Lower back pain is a common scourge that promises to take all the joy out of life. Low back pain is the most common musculoskeletal complaint worldwide, and it is estimated that up to 85% of all adults will suffer from low back pain at some point in their lives.
The majority of low back pain is ‘non-specific’, meaning the pain is present in the absence of a specific underlying condition that can be reliably identified.
Only a tiny percentage of adults suffer from lower back pain due to a serious underlying condition. There is strong evidence to suggest that bed rest is not helpful and may even make your condition worse in the long run!
The key to a quick recovery and preventing relapses is to stay as active as possible and gradually increase your activity level. The good news is that the prognosis for acute low back pain is excellent. Up to 90% of cases improve within days or weeks with proper self-care.
Discover our 5 easy tips to implement at home to relieve your lower back pain.
1) Lumbar bearings:
- Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your feet planted on the floor.
- Gently lower your knees from side to side, causing a twisting motion in your lower back.
- Do this exercise for 30 to 60 seconds to relax the lower back joints.
- This is a great exercise to do first thing in the morning, as your joints can stiffen during sleep.
2) Modified glute stretch:
To perform a modified glute stretch:
- Start by lying on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Place a rolled up towel under your right knee and use your left hand to pull your right knee towards your left shoulder.
- You should feel a stretch in your right butt. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then repeat the exercise on the other side.
- Remember to breathe deeply as you hold the stretch.
Doing this stretch regularly can help loosen tight gluteal muscles and improve range of motion in the hips.
3) QL Stretch:
The Quadratus Lumborum muscle runs from the spine, just below the rib cage, to the pelvic bone, at the back of the hip (just above the buttock).
- To stretch this muscle, stand with your feet together.
- Raise one arm above your head (side to stretch).
- Extend your arm upward, above your head, toward the other side of your body.
You should feel the stretch in the lower back area, but you can also feel it in the forearm. To get a stronger stretch, you can cross the leg on the side you’re stretching behind the other leg. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat it 3-5 times a day.
4) Hamstring stretch:
- Stand in front of a step or a low chair.
- Place one foot on the step, bending the knee slightly.
- Keeping your back straight, tilt your hips and reach for your foot.
You should feel this sensation in the back of your leg, between your knee and your buttock. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat 3-5 times daily.
5) Stretching the hip flexors:
- Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Next, place your hands on your hips and slowly lift your hips off the floor until you feel a stretch in your muscles.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds, then slowly lower your hips back to the floor. Repeat this stretch 3 to 5 times.
If you’re looking for a deeper stretch, try adding a resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees.
- Start in the same position as before, but this time raise your hips until the band is taut.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds, then release it and repeat the exercise 3 to 5 times.
These tips are given for general information only and may not apply to your specific back pain. If you are not sure if these exercises are right for you, if your pain does not decrease, or if your back is exacerbated by these exercises, get yourself evaluated by a medical professional before your situation worsens.