Pain In The Back: 5 Stretches To Alleviate Low Back Pain
If you have low back pain, you know about the constant burden and toll it puts on your body. Most people with low back pain lie down as often as possible and rest to make it better. They feel like exercise will only hurt them and they need to watch how much they do during the day. However, the best thing you can do for yourself is exercise and strengthen your back muscles. Here are some great exercises that can help you strengthen your back muscles and keep your pain from taking over your life.
Two Knee Twist
One important exercise for low back pain is the two knee twist. This is a low-impact exercise that simultaneously stretches and strengthens your back. To do this exercise, lie on your back and pull your knees into your chest. Outstretch your arms so they make a T at your sides. Exhale slowly and twist your knees down to one side. Don't change the bend in your knees at all. Your shoulders should still be flat on the ground. Hold for 1-2 minutes and then inhale while twisting your knees back to the center and then down the opposite direction.
Pigeon is a yoga pose that will stretch and strengthen the muscles in your back. It will also stretch your glutes. Tight muscles in the glutes is often a cause for severe pain in the lower back. First go to the ground on all fours. Bend one of your knees so you bring it up to your chest and square your hip. Lay your thigh down flay and pull your foot up to your belly. Lower your body to the ground so you are laying on the leg that is under you. Outstretch your other leg behind you and stretch both arms above your head. Hold for about three minutes and then switch legs.
Back kicks are also done from all fours. Balance on your hands and your knees, then slowly bring one of your legs up and kick behind you at a slow and controlled pace. Make sure you knee is slightly bent so you don't put too much pressure on your back. As you become more advanced with the exercise, you can straighten your leg more.
Low Back Flexibility
Low back flexibility exercises are recommended by Mayo Clinic for reducing back pain. Do a few repetitions about five times per day. Start with as many repetitions as you can do without hurting yourself. As it gets better, increase the amount gradually, doing no more than 30 at a time. For the exercise, lie on the floor on your back or a yoga mat. Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor. Arch your back as far as you can without hurting yourself. Stretch your arms toward your feet so your fingertips touch or point to your ankles. Hold for about 5 seconds and then rest on the floor again.
Working your abs along with your back is important for a strong and healthy back. Building abdominal muscles strengthens your core and is a building block for healthy muscles throughout your body. With strong abs, the rest of your muscles fall into place much more easily. Do strengthen both, do reverse crunches. They are actually easier on your back than regular crunches. Lie on your back on a mat or the floor with your knees bent. You will be in the same position as if you were going to do crunches, put lay your arms at your side with your palms on the floor. Lift your knees to your chest while contracting your abdominal muscles. Hold for about three seconds and slowly put your legs back down.
All of these exercises are important for a strong and healthy back. Do the exercises daily and you will see your back pain begin to diminish. If you're still experiencing back pain even after working to strengthen the muscles, however, you may want to get in touch with a physical therapist. Click here for more information.