Stretching for lower back pain 23 November 2015

Fun fact: lower back pain is the reason I started stretching! It's also the reason I launched Elle Fit Active and the stretching guides. Getting back to basics can do wonders for your physical and mental health. 

My back pain occurred mostly from not managing my scoliosis (and not really having any idea how to..). In saying that, even people without diagnosed back problems experience lower back pain. I'd say most people experience it at some stage throughout their life. 

If you spend the majority of your day sitting at a desk or standing for work and don't take the time to treat your muscles to a stretch, lower back pain is very common. A strong back and core and proper posture are also very important!

Over the years it's become quite apparent to me why my back seizes up and what I need to do prevent or relieve it. So I've put together some stretches and things that help me when I feel like a crippled 97 year old.

Please keep in mind everyone's pain is different - make sure you listen to your body and only do what feels good. If you have conditions or injuries relating to discs/ scoliosis/ kyphosis/ lordosis etc make sure you chat to your doctor/ chiropractor or whoever you see before commencing anything different. 

PS. Make sure you get to the bottom of this blog post for a special something :)


When I can barely bend over to put socks on I start gently and ease into things. I love getting a tennis ball/ back roller and rolling up and down my back to release the muscles close to my spine. Up against a wall is a good option if laying on the ground, or just the process of getting onto the ground sends your back into a spasm. 

Gently stretching side to side by holding the wrist is a great way to slowly get moving. I try to avoid any forward bending or back bending when my lower back isn't happy. Pay attention to what movements feel good or not so good for you.


Standing quadricep stretch. It's important to release the front and back of the body. Repeat on other leg. 


If standing is too much you can lay on the floor/ in bed and do the same quadricep stretch. Repeat on other side. 


Supine (lying on your back) spinal twist. Shift your booty to the side and slowly drop the knees to the side and look over the opposite shoulder. You can also do this with just one leg whilst keeping the bottom leg out straight. Repeat on other side. 


Knee to chest hug. A gentle way to stretch your glutes. You can do this with one leg or both legs at the same time.  

Thread the needle. Bring your left ankle over your right knee, keeping both feet flexed, thread your hands through and hold onto the right shin or behind the right thigh, draw the left knee away from you for a gentle glute stretch. Repeat on the other side. 

Pigeon is another great way to stretch your glutes - however if this is too hard on your knees, opt for the stretch above (thread the needle). Repeat on other side. 


Hamstring stretch. I find stretching my hamstrings whilst on my back a safer alternative than a normal forward fold when my lower back is seizing up. Repeat on other side. 



Low lunge. If you're doing a lot of sitting you will need to stretch out your hips/ psoas muscle (right side being stretched here - make sure to repeat on other side). 

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I hope these stretches can provide you with some relief. If you'd love to grab a copy of the Get Bendy eGuide & poster make sure you enter BACKPAIN at the checkout for a discount!




HAPPY STRETCHING!

Elle :)