More than 80% of the population of the world is affected by lower back pain. Although the reason behind the origin of this pain and discomfort varies, the main causes are changes in the lumbar spine or a change in the musculoskeletal system.
Our musculoskeletal system is made up of bones, tendons, connective tissue, muscles, and ligaments. Connective tissue provides support, stability, and movement to our body. There are other muscles that play an essential role in helping the curvature of the spine, which play a crucial role in lower back pain. The hip flexor muscles and hamstrings are also associated with the function of the lower back. Minor back problems get better in a few days, but back problems that persist longer than three months can be chronic. Physical activeness and regular stretching can help keep your back problems to a minimum. There are stretching exercises that will help prevent and improve lower back pain.
1. Knee To Chest
This stretch helps lengthen the lower back, relieve tension and pain.
Here is a step to step instructions on how to perform this stretch.
- Lie flat on your back, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Fold your leg, and with the help of your hands, touch your knee to your chest.
- While keeping your other leg flat and straight on the ground, clasp your other leg to your chest.
- Hold each leg against your chest for 30-40 seconds. Make sure you relax your legs and hips.
- Release your right leg and return to the original position.
- Repeat the steps with your other leg.
- Repeat the steps three times with each leg.
In order to get more benefit with the stretch, bring both your knees together to your chest and hold them for 15 – 20 seconds. In case you feel extreme pain in your hamstrings or lower back, take a quick break.
2. Trunk Rotation
This rotation can help relieve tension in your lower back. It exercises your lower back, your core muscles, and abdominal muscles. It also strengthens your pelvic floor muscles.
Follow these steps to perform a trunk rotation.
- Lie on your back and bring your knees up; it should resemble a sitting position. It will look like sitting in a chair.
- Extend your arms and stretch them to the sides, with your palms facing the floors.
- Maintaining the bent knee position and your hands to the sides, twist your legs to the right side and hold for 15-20 seconds.
- Alternate your bent knees to another side. Make sure you hold this position for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Repeat this exercise 5, 10 times.
This exercise is a very useful exercise; it helps increase your flexibility and ease tension in the lower back and core muscles.
Steps to perform this exercise
- The starting position of this exercise is – Get onto your knees and hands with your knees, hip wide apart.
- Arch, your back, pull up your belly button towards your spine, let your head drop forward. This position resembles that of a cat.
- Hold this position for 5 – 10 seconds. This should generate a gentle stretch in your back.
- Return to the starting position.
- Now, raise your head and let your pelvis drop to the ground. Curve your back downwards. This is known as the cow stretch position.
- Hold this posture for 10 – 15 seconds, then return to the original position.
- Repeat this stretch 15 – 20 times.
4. Pelvic Tilt
This is a very important, easy, and useful exercise. It releases back tension and maintains flexibility.
Steps to perform a pelvic tilt
- Lie flat on the floor, on your back, bring your knees to your chest, make sure to keep your feet flat and your arms to the sides. You may notice that your back slightly lifts off the ground; this is totally normal.
- Stabilize your core, push your stomach out and gently arch your back.
- Hold for 5 – 20 seconds, relax.
- Gently and slowly push your pelvis towards the ceiling. Make sure you tighten your abdominal muscles and buttock muscles.
- Hold for 10 – 20 seconds and then relax.
- Start with 5 – 10 repetitions daily, gradually build up the number.
This exercise helps tighten hamstring muscles. This muscle is located at the back of your thigh. Hamstring muscles play a massive role in the wellness of your back muscles.
In order to do this exercise –
- With your legs stretched out, sit on the floor.
- Try bending your back forward and touching your nose to your knees.
- This exercise may seem hard at the beginning, but gradually you will get a lot better.
- You can also try this exercise, with the help of a towel. Hook a bath towel between your heels, now try pushing yourself forward.
- You should feel some tension in your lower back as the stretch increases.
- Make sure not to exert yourself. Take a break if you feel that the stretch is too much.
- Hold for 40 sec, rest for 14 seconds, and then repeat the process.
These exercises are very helpful and beneficial with back pain. In case you do not suffer from any chronic back illness, you can still benefit significantly by adding these exercises to your workout routine.