Lower Back Pain Stretches
Lower back pain is a debilitating condition that can affect everyone from office workers to manual laborers. It can be the result of injuries, nerve impingements, or tightness in the hamstrings. Lower back pain stretches are critical to maintaining muscular flexibility and alleviating joint stiffness and pain. The hamstrings, which are the three muscles that run along the back of the thighs, are directly connected to the lower back in such a way that excessive tightness can actually pull the lumbar spine out of alignment.
One of the easiest and most common hamstring stretches involves lying in a supine, or face up, position on the floor or on a mat. Bend the left leg while lifting the right leg straight up in the air. Use a hand towel positioned just below the ankle to assist in pulling the leg toward the body. It is important to keep the hips pressed firmly into the floor while maintaining a straight, but not locked, knee. Pull the leg toward the chest to the point of mild discomfort but not pain. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, and breathe deeply. Switch legs, and repeat the entire process.
Another great stretch for the lower back is a spinal rotation. Lie down on a mat in a supine position. Straighten the left leg so that it is resting on the floor while bringing the right leg straight up in the air. Use the left hand to gently push the right leg across the body, allowing the spine to rotate naturally. Extend the right arm outward from the shoulder and turn to look over the right fingertips. Breathe deeply, and hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Switch legs, and repeat.
Benefits of Stretching
Stretching can often alleviate lower back pain while delivering oxygen-rich blood to the muscles. It loosens and elongates the muscles, enhancing both flexibility and joint mobility. When a daily stretching routine is faithfully followed, patients can expect to see noticeable results within a few weeks and sometimes even after a few days.