold for up to a minute, repeating three to five times.
Lengthening your back can help alleviate tension in the lower spine. To perform this move, lie flat on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Grab one knee and pull it in towards your chest, while keeping the foot of the other leg flat on the floor. Hold for up to a minute and repeat three times on each leg.
A classic yoga move, cat/cow stretches both the front and back of your torso. Start on your hands and knees, then arch your back by pulling your belly button in and allowing your head to drop forward. This is the “cat” stretch. Hold for up to ten seconds, then reverse the stretch, bringing your head upwards and letting your pelvis tilt forward so your back curves towards the floor. This is the “cow” stretch. Hold for up to ten seconds, and repeat the sequence up to 20 times.
While simple in nature, the pelvic tilt can loosen tight back muscles and help them remain flexible. Start on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Due to the natural curve in your spine, your lower back should be slightly elevated. Arch your back slightly and push your stomach out, keeping your core stable. Hold for up to ten seconds. Then, push your pelvis slightly upwards but without lifting it off the floor. Tighten your glutes and core so your lower back becomes pressed into the floor. Hold for ten seconds. Repeat up to 10 times a day, slowly working your way up to 30 reps each day.
Seated Forward Fold
Because everything in the posterior chain is connected, muscles anywhere on the backside of the body could contribute to back pain. It’s believed tight hamstrings, in particular, could contribute to lower back discomfort. To release tightness in this region, sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Hook a yoga strap or bath towel around the bottom of your feet. Slowly lean forward at the hips, bringing your torso down to meet your thighs. Continue leaning forward until you feel slight tension in the legs and lower back. Hold for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat up to three times.
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This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for back pain, also known as degenerative disc disease. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.