Have you ever wondered about what the best stretching for lower back pain is? Perhaps what you have in mind is a full stretch routine that you can do in the morning and the latter part of the day. However, if you intend to maximize those pain-relieving benefits, you’ll want to make sure to schedule some small stretching breaks throughout your day. Consistency is key, so do whatever you can to help you remember. Download an app or set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to stretch those back muscles every two hours!
What Are Some Common Reasons People Get Back Pain?
Back pain can affect 8 out of 10 people, making it one of the most common medical conditions. It’s different for everyone – some people may experience a dull ache, while others may have sharp pains. Back pain can last for a few days or up to a few weeks. At that point, it may become a chronic condition that needs medical attention.
Below are some of the most common causes of back pain in adults.
- Spine problems
- Accidents or injuries
Lower Back Muscle Functions
Your back contains many nerves, discs, joints, and three layers of muscles (superficial, intermediate, and deep). Each muscle or muscle group has a specific purpose that helps you move or provide stability to neighboring joints. Below are some of the major muscles in your back and how each of them functions.
Your extensor muscles are in charge of helping you stand and lift objects. These are located on the back of your spine, and they are some of the strongest muscles in your lower back. Caring for your hip extensor muscles is crucial because you need them for most of your daily movement. This group of muscles consists of the gluteus maximus and the hamstrings.
These lower back muscles are attached to the front of the spine. Their function is to enable flexing, bending forward, lifting, and arching the lower back. Since these flexors are easy to overuse and strain, experts strongly recommend performing stretches that target those muscles before doing any strenuous activity. This group of muscles consists of the iliacus, iliopsoas, and the rectus femoris.
Your oblique muscles help rotate your spine and maintain proper posture. They extend from the lower half of the ribs to around and down the pelvis, making them one of the outermost abdominal muscles. Your oblique muscles are also known to help pull the chest downward, which compresses the abdominal cavity. The obliques are two muscles: the internal and external obliques.
Stretches That Could Give You Immediate Back Pain Relief
Stretching is one of the best ways to relieve muscle tension. Stretching daily can keep them in great shape. It allows them to remain flexible and strong so that you can do daily activities without pain or difficulty. Below are some of the best stretches you should try for immediate back pain relief.
Although you may be capable of doing these stretches on your own, doing them with a professional stretching coach will ensure you’re performing them correctly. As a result, you’ll be able to get the most benefits from the stretch with a professional there to help you.
Aside from enhancing the mobility of your spine, this stretch can also help you relax your lower back muscles. It’s a traditional yoga pose that works your gluteus maximus, hamstrings, and spinal extensors. Experts frequently recommend the child’s pose for anyone experiencing back pain because it helps relieve pain and tension along your spine, neck, and shoulders. It’s also a relaxing move, as it loosens tight lower back muscles and promotes blood circulation along the spine.
To begin, you’ll need to be on all fours. Next, you’ll need to sit your hips back while reaching your arms forward. As your stretching coach gently pushes on your back, you should feel a good stretch in your back as you continue to hold this pose. It’s best to stay in the stretch for approximately 10 seconds and repeat it five times for the best results.
Trunk Rotation Stretch
This stretch will help relax the muscles located on the side of your trunk while improving your spine’s mobility. The trunk rotation stretch is perfect for individuals experiencing limitations in spinal rotation in one or both directions. It targets the obliques, rectus abdominis, and the lumbar multifidus. It’s also been used to improve core strength!
You can start by lying on the mat with your knees bent. Next, rotate your legs toward the ground as you keep your upper back flat on the floor. When you start to feel a stretch, make sure you hold the position for about five seconds. Your stretching coach will push you into a deeper stretch by gently putting more pressure on your leg. After you finish holding the move, you’ll then perform the same stretch on the opposite side and perform 10 repetitions.
Cat-Camel Back Stretch
Again, this stretch works to maintain your spine’s mobility while strengthening your abdominal and back muscles. It’s a gentle move that can improve your back’s function when performed often. The muscles involved include the abs, upper back, and hips.
Start on all fours, then arch your back toward the ceiling for five seconds before you arch your back toward the ground for another five seconds. Your stretching coach will be there to guide you and ensure you’re using the correct form.
Your knees should be hip width apart, your hands directly beneath your shoulders, and your head always aligned with your spine. The motion should be through your lower back, and you should avoid jerky movements. Do 10 repetitions for the best benefits.
This stretch will target your hips, thighs, and glues. The best part is that it also promotes overall relaxation. When this move is performed passively (keeping the legs and hips relaxed), it can better target your lower back muscles and help you get good spinal flexion.
To perform this stretch, you’ll need to lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. You’ll extend one foot straight along the ground, and your stretching coach will take the bent one and pull it toward your chest. Make sure to breathe deeply to release any tension. They’ll hold the pose for a few moments before switching to the other leg.
The cobra pose is a gentle stretch that targets and strengthens your spine, buttocks, and chest. It’s also a small backbend move that allows you to feel relaxed and active at the same time. Some other major benefits of the cobra pose are helping with better posture and alleviating sciatica, both of which can aid in relieving back pain.
Begin on your stomach. Your elbows should be underneath your shoulders, and your hands should be extended in front of you with your palms facing down. Your feet should be slightly apart. Breathe deeply and press your pelvis into the floor while you gently lift your head and chest. Your stretching coach will help you get more of a stretch, but your lower back, buttocks, and thighs should also be engaged while performing this move.
Supine Twist Stretch
This stretch targets your back muscles while realigning your spine and hydrating your spinal discs. It’s often a recommended move for individuals suffering from a chronic knee, hip, or back injury. You’ll also be engaging your core during this move.
Begin by lying on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. While keeping your back still on the ground, your stretching coach will guide you in rotating your hips to the side until your legs touch the floor. You should feel a gentle stretch in your lower back. After holding this position for a few moments, switch to the other side.
Other Ways to Relieve Back Pain
Stretching is only one way to rid you of your annoying back pain. You could do some other things along with stretching to get the relief you’ve been trying to find. With these small lifestyle changes, you’re less likely to have chronic back pain slowing you down.
It may seem counterproductive to get up and exercise when you have back pain, but it’s a great way to loosen any tense muscles and release endorphins. These chemicals are also known to be the brain’s natural painkillers. Start with something low-impact, like taking a short walk or swimming. Moving and stretching will keep your muscles strong, flexible, and free of aches.
Get Enough Quality Sleep
Did you know that lack of sleep can make body aches and pains worse? It’s also known to impact a person’s pain tolerance. The key to getting a good night’s sleep is to start practicing good sleep hygiene.
For example, stick to a consistent sleep schedule, ensure your mattress is comfortable, and make sure your pillow properly supports your neck and back. Keeping them in a straight line during the night will prevent you from waking up with neck and back pain.
Manage and Reduce Stress
Stress doesn’t only affect your mind. It can also cause muscle tension and painful spasms, which could be causing the back pain you’re experiencing. Our bodies naturally tense up during stressful moments or situations. If you’ve been distressed lately and are noticing lower back pain, try practicing some stress-relief techniques, like aromatherapy or meditation.
Strengthen Your Core
Your core is what keeps you centered since those muscles play a big role in stabilizing your spine. It’s crucial to keep them strong because, as you may imagine, a weak core can’t support your back well. This may result in the lower back pain you may be having. You’ll want to find some exercises that target your abs and core muscles to keep them strong and eliminate your back pain.
Pay Attention to Your Posture
Being in a certain position for too long can put excess stress and fatigue on your joints. For example, sitting for long periods can cause the joints and muscles in your spine and hip to weaken over time.
If you do have to sit down all day, make sure your posture is correct. Your neck, shoulders, and back should all be aligned to take the stress off your spine. Don’t forget to take standing breaks as well.
Try Cold or Heat Therapy
Never underestimate the power of heat and cold therapy! Depending on what kind of pain you’re experiencing, you can either apply ice or heat to your back for some quick relief. Cold therapy reduces inflammation, while heat therapy improves blood flow. If you have an acute injury, you’ll want to use ice to decrease inflammation. If your muscles feel tight, or you’re suffering from chronic back pain, then you can use heat.
Who is Most At-Risk of Developing Back Pain?
Back pain can strike anyone at any age, but some people can be more susceptible to developing it than others. Below are some of the risk factors that can leave you more likely to get back pain:
- Not getting enough exercise
- Certain diseases
- Improper lifting techniques
Back pain is a common reason most adults miss work, school, or need to visit the doctor. It can occur for many reasons, from injury to poor posture to stress. Simple lifestyle changes like weight management, exercise, and regular stretching can relieve some of the pain you’re experiencing so you can do your daily activities with ease.
When stretching, you’ll want to perform some moves that target the muscles in your back as well as your core. As a result, those muscles won’t feel as tense, and you’ll get the relief you need. We also always recommend visiting a professional stretching coach regularly for a more effective stretch and quicker comfort. Back pain doesn’t have to hinder you!
Where to Experience the Best Stretching for Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain may be inconvenient, but there are many ways you can find relief from it so you can continue your day-to-day life. Here at Stretch Zone, we focus on providing all clients with the best stretches that provide them with immediate relief.
If you don’t notice any improvement, or if the pain is causing weakness in your legs, we encourage you to visit a doctor to check for any serious concerns that stretching can’t help. Book your FREE 30-minute stretch at any of our Stretch Zone locations and experience the best stretching for lower back pain!