Low back pain affects at least 80% of people at some point in their lives. It is considered a leading cause of disability by the World Health Organization. It is usually recurrent and the cause can be difficult to diagnose.
WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR YOUR LOW BACK PAIN?
These stretches are safe for everyone. If you have low back pain or want to prevent yourself from getting low back pain, you can start with some simple exercises and stretches that work on the muscles associated with keeping your pelvis and low back functioning well.
Begin on all fours with a neutral spine, squeezing your abdominals. Take a deep breath in and on your exhale, move your spine toward the ceiling reaching your head and tailbone toward the ground, creating a C shape. Moving on your exhale again, pass through neutral and continue reaching your sternum toward the ground and your head and tailbone toward the ceiling. Repeat 10x twice daily.
Sit with your back resting against a wall. Extend one leg directly in front of you and tuck the other leg in. Keeping your back straight, knee straight and shoulders down, reach toward your foot. Take deep breaths and hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
PIRIFORMIS (HIP MUSCLE) STRETCH
Lie on your back and bend your knees. Cross your right ankle over your left knee and press your knee away from your body. To deepen the stretch, pull your left thigh toward your body. You should feel this stretch in the buttock and hip of your bent leg. Take deep breaths and hold for 30 seconds-1 minute. Repeat on both sides
PSOAS (HIP FLEXOR) STRETCH
Begin facing a chair with one foot on the chair. Your back leg should be about 3 feet from the chair. Face both feet and hips forward and bend front knee. Press forward through the hips and maintain an upright torso. Keeping shoulders down, raise arms in the air for added stretch. Hold 30 secs.
Begin on all fours with a neutral or straight spine. Brace your abdominals by squeezing them tight. Raise one arm to make a straight line with your back. Keep your shoulder away from your ear and hold this for 30 seconds. Repeat with other arm up. Next, raise one leg to hip height making a straight line with your spine, keeping the front of both hips facing the floor. Brace your abdominals and do not let your back sink down. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 3x per arm and leg.
GLUTEAL ACTVATION/ PELVIS TILT
Lay on your back and think of squeezing your buttocks as if making a fist with them. Do not use your legs or low back to do this. While maintaining the gluteal contraction, press your low back into the ground to feel your lower abdomen squeezing. Hold for 10 seconds and breathe. Repeat 10x twice daily.
For a printable handout, click here. LOW BACK PAIN HANDOUT