Helpful Articles from Connect Chiropractic

Low Back Pain: Stretch it out

low back pain chiropractor springvale

Lower back pain can be incredibly debilitating. Even moderate pain can make daily tasks difficult and prevent you from doing the things you love. 

But you’re not alone. Currently it’s reported that 80% of the Australian population suffer low back pain at some stage in their life. On a global scale, low back pain is among the top disease burdens and is the leading cause of ‘years lived with disability’ since 1990. 

What causes low back pain?

There are many factors that can lead to low back pain, including:

  • poor posture/ergonomics
  • poor fitness
  • weak core muscles
  • degeneration

The good news is you can play an active part in helping to manage the severity of your pain and reduce the rate of recurrence.

Stretches to help your lower back

Doing these low back stretches and core strengthening movements is one way to get you moving and feeling better.   

PLEASE NOTE: Before undertaking any of these stretches, please have a chat to your chiropractor (or health professional) to rule out contraindications and ensure these are safe to do. Stretches should not hurt and should only be completed to a level that is comfortable for you.

Knees to Chest
  1. Lie on your back (carpet or mat)
  2. Slowly pull up both knees as close to your chest as possible until you feel a stretch in your low/mid back
  3. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds
  4. To add a massage element, gently rock side to side during this stretch
  5. Slowly return to starting position
  6. Repeat 2-3 times day
Piriformis Stretch
  1. Lie on your back (carpet or mat) with knees bent and feet comfortably on the floor
  2. Cross your right leg over resting the ankle on the left knee
  3. Slowly pull your left knee towards your chest, feeling a stretch in the right buttock area
  4. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds
  5. Slowly release your knee and return to starting position
  6. Repeat for the left side
  7. Repeat 2-3 times a day, once or twice each side
Pelvic Tilt
  1. Lie on your back (carpet or mat) with knees bent and feet comfortably on the floor
  2. Employ the ‘neutral spine’ – a relaxed low back with a slight curve in the lumbar region
  3. Gently pull your belly button towards the spine to work your core muscles 
  4. Flatten your lower back against the mat by tilting your pelvis upwards
  5. Hold the stretch for 5 seconds
  6. Aim for 10 repetitions
Child’s Pose
  1. Begin in the ‘table top’ position with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips
  2. Ensure your spine is flat (like a table top). This is neutral position.
  3. Slowly sit back, resting your bottom on your heels
  4. Lean forward by reaching your arms out in front with palms on the floor
  5. Continue to reach forward until you can feel the stretch in your low/mid back. If possible, go as far as dropping your head to the floor. If you feel too much strain, try placing a pillow under your belly to help prop you up. 
  6. Hold the stretch for 20 -30 seconds
  7. Slowly return to starting position
  8. Repeat 2-3 times day
Cat/Cow Stretch

The two components of this stretch must be done together as a mobilisation stretch technique. Start in neutral ‘table top’ position, move to Cow (part where tummy drops down), move back to neutral, then onto Cat (where back is arched up), and back to neutral.

  1. Begin in the ‘table top’ position with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips
  2. Ensure your spine is flat (like a table top). This is neutral position. Gently activate your core by pulling belly button towards the spine.
  3. Cow Stretch: slowly drop your tummy towards the mat as you arch your low back, lifting your chin and chest up looking up at the ceiling
  4. Pull your shoulders down away from your ears and pull your shoulder blades apart
  5. Hold stretch for 5 seconds
  6. Slowly return to neutral position
  7. Cat Stretch: gently draw your belly to your spine and slowly round your back up towards the ceiling (similar to how a cat arches its back)
  8. Drop your head down as you look at the mat. Make sure you’re not pressing your chin into your chest. 
  9. Hold for 5 seconds
  10. Slowly return to neutral position 
  11. Repeat 5 times

We recommend you do these stretches daily because consistent stretching will result in relief of back tension, pain and stiffness, and improve your movement and mobility. Remember to employ gentle core activation when doing the Pelvic Tilt and Cat/Cow stretches, but this is not necessary in the other, more static stretches.

Chiropractic care is an effective, natural, drug-free alternative that can help relieve and heal lower back pain. If you’re struggling with low back pain or discomfort, book a consultation with one of our Chiropractors at Connect Chiropractic on 03 9512 5882.

Dr Nicole Hudson

Principal Chiropractor | Connect Chiropractic

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