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Stretches for Lower Back Pain Relief

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Try these seven stretches to soothe sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

Chronic lower back pain can be extremely debilitating, and it can be nearly impossible to do the physical activities you once enjoyed if you are one of the many people who suffer from it. If you have lower back pain, there is a chance that it is being caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction. The sacroiliac joint connects the sacrum to either the right or the left iliac bones, which are the large bones that form your pelvis. These joints support the weight of your entire body when you are upright, help you to balance as you walk, and absorb shock to the spine. For the most part, they are immobile and allow for just a few degrees of rotation.

There are certain stretches that have been shown to improve and even eliminate lower back pain caused by sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Practice the below sequence once or twice a day for maximum results. All you need is a mat, a yoga block or pillow, and a wall.

By Kelly Collins

 

Double Knee Hug

Double-Knee-Hug.jpg

  • Lie down on your back with your legs out long.
  • Lift both of your knees to your chest.
  • Hug your knees to your chest with your arms and hold for 30 seconds.

 

Lower Trunk Rotation

Lower-Trunk-Rotation.jpg

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hips-width distance on the floor.
  • Cactus your arms so that your elbows are in line with your shoulders and engage your abs.
  • Inhale, then exhale to lower your knees towards the right side of your mat, twisting your torso. Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Inhale your knees back to the center, then exhale to lower them towards the left side of your mat. Hold for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat 5x on each side.

 

Bridge

Bridge.jpg

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hips-width distance on the floor. Reach your arms down by your sides with your palms facing down.
  • Engage your abs and inhale to lift your hips up towards the ceiling to come into a bridge.
  • Engage your glutes and inner thighs. Hold for 30 seconds, then slowly release one vertebra at a time.

 

Supine Figure Four

Supine-Figure-4.jpg

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hips-width distance on the floor.
  • Place your right ankle above your left knee, on the thigh. Loop your right hand between your legs and interlace your hands behind your left thigh.
  • Keep your head and shoulders on the ground as you hug your leg towards you. Feel the stretch through your outer right hip. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

 

Cow Face Legs

Cow-Face-Legs.jpg

  • Start in a seated position. Bend your left knee in towards your body, then bend your right knee and place it over your left knee.
  • Try to have your knees perfectly stacked, one on top of the other, and keep your feet flexed to protect your knees. Both of your sit bones should be pressing into the ground. If this is not possible, then prop your hips up onto a yoga block or pillow to allow equal weight on both sit bones.
  • Place your fingertips behind you and sit up nice and tall, taking deep, slow breaths.
  • If you feel like you want to go a little deeper, you can walk your hands out in front of you, making sure to keep your sit bones pressing down.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

 

Child’s Pose

Child’s-Pose.jpg

  • Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. Bring your big toes together and take your knees out wide.
  • Slowly sit your hips back on your heels. Then, walk your hands forward until you can lower your forehead to the ground.
  • Continue walking your hands out in front of you until your arms are straight but your shoulders are relaxed away from your ears. Hold for 30-60 seconds.

 

TFL Wall Stretch

TFL-Wall-Stretch.jpg

  • Stand slightly more than an arm’s distance from a wall, with your right side facing it.

  • Cross your right ankle in front of your left. Then, lean your right hand into the wall, keeping your arm straight. Place your left hand on your hip.

  • Keeping your legs straight and your hips square, move your right hip toward the wall until you feel a stretch in your right outer hip. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Read the full article here.

All images courtesy of Kelly Collins.

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