The same way we take care of our minds; we must take care of our bodies. It’s the vessel of the mind, as we should treat it as such, by continuing to become more aware of our physical presence.
Often, our bodies ache in the areas we use them most. As humans, our actions are consistently repetitious. Maybe you stand up and bend over a lot at your job. This movement leads to overuse of the lower back muscles, which causes pain in the region. I’ve already covered 3 stretches to relieve upper back pain, considering most of my discomfort stems from there. But as is the case with our entire body, we must take care of every part, not just the ones that give us problems. Because if we neglect the areas that don’t hurt as often, they could begin to sooner or later without proper preventive techniques and post-pain care.
Yes, any stretch is a good stretch. However, as a general rule, your stretching is only as effective as your breathing is. Pay close attention to your breaths as you complete these stretches and take notice of any shortening or deepening in your inhalations and exhalations. Always attempt to deepen your stretch as much as possible without hurting yourself. Stretching doesn’t always feel great while you’re doing it but leaves you feeling amazing afterward. Keep this in mind to push yourself, but don’t overdo it.
Here are 3 stretches to reduce lower back pain:
The supine twist stretch is something I do each day, usually multiple times a day. It reduces much of the built-up pain in my lower back and is excellent because it targets the lower back and glutes, which work with one another.
Supine Twist Stretch: You start by lying down flat on your back, with your knees and feet on the ground. Now, place your arms into a T position. Then, lift your right leg, cross it over your left, and you should feel a stretch in your lower back and glutes. To deepen the stretch, face the opposite direction of the leg you are stretching while keeping your arms in the T position. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, reaching your foot a little farther out each time you breathe deeply in and out. Make sure you complete this stretch on both legs.
Another lower back stretch to reduce pain targets the glutes, which work in sequence with your lower back. The lower back and gluteus maximus rely heavily on each other, and the last thing you want is one of these areas overcompensating for the other because they can’t hold up their weight.
Bridge Stretch: You’ll start by laying down on your back with your knees lifted. Make sure your knees are hip-width apart. Then push into your feet, lift your hips, and make a line between them, your knees, and shoulders. Hold that position in the air for about 10 seconds, pressing your hands into the ground to improve stability. Drop back down to the neutral position and repeat the movement 10 times.
Lastly, we have a stretch that not only stretches your lower back but strengthens it. It’s a little more advanced but completely worth your time. Often, we spend time repairing our bodies from sitting or standing in uncomfortable positions. Yet, preventative care is just as vital, and often, it can stop us from hurting in the first place. The stronger our muscles are, the less we have to piece ourselves back together. This stretch is incredible because it reduces pain in the lower back region and strengthens the core muscles, helping to stabilize one another.
Bird-Dog Stretch: You start by getting down on your hands and knees, both shoulder and hip-width apart. Then, tighten your abdominal muscles while extending one of your arms straight forward at shoulder level. Now, simultaneously, take the opposite leg of whichever arm you’ve extended, lift it, and press out. Hold this position for about 10 seconds, and return to neutral. Perform about 5 repetitions on each side of your body. As always, make sure you breathe deeply throughout the entire stretch.
The 3 stretches to reduce lower back pain include the supine twist, bridge, and bird-dog stretches. These stretches help me specifically, but you may experience different pain issues than I do. These lower back stretches assist me in leading a life without constant aches and pains. My favorite is the supine twist, which almost instantly makes me feel better every time I do it by taking any built up tension off my lower back. These are just a few examples of lower back stretches. Don’t be afraid of trying new movements because there is a lot of trial and error in stretching. But knowing your body is a crucial component, as it allows you to seek out which stretches work best for you.