Being a constant sufferer of lower back pain, I know just how exhausting and irritating and at times, debilitating, back pain can be. It’s during these moments we just want to lay in bed and abandon any form of responsibility that’s physically taxing. Bear in mind, feeling pain drains us of energy, and creates a cycle which promotes tense, sore muscles, further adding to the issue. The worst thing about this cycle is that exercise is the best way to ease pain and reduce the risk of another pain attack.
This is where gentle stretching can save the day and ease us back into a routine of exercise and whole body movement. The nice thing about gentle stretching is that it’s feasible to do when you’re in pain—and often provides the fastest relief. A few tips to keep in mind before you get started:
- Hold each stretch for a minimum of 10 seconds (preferably 30 seconds or longer). The longer you hold the stretch, the more you’ll experience pain-relieving benefits.
- Play some soothing music, or music that will help you let go and focus. This is not only a time for your body to feel relaxed and relieved, but your mind too.
- Slow down. Focus on the moves and don’t rush through them, each stretch is an opportunity to renew, rejuvenate and relax, enjoy it and allow it to feel like a treat rather than a chore.
Lower Back Pain Relief Nº1
To perform child’s pose, start by kneeling on your hands and knees, then release your toes on the floor and separate your knees about hip-width apart. As you exhale, slowly lower your buttocks towards the heels, feeling the tailbone lengthen away from the back of the pelvis as your torso folds over the thighs. Lengthen the back of your neck before your forehead rests on the floor. Lay your arms by the thighs with palms facing up, and feel how the weight of your shoulders lightly spreads the shoulder blades. For an in-depth demonstration, follow this relaxing tutorial by Yoga on Gaia, and benefit from a relaxed spine, shoulders and neck, increased circulation and a relief from tension headaches. This is a great pose to calm the central nervous system, helping us feel grounded and get back to basics. It’s also perfect for relieving that lower back pain as you are completely relaxed.
Lower Back Pain Relief Nº2
Many people never realise how important the position of your ribcage is when practicing a seated twist. This HowCast video beautifully explains the importance of rib positioning when twisting the spine. Body twists are perfect for wringing out your body so to speak. They aid digestion, promote elimination and provide an intensely relieving sensation as the muscles and bones stretch and relax, often ‘popping’. For lower back pain sufferers, the seated twist is a perfect practice before you go to bed, in the middle of the day, when you wake up… Anytime.
If you’re not accustomed to twisting, the simple seated twist is the perfect place to start. Begin by sitting on the floor in a cross-legged position. For added comfort, sit on a folded blanket to raise your hips. Breath deeply and with each inhale, elongate your spine. Now place your right hand flat on the floor behind you and your left hand on your right knee. On the exhale, move deeper into the twist while looking over your right shoulder.
Lower Back Pain Relief Nº3
Cat Cow Stretch
I get the cat part, but never quite understood the cow. Do cows really stand like that? Anyway, this movement is a classic for lower back pain – it guides the lower back muscles into opposing directions, helping to lengthen shortened muscles and sooth soreness. For this pose you begin on the floor supported by your hands and knees. Hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Your spine should be parallel to the ground in this position. Once you feel grounded and stable, start to round your back, stretching your mid-back between your shoulder blades (this is the cat part). For the cow part, relax and let your stomach fall downward as you gently arch your lower back and hold. For maximum effect repetitions should be at least 30 seconds long.
Lower Back Pain Relief Nº4
Yoga at Your Desk
For those of us locked into a job that requires us to be seated for the majority of the day, back pain and muscle stiffness is really hard to avoid. So it’s time to get a little inventive and sneak some yoga in our work days, not just before or after. Adrienne demonstrates in this next video how we can accomplish pain relief and increased flexibility whilst sat at our 9-5. ”This sequence is ideal for those who want to sneak in a quick yoga break or for those who are in healing and want to practice a little bit of opening with the support of a chair. Practice a little energetic hygiene and deep breathing! Open your heart, your shoulders and relieve tension! You can practice this puppy without sound too! Made with love. Namaste.” – YogaWithAdrienne
Enrol with us and become a Holistic Therapist
If you’re thinking of getting serious with your stretching habits, we offer a diploma-correspondent course in Yoga which entitles you to teach anywhere in the world! And the perfect compliment to our Yoga Course is our Meditation and Mindfulness Courses. Whatever you choose here with us at The School of Natural Health Sciences, you can be sure that your CV, spectrum of knowledge, and outlook on life will be forever enriched.