The following are some of the most common questions asked by our readers:
What does it mean when I read “stretching” my lower back?
It means that you’re doing something different from what your doctor or physical therapist suggests. You may have heard that stretching can improve flexibility, but there’s no evidence to support such claims. There’s even less evidence to suggest that it improves strength. If anything, studies show that strengthening exercises are better at improving flexibility than stretching exercises. So if you want to increase your flexibility, stick with those.
How do I stretch my lower back?
There are many ways to stretch your lower back and they all work differently. Some people like to lie down on their backs and use their hands or feet while others prefer lying flat on the floor (or other surface). Whatever works best for you will depend on how much strain you put on your lower back and how long you plan to stretch.
Can I do these stretches during the day?
Yes! Just make sure not to overdo them. Most people find that doing them between the hours of 8 am – 12 pm is enough to get the benefits. Do not perform any type of activity where you place excessive stress on your back, such as lifting heavy objects or working out vigorously.
Are there any specific stretches I should do for my lower back?
Yes! There are actually a few different exercises you can try. The wall press is one of the easiest and most effective exercises you can do. It focuses on the lower back, hips, and upper legs all at once, which makes it great for loosening up tight muscles. Using your elbows, knees, and feet, you simply push yourself away from a surface before pulling yourself back in. You can also try the hip flexor stretch to target your hips and upper legs. While standing, place one foot in front of the other and slowly bend forward until you feel a pull in your hips. These are just two of many different stretches for your lower back muscles.
Will these stretches help me if my pain is caused by something else?
Maybe, but only if the pain is coming from your lower back. You can try these stretches to help with any part of your body as long as you’re careful and don’t do too much at once. Keep in mind that you should never stretch a muscle that is already in spasms or feels otherwise very painful. If you do have severe pain or feel an intense numbness, seek medical attention immediately.
There are many different lower back stretches you can try. Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any exercise routine and stretch within your own limits.
Sources & references used in this article:
Electromyographic analysis of core trunk, hip, and thigh muscles during 9 rehabilitation exercises by RA Ekstrom, RA Donatelli, KC Carp – Journal of orthopaedic & sports …, 2007 – jospt.org
Preliminary development of a clinical prediction rule for determining which patients with low back pain will respond to a stabilization exercise program by GE Hicks, JM Fritz, A Delitto, SM McGill – Archives of physical medicine and …, 2005 – Elsevier
Whole body vibration exercise: are vibrations good for you? by M Cardinale, J Wakeling – British journal of sports medicine, 2005 – bjsm.bmj.com
Exercise during the childbearing year by RL Hammer, J Perkins, R Parr – The journal of perinatal …, 2000 – connect.springerpub.com