While you may want to stay in bed when you have lower back pain, we recommend that you don’t. Instead, we suggest trying these simple maintenance stretches so you can keep your spine and muscles in good shape while helping to prevent and relieve soreness.
Knee-to-chest Stretch – Lie on your back and bend both knees, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Keeping one leg still, grab the opposite leg and draw it toward your chest. Try to stretch out your spine and hold this position as long as you can while breathing deeply. You should feel tension along your spine decrease. Rest, then repeat with the other leg.
Pelvic Tilt – Laying on your back, arch your lower back so that it lifts slightly off the floor, pushing your stomach towards the ceiling. Release and relax. Next, tighten your abdominal muscles and buttocks and angle the pelvis upwards, pointing your tailbone towards the ceiling while keeping your rear on the floor. Hold for about ten seconds, then relax again. Repeat as many times as you are able.
Child’s Pose – One of the more simple poses in yoga, this stretch is very effective on soreness in the lower back. Begin by sitting on your heals. Your legs should be bent underneath your thighs. Lean forward, bringing your forehead as close to the ground as you can comfortably. Bring both arms up towards your ears and extend them straight out. Keep your spine as straight as possible.
Piriformis Stretch – Lying on your back, bend one knee, bringing your knee up while keeping your foot on the floor. Next, straighten the opposite leg and rest your leg against the ankle of the bent knee.
On the same side as the bent knee, bend your arm and place it behind your skull. Reach the opposite arm out and lay the back of your hand on the floor. Twist your body toward the outstretched hand slightly. Slowly return to a resting position on the floor, rest, and repeat on the opposite side. This stretch targets the Piriformis muscle. The Piriformis muscle overlaps the sciatic nerve. It is important to keep this muscle loose if you are experiencing sciatic pain.
Kneeling Lunge – Begin by kneeling on a soft surface. Bring one leg forward so that the foot is flat on the ground. Stay balanced and rest your hands on top of the forward leg, and lean forward. You should feel a stretch in the front of your quadricep. Hold for five seconds and repeat with the other leg for five reps.
No one wants to live with lower back pain, and often the treatments involve muscle relaxers and pain medications. These simple stretches can help your body find a respite from the pain.