The Best Stretches to Relieve Lower Back Pain
Do you suffer from lower back pain? If so, you are one of 31 million adults in the U.S. who are looking for ways to relieve this pain. Whether it’s from an injury, pulled muscles or a back sprain, it’s hard to concentrate while working and taking care of a family until you find relief. It’s not uncommon for adults to sit in an office all day or drive for hours at a time and this can be really hard on your lower back. An injury from working out or an accident can also inflame the muscles, so it’s critical to seek proper chiropractic care and take other measures, like stretching to ensure you heal properly.
What are the Best Stretches to Relieve Lower Back Pain?
Stretching is excellent for all your joints and muscles and an important step in relieving lower back pain. The best stretches to look for will stretch the hips, back, pelvic area and abdominals. You will get the most benefit out of stretching multiple times per day for a few minutes each time. It’s important to note that different conditions respond differently to each of these stretches so make sure you ask Dr. Rob or your healthcare provider which of these is best for you before starting a stretching regime! We’ve included video examples of each stretch below so you can watch for clarification if needed.
Mckenzie Extensions - great exercise for disc issues & pain that travels into a leg
Lay on your stomach with your legs straight and your elbows propping you up while looking at the floor. Use your elbows to push up while keeping your belly button on the floor. This video shows how to do the Mckenzie Extensions and then goes into the Williams Flexion exercise you’ll read about next.
Williams Flexion Exercises - provides relief for pain in the low back/waistline/ sacroiliac areas
Lay on your back and pull your knees to your chest while keeping your head on the floor. You should feel the stretch throughout your lower back. The previous video starts with the Mackenzie Extension and then shows how to do the Williams Flexion exercise.
Two Lower Back Stretches Using an Office Chair- Great for finding relief while at work
For this first stretch, sit down and cross one leg over the other and gently pull your knee towards you until you feel a stretch. For the second stretch, sit up straight, move to the edge of your chair and slowly bend forward without falling out of the chair ;) like to you are attempting to touch the floor. This video walks through how to do both exercises while sitting in your office chair.
Forward Bend Stretch - Offers relief for pain in the low back and tension in hamstrings
Stand up straight with your feet together. Bend forward and try to reach your toes. Put your hands behind your calves and gently pull to keep your balance if you can’t touch your toes. This video offers some great tips and different variations that can be helpful.
Gluteus Maximus/Piriformis Stretch - Focuses on relieving tension in the buttock and hips
Sit down with your legs straight out in front of you. Keep your left leg straight and bend the knee of your right leg and step your right foot over your left knee. Twist your torso and rest your left elbow on the right side of your right knee. Straighten your back for a full stretch.
Stretching Takes Practice!
Stretching is beneficial, but it can seem slightly painful if you are just starting. Keep practicing these stretches and it will become easier and you will experience less pain, as it becomes part of your daily routine. That said, if pain is severe or it doesn’t subside after you stop stretching discontinue and consult your provider.
Individual Care for Lower Back Pain is Important
Dr. Rob will evaluate your lower back pain each time you visit Grand Traverse Family Chiropractic for a chiropractic adjustment or a new patient consultation. He will share ideal stretches to help relieve pain specific to your needs and other recommendations to help find relief and prevent lower back injuries. Remember to specifically ask Dr. Rob questions on how to prevent pain while you are at work!