Lower back pain is one of the most common problems that people have. It can range from slight stiffness or soreness to a painful sting or a “shocking” feeling. Regardless of what type of back pain you are experiencing, approximately 60-80% of Americans are suffering from some sort of back pain.
Whether you have minor discomfort, or a more serious condition such as sciatica, you can improve the health of your back by increasing the strength and flexibility of the muscles that support your back – especially the ones found in your abdominal, hip, pelvic and back area. One of the best ways to do this is through stretching.
Benefits of Stretching
Stretching helps support your back in a variety of ways. In order to have a healthy back it has to be durable and malleable. How many of you have come close to pulling your back when trying to lift something heavy? In order to prevent this you have to make sure that your back is able to comfortably reach certain positions and have the strength to get out of those positions. For example, when you squat down to pick up a heavy load you want to be flexible enough to get down to that position, and when you actually pick up the heavy load you want to be strong enough to easily lift it.
Stretching can assist you with both of these components. Everybody knows that stretching makes you more flexible, and this flexibility allows you to access a greater range of motion. What many people don’t know is that this also assists in strength building. The greater range of motion you have, the more comfortable you are in certain positions, for example a squat. This allows you to access more of the different muscles in your body which then assist in lifting heavy objects, rather than putting the entire burden on your back. It also stabilizes your core, which can improve your posture and further prevent risk of injury to the lower back.
Now that you know the benefits of stretching for your lower back, here are some stretches that can help prevent back pain and sciatica.
1. Camel Pose
Muscles Stretched: Rectus Abdominus and External Obliques. Kneeling down, place your hands behind you on the bottom of your feet and push your hips up and forward. Make sure that you are not putting pressure on your lower back. This stretches the abdominal muscles which increases your core stability and can improve your posture, one of the best ways to prevent lower back issues.