For one reason or another, we have all had it - lower back pain. Women who menstruate are familiar with the constant ache and tension caused when the muscles surrounding the reproductive system contract during a period. Athletes suffer from lower back pain caused through any number of slight injuries. Additionally, those with desk jobs, who spend their days sitting in office chairs, also complain of lower back pain.
Consider that the muscles that are sending pain signals could be connected to muscles that are the source of the tension. Just applying pressure where it hurts will not help in that specific scenario. Luckily, stretching is one way to ease the pain by releasing some of the tension. When practiced regularly - perhaps daily after exercise or during a lunch break - they can be tremendously helpful.
Here are a few simple stretches for lower back pain relief. Be careful not to overstretch, and ease into them gently.
1. The prayer stretch
Kneel with your butt on your calves and lower your chest to the ground as if in prayer position. The goal is to reach your hands together as far forward as possible, so that your chest is close to the ground. You should feel this stretching the muscles around your spine.
2. The hip flexor stretch
Kneel with one leg at a 90 degree angle with your foot on the ground, and with the knee of your opposite leg stretched behind you on the ground. Place your arms on your upright leg and lean gently forward, so that your outstretched back leg is stretched at the hip flexor point. Hold this for 30 seconds and then switch.
3. The knee to chest stretch
Lay flat on your back, with your feet on the floor, and your knees pointed at the ceiling. Relax, breathing in and out deeply. Grab your knee and pull it slowly to your chest. Hold for 30 seconds, then release gently and switch to your other leg.
Repeat each stretch twice. We recommend doing three sets of these stretches for lower back pain once a day.
Read on to learn more about the stretches and exercises that are good for back pain.