As adults, many of us will suffer with lower back pain at some point. Here are some simple stretches you can do to strengthen your lower back and help to alleviate/prevent pain.
- Partial Sit-Ups
Lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor, and your arms crossed over your chest, or behind your head. Take a deep breath, and tighten your stomach muscles, then raise your shoulders from the floor, exhaling as you do so. Avoid leading with your elbows or neck, try to keep your neck in line with your spine. Repeat 10 times.
Lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor hip width apart, and your hands by your sides. Press your feet into the floor and slowly raise your hips off the ground so that your body is in a straight line from shoulders to knees. Keep shoulders on the floor. Hold for 15 seconds and then slowly lower your hips. Rest for 10 seconds and then repeat – do so 12 times.
- Bird Dog
Get down on your hands and knees. Tighten your ab muscles. Extend one leg behind you while keeping your hips level. Hold for 5 seconds, then lower your leg back to your start position and repeat with the other leg. If possible, each time try extending the opposite arm at the same time as the leg. Repeat 12 times.
- Knee To Chest
Lie on your back with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor hip width apart, and your hands by your sides. Draw one knee up to your chest, keeping your back and the other foot flat on the floor. Hold it for up to 30 seconds, and repeat 2-4 times for each leg.
What to avoid:
- Avoid doing nothing. Lying in bed or sitting all day can make it worse.
- Don’t force yourself to do something that hurts. If it hurts to bend or turn a certain way, don’t do it as it could cause damage.
- Don’t forget to warm up before exercising – try 5-10 minutes of low impact cardio such as walking, along with a few stretches.
- Don’t lift heavy objects or try any high impact exercises such as running, jumping, and playing sports such as basketball.
If you’re in a lot of pain, here are some more simple stretches you can try, once or twice a day, 10 times per stretch:
- Stand up and place both hands behind you as if putting them in the rear pockets of your jeans; look up and extend (arch) your back.
- Lie on your stomach and place your hands on the floor as if you were starting a
push-up. Press just your upper body up, allowing your lower back to sag by keeping your hips close to the ground. Hold for a few seconds.
- Swimming can also help ease the pain.