Low back pain can be so annoying and even debilitating.
It’s often caused by bad posture or tension and stress and can occur whether you spend all day sitting, standing, or walking around.
Fortunately, low back pain can often be remedied with some simple stretches. Here are a few you should try next time you’re having low back pain:
Begin lying on your back, with your legs together and straight and your arms resting on the floor above your head.
On an inhale, bring your knees into your chest, wrapping your arms around them to pull them in, then lift your head and shoulders and bring your chin to your chest so you’re curled up in a little ball. On the exhale, slowly release, straightening the legs back down on the floor and bringing the arms back up above the head on the floor. Repeat twice more. After the third time, relax your head and shoulders down but continue hugging your knees in to your chest. Hold this and breathe.
While you’re in this pose, you can also gently rock from side to side for awhile, and then separate the legs a little while continuing to pull the knees in (and you can rock here as well). Breathe and hold/rock as long as you’d like.
2. Sacral Rolls
This is very similar to the Knee-to-Chest pose, with a slight variation.
Begin with your knees together in at your chest. Have one hand on each knee. Begin rolling around on your sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of your spine), rolling your knees in circles, back and forth, up and down—whatever feels good. Breathe.
Do Sacral Rolls for as long as you’d like—they’re really great for gently relieving low back pain.
3. Reclining Twist
Again, begin on your back with your knees in at your chest.
On an exhale, drop your knees down to the floor on the right. Then relax down into the pose (you may need to adjust your position a little to get comfortable). Breathe as you hold it.
Try to hold it for a minute or two (if it’s comfortable) before taking the knees slowly up, then moving into the pose on the other side.
This is a gentle flow series, which means you’ll be moving in and out of the poses with your breath.
Begin in Table pose, on your hands and knees. Make sure your wrists are lined up underneath your shoulders and your knees are lined up underneath your hips (your legs shouldn’t be touching but should be hip-width distance apart).
On an inhale, lift your sternum and your sit bones (the bones in the middle of your butt) as your stomach moves down towards the floor (so you’re arching your back). Gently look up as well. Then, on your exhale, move slowly out of Cow pose into Cat pose by rounding your back. Round your shoulders, press the middle of your back up toward the ceiling as your stomach lifts up, drop your sacrum down toward the floor, and bring your chin to your chest. Again, on the inhale, roll slowly back into Cow pose, arching the back and looking up. And on the exhale, roll back into Cat, rounding and dropping the chin and sacrum.
Do that series about 6 to 10 times slowly with your breath. Really focus on your breath as you do it, inhaling deeply and exhaling slowly.
5. Child’s pose
From Table pose, move your butt down toward your heels, bring your chest down to rest on your knees, and rest your forehead down onto the floor. In the full pose, the butt rests on the heels, but many people cannot do this, so don’t worry if your butt doesn’t come all the way down!
You have a couple of options in this pose for your arms and legs. You can have your knees together or you can separate them up to a little wider than hip-width distance apart. As for the arms, you can stretch them out straight in front of you, palms down, or you can have them back by your sides, palms up. Experiment with the variations of the pose to find the version you like best. Then relax down into it and breathe.
Hold it for a minute or more if it’s comfortable. You can even make this into a side stretch by walking your hands (arms outstretched for this one) to the right until you feel a nice stretch in your left side, then relaxing down into the pose as you hold it for a few breaths, then taking it to the other side.
There you have it! These simple stretches should have your back feeling better in no time. If you have chronic back pain, try to work them into your daily routine. In addition, yoga helps you build muscle strength and endurance.
These are gentle exercises, but always move carefully, and if something hurts or feels uncomfortable, come out of the pose. Consult your doctor first if you are recovering from an injury.
As with any exercise, move carefully and listen to your body.