Two Great Stretches to Prevent Low Back Pain/Stiffness
Low back pain and stiffness can be a complex issue. Many people suffer from it, and it has several different causes. If you’re one of those that do NOT have low back pain, the best thing you can do is work to PREVENT it!
Once you suffer some sort of trauma to the low back (depending on how severe) you can become more susceptible to future back injuries and may even develop chronic back conditions.
I’m going to give you two of my favorite stretches that help prevent back pain and stiffness. Some may be surprised because neither of these two stretches directly stretch the back!
This is because more often than not, the cause of back pain is some type of muscle imbalance within the hips and upper hamstrings. Some of the hip muscles are connected to the lumbar (lower) spine, and when they get tight, they pull on the low back, creating discomfort.
We can stretch these muscles to alleviate some of this pain, or prevent it altogether.
Standing Hamstring Stretch
This is an incredible effective stretch for the hamstrings. This is actually two stretches in one, because it also stretches your erector spinae and allows for decompression of the spine. It really helps to take the stress off of your spine, perfect after a long day!
Let your head dangle and you’ll feel instant relief. Do this stretch two or three times for 30-60 seconds each time, taking deep breathes.
Hip Flexor Stretch
Your hip flexors (more specifically, the Psoas Major) connects directly to your low back and can pull on it when it gets tight. Hip flexors are almost always tight on the majority of people.
This is because some people sit for most of the day (i.e. a desk job). When we are in the sitting position, the hip flexors are flexed and shortened. Over time, this can cause them to stay this way unless they’re stretched.
When doing this stretch, you can put your knee on the ground if you’d like, you may feel uncomfortable keeping it raised, or maybe not advanced enough to hold it there.
It might take a few tries to feel this stretch right, but you should feel a huge pull at the top section of your quads (where your ball and socket joint is). To feel it even more, take the hand on the side which you’re stretching and raise it and reach over your head to the opposite side.
For example, if you’re stretching the right hip flexors, raise your right hand above your head and reach over to the left as far as you can without falling over.
Hold this stretch for at least 30-60 seconds on each time, about two or three sets.
For more information on how to actually workout with low back pain, click here.
Using these stretches daily will help with your back pain and also help to prevent you from getting it in the first place if you don’t have it.