Between Visits: 4 Easy Stretches for Lower Back Pain
Whether you’ve heard it in a kid’s show or remember the original song by Delta Rhythm Boys, “Dem Bones” is a familiar favorite that reminds you that:
“The hip bone’s connected to the back bone
The back bone’s connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone’s connected to the head bone,
Now shake dem skeleton bones!”
Everyone from your science teacher to your chiropractor has reminded you that everything is connected; that when one part of your body is affected, it influences the rest of your body to react accordingly. This concept often influences how we at Tuck Clinic build a conservative care plan around the unique state of your body and the pain you experience. This is especially is especially relevant when dealing with low back pain that trickles down into sciatica and leg pain.
A comprehensive care plan should go beyond clinical adjustments and extend into small adjustments in your daily life. After all, in order to feel better, you must live better! In between visits, there are a a few things you can do to keep your back happy and healthy. Stretching your body releases toxins and allows your muscles to reach their full spectrum of movement in a slow and safe manner, providing therapeutic relief. When you stretch the right muscles in your legs and hips, they also open up various back muscles, providing you with relief and improved flexibility.
Please keep in mind that these are only suggestions and you should consult with your doctor to identify any mobility limitations you should consider before attempting these stretches.
Resting Pose or Child’s Pose
To get into position, begin with your knees on the floor either together underneath you or spread apart and fold over your legs with your arms outstretched in front of you. As your tailbone stretches backward, try to reach your hands forward, lengthening the spine and opening your hips.
Affected Muscles: Hips, Lower, Middle and Upper Back, Shoulders
Additional Benefits: Stress Relief -This stretch presents very little strain and a whole lot of relaxation!
Lying Knee to Chest + Twist
As another passive pose, you get into position by starting with lying on your back. With one of your legs straight out, bring your other leg towards your chest and hold. Then, slowly bring your knee over your body to the opposite side, resting it on the floor. For an extra stretch, bring both arms straight out into the shape of a T.
Affected Muscles: Piriformis muscles, Paraspinal Muscles, chest, and shoulders
Additional Benefits: Twisting the abdomen strengthens your center and activates the digestive process.
Piriformis Seated Stretch
Begin this pose sitting straight up. Cross one leg over the other, with the lower leg lying down, tucked in under the opposite hip and the top leg with your knee pointed upwards with your foot placed next to your thigh. Place your arm around your top leg to pull inward, stretching the top leg. Be sure to continue to sit up straight.
Affected Muscles: Piriformis muscles, thigh muscle, lower back
Additional Benefits: Practicing positive posture
This stretch can be performed standing or sitting, based on your personal preference and level of mobility. Keep legs straight out with knees slightly bent to protect your knee joints and tendons. Bend over legs with a straight back. Do not sacrifice the strength of your back to reach closer to your toes. If you take this pose standing, you can grab your arms at your elbows to encourage gravity to stretch you further.
Affected Muscles: Hamstring, Lower Back, Upper Back
Additional Benefits: If taken standing, blood flow to the head improves circulation.
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