Over time, life takes a toll on our bodies, especially the lower back. The ease with which we do all kinds of lifting, twisting, and bending motions during our youthful years eventually becomes too much for our spine to handle—and the sudden surge of pain from our lower back is one of the many signs that we are getting on in years. Soothing the pain often requires a combination of treatments, with muscle stretching being a crucial approach to add to the list.
Stretches for chronic low back pain
Ask any back pain specialist in Singapore and many will agree that stretching promotes harmony among your bones, joints, and muscles, but only if you make it a habit. In other words, stretching exercises are most effective at quelling lower back pain when done regularly since they help prevent recurrences.
If you have chronic or recurring back pain, you can do this whenever the pain strikes. But generally, you should stretch out your back daily or a few times a week. Also, be gentle when you stretch to prevent injuring your back muscles or aggravating the cause of the pain, such as a compressed nerve. Without further ado, let us explore some effective stretches you can try to relieve back pain.
1. Single knee pull
This exercise requires you to lie on your back, bend one knee, and pull it as closely as you can toward your chest. To ensure a full stretch, grasp the back of the thigh and pull with your arms as well.
Next, flex your left foot and press the calf and thigh of that leg downwards until you feel the top of your left thigh and front of your left hip stretching. Hold this position for 10-30 seconds before returning to the starting position and repeating the steps with the other leg. Once done, do the process all over again three times.
2. Child’s pose
Get on all fours and keep your knees hip-width apart. Maintain this position while turning your legs inward until your big toes touch. Then, gently drop your buttocks towards your heels while simultaneously extending your hands forward and resting your forehead on the floor. Hold this final position for 10-30 seconds again and feel the stretch from your arms and shoulders all the way to the back. Once time’s up, go back to the starting position and repeat three times.
3. Double knee torso rotation
First, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet together. Next, put your arms out to the sides with palms up at shoulder level, keeping your shoulders pressed to the floor.
While tightening your abdominal muscles, lift your knees together towards your chest and then lower them to either side of the floor. Once your legs are down, look in the opposite direction and feel the stretch across your upper torso, chest, lower back, and hip. Hold for 10-30 seconds before lifting your knees back above your chest and placing them down the other side to repeat the stretch. Repeat the process three times.
4. Bridge pose
Assume the starting position from the previous exercise, but this time, keep your heels close to your glutes so you can more easily press into your feet and lift your hips. From here, try softening around your sacrum to release tension around the lower back. At the same time, lengthen or direct your sit bones toward the knees to activate the lower part of your gluteus maximus and release pain and tension. Hold for 30 seconds before going back to the starting position.
5. Gomukhasana (Cow-Face Pose)
The cow-face pose stretches the outer glutes, which often causes low back pain when they get too tight. First, sit down on the floor with your legs in front. Then, cross your left leg beneath your right until your left knee points straight in front and your left heel is close to your right buttocks. Now, position your right leg on top of your left so that your knees are somewhat stacked together and are both facing straight ahead. At this point, your feet should be on either side of your buttocks, with the toes pointing behind you. Maintain this position and remember to sit up straight to keep your spine long. Alternatively, you can bend your torso forward slightly to increase intensity.
When looking to get started with stretching exercises, be sure to ease into your regimen slowly. At first, never hold a stretch for longer than 30 seconds. Once you get used to your exercises, you can increase the length of your stretches every few days until you can hold them for a solid minute.
Most importantly, stop stretching if your pain worsens during the exercise, and do not attempt to get into the habit on your own if you have a diagnosed back problem. In that case, our pain specialists at Affinity Pain Clinic can help assess your condition and tailor a stretching program for your needs.
With our commitment to delivering personalised pain management for a wide range of pain conditions, we leverage our extensive knowledge and multidisciplinary approach to alleviating chronic pain symptoms to offer effective solutions that help you feel better no matter what ails you. To learn more about the pain conditions we can help with, such as back pain, neck pain, joint pain, elbow pain, and musculoskeletal knee pain in Singapore, do not hesitate to contact us today.