back pain

Top 5 Lower Back Pain Stretches

Almost everyone suffering from lower back pain can benefit immensely from stretching. Even though it may take weeks or months for patients with ongoing back pain to mobilize the soft tissues and spine, they may find that sustained relief of lumbar backache will follow the increase in motion. However, it’s important for patients with lower back pain to note that not all stretches may be appropriate for everyone. Meaningful stretches should not induce painful systems to a patient, but rather should relieve lower back pain and help reduce any symptoms. The following are the top 5 lower back pain stretches that are recommended: –

1. Nerve Stretches

Just as it is possible to stretch muscles, it is possible to stretch nerves. Sciatic nerve stretches are recommended if you are experiencing radiating pain from your lower back to your legs or buttocks. These stretches are also helpful after undergoing lumbar surgery, as they ensure that there are no scar tissues adhering the nerve to any of the internal structures.

2. Prayer Stretch

Also known as Child’s Pose Stretch, the prayer stretch is one of the commonest yoga poses. To carryout this stretch exercise, you should go down on your knees and sit back so your buttocks can rest on your heels. You should then reach your hands forward, lengthening your spine until you feel a stretch in your middle back. Hold for about 15 to 30 seconds, and repeat the stretches 2-3 times.

3. Lumbar Extension/Flexion Stretch

You may perform either the lumbar extension stretch or lumbar flexion stretch. For the lumbar extension stretch, you should go down on your hands and knees, and then let your belly sag towards the table. This stretch increases extension through the spine. For the lumbar flexion stretch, you should arch your back upwards and away from the table. You can hold each position for about 15 minutes, and repeat several times.

4. Prone Press up

You should start by lying flat on the floor with your stomach with both elbows bent underneath you. Keep your palms flat on the surface, and keep your hips and pelvis in contact with the surface. You can then lift your upper torso off the surface with both your arms, keeping your back muscles relaxed. Hold for about 20 seconds, and repeat this stretch at least 10 times.

5. Single and Double Knee Stretch

To perform this stretch, you should start by lying on your back with your knees bent. For the single knee stretch, bring one of your knees up towards your chest. Repeat the stretch 2-3 times holding for at least 15 seconds. Do the same for the other knee. For the double knee stretch, you should bring both knees up towards your chest and hold for as long as you are comfortable.

Stretches are generally good for patients with disc herniation. For those with fractures in their vertebrae or spinal stenosis, stretches should be performed with extreme caution. Should experience any increase in lower back pain after performing your stretches, it is recommended that you stop the exercises. It is also highly recommended that you consult your physical therapist or doctor if you are unsure whether stretches are good for you.

Information regarding lower back pain stretches, exercises and medication options can be found here

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