Low back pain is one of the most commonly reported complaints of clients seeking chiropractic care. Injuries to the low back can occur in many ways, including improper lifting, straining while exercising, and poor posture. Luckily, there are a number of simple stretches you can perform that can alleviate low back pain.
Because low back injury and pain can radiate to other parts of the body, it’s very important to listen to your body and give it the care it needs to recover. You deserve to live life pain-free, and the following stretches will help get you there.
Perhaps the simplest stretch of all, child’s pose allows you to lengthen the muscles of the low back without straining. To perform child’s pose, lower yourself to your knees on a yoga mat or similar surface. Once you’re comfortably in a kneeling position, fold at the waist until your chest is resting on your thighs. Your gluteal muscles should be resting on your heels, and your arms should be stretched directly in front of you, following the direction of your legs. Allow your body to relax and focus your attention on the stretching and lengthening sensation that occurs in your low back.
Another great stretch for your lower back that can even help you avoid future injury is table top. Mastering table top will strengthen your abdominal muscles in addition to helping you relieve tension. To properly execute table top, lower yourself to your hands and knees on a soft surface like a yoga mat. Your hips should be directly over your knees, and your shoulders should be over your wrists. To ensure proper alignment, make sure hands and knees are also in line. Hold the pose for as long as feels comfortable, keeping your belly button pulled in to your spine.
After mastering table top, you should be ready to move on to bird dog. This particular stretch has several names, but it is essentially an extended version of table top. Bird dog will help build strength in your abdominals and provide support to the muscles of the low back. To achieve this stretch, begin in table top with proper form and alignment. Slowly extend one arm so that it points directly in front of the body. When you feel ready, extend the opposite leg behind you so that it is in line with your core. Repeat this stretch on the opposite side, moving slowly.
A hamstring stretch is a simple movement designed to lengthen and loosen the muscles that are affected by the low back, thus relieving tension and pain. To stretch your hamstrings, lie on your back. Do your best to eliminate the space between your low back and the floor, which will prevent further injury. Raise one leg up while keeping it as straight as your range of motion will allow. Repeat this same movement on both sides.
A rotation stretch will allow gravity to help you twist the muscles of the low back to relieve tension. The stretch can be performed while lying on your back on a comfortable surface. To begin a rotation, extend your arms out to either side and lift both knees to your chest. Slowly lower and twist your knees to one side without forcing or jerking. Relax into the stretch and repeat on the other side.
Low back pain from injury or poor posture is a common occurrence, but you don’t have to let it stop you from enjoying your life. Perform the stretches above to alleviate pain, strengthen your muscles, and avoid future injury. For more stretches, exercises and one-on-one care, contact Peralta Chiropractic today at (214) 942-3700.