Did you know lower back pain is the leading cause of disability around the world?
As such, if you’ve been experiencing tension or tightness in your back muscles, it’s time to stop ignoring the pain. The longer you wait to take care of yourself, the more likely it is your back pain will progress into something stronger.
If you’re hesitant about visiting a chiropractor or getting a back brace, you still have options.
Try doing lower back stretches regularly at home to see how your condition improves.
Here are ten you can attempt right away.
1. Lying Twist
The lying twist is one of the most simple – yet effective – lower back stretches you can do.
It is easy to get into no matter your level of flexibility.
Simply lay flat on your back and bend one knee towards your chest. It may come all the way up to your torso, or just around the hip if you are tighter.
Either way, take the knee and twist it to the opposite side.
This means your right knee will go towards the left, or your left towards the right.
Leave your opposite arm stretched out straight from the shoulder and look in that direction. This creates the twist, so you should be looking left if you took your knee to the right and vice versa.
You can also do this stretch with both knees together, and bend them to either side.
2. Knee to Chest (Single)
Speaking of having knees together or apart, the next lower back stretch can be performed in one of two ways.
As you start to feel more open after doing twists, you will be able to bring your knees closer to your chest.
With the single knee, you can focus on each side of your lower back at a time.
Simply bring your knee towards your torso while you lay flat. Hug it in with both arms and breathe for a few seconds before releasing the knee.
Repeat this movement with the other leg.
3. Knees to Chest (Double)
Instead of repeating each side, you can bring the knees in together.
This creates a deeper release in your lower back.
Lay flat and bring both knees to your chest. Wrap both arms around the knees, if you can achieve this comfortably.
Stay here and breathe. For more of a stretch, bring your forehead off the ground towards your knees on an exhale.
4. Pelvic Tilt
The pelvic tilt is another option on the list of lower back stretches that starts on the ground.
Lay down and bend your knees.
Instead of bending towards you, bend so that your feet are flat on the ground. The feet should be hip-width apart, or a little further.
Leave your hands flat on the ground next to you with the palms facing down. Then, take a deep breath and move your hips up on the exhale.
You will feel your inner thigh muscles working a bit here.
If this is too much for you, put your hips back on the ground.
Then, place a pillow under your knees for extra support. This allows you to rest and release your back pain without straining your body.
5. Child’s Pose
The next pose is a resting position commonly used in yoga sequences.
To get into child’s pose, lay on the ground with your stomach facing down. Next, get on your hands and knees.
From here, drive your hips back as you lower to the ground by reaching your arms forward. Lower your hips and torso to rest on your upper thighs if your flexibility allows.
For a deeper stretch, reach your arms further out in front of you on the ground.
6. Cat-Cow Movements
Another yoga pose to incorporate into your list of lower back stretches is cat-cow.
Cat-cow is given its name because of the way you move your back to look like an excited cat or a stretching cow.
Always start on your hands and knees and move into cat pose, then cow pose.
To achieve the cat, inhale and curve your back towards the sky. Think of creating the shape of a hill. Look down towards your belly button to feel the stretch from your neck to your hips.
After cat, come back to your flat back. From here, exhale and push your back down as you reach your head up. Think of creating a “u” shape.
7. Upward Facing Dog
Do you like the way the cow pose feels?
If so, you will also enjoy upward facing dog because it has a similar curve and release in the back.
Get into an upward facing dog by starting flat on the ground, belly down. Then, put your hands underneath your shoulders, as if you’re about to do a traditional push-up.
Instead of pushing all the way, though, you will bring your torso off the ground, curving down like you would in cow pose.
At the same time, use the top of your feet to bring your upper legs off the ground.
8. Downward Dog
An upward facing dog is often used as a transition from the ground to downward dog.
These lower back stretches go hand in hand during a yoga flow, and you’ll see why when you move through the poses.
From an upward facing dog, drive your hips up towards the sky.
Next, step your feet in towards your chest a bit.
Your heels don’t have to be all the way on the ground.
Instead, the focus here is to think of pushing your hips back. You will feel this stretch in your hamstrings. Be sure to support yourself with your upper body and core, as well.
All of this comes together to create a release in your lower back.
9. Standing Forward Bend
After downward dog, come to a relaxed standing position.
Your feet should be hip distance apart and shoulders relaxed.
Then, start to forward bend towards the ground. This is not a stretch to touch your toes. Instead, grab your opposite elbows to feel a better release on your lower back.
If you aren’t flexible, bend your knees to get more of a stretch.
If you don’t feel tight and want to release your arms to the ground, you can. Over time, you might even grab your ankles for a full forward bend.
10. Legs Up the Wall
The last lower back stretch you can try at home needs a prop.
Find a bare wall – as in one without anything in front of it, and no pictures hanging at eye-level or bellow.
Sit down in front of the wall as close as you can to it.
Then, turn to one side so a shoulder is resting on the wall. From there, lay down, with your shoulder as close to the wall as possible.
Once you’re comfortable, pick both of your legs up and turn to rest your calves against the wall. You should now be facing the wall again, like you were when you sat down.
But, now, your legs are up above you.
They should feel relaxed with the support of the wall holding them up. Try to get your pelvic bone as close to where the wall and the floor meet for a deeper stretch.
Fight Pain with Lower Back Stretches and Back Braces
Lower back pain can creep into your life as the result of many things.
Pregnant women often experience this pain as their belly gets bigger and due date approaches. People with office jobs feel it as well because they spend extended periods of time sitting down.
But, no matter the reason for your back pain, these stretches help you take control of how you feel.
For even more comfort, consider a back brace to wear throughout the day.
Click here to see our brace options!