Back pain is a common condition affecting one-third of adults every year, according to Bupa. Lower back pain is particularly common, and while not usually serious can be extremely unpleasant to live with. Back pain usually clears up on its own after a few days, weeks or months, depending on what has caused it and how severe it is. However, the recovery process can be sped up by taking measures to strengthen the muscles. An effective way to do this is to exercise and stretch the affected area.
Here are five stretches which can help relieve a bad back:
Kneel down on all fours, keeping your hands and knees shoulder width apart, with your hips directly above your knees and shoulders directly above your hands.
Slowly move your hips backwards so your buttocks reach your heels. Hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat three to four times, daily.
Lumbar rotation stretch
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Keeping your knees together, lower them to the floor as far as you can on one side.
Hold the stretch for a couple of seconds, return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Repeat three to four times on each side, daily.
Lie on your back with your legs straight and back slightly arched. Lift one leg toward your chest, bending it at the knee.
Hold it there with your hands until you feel a gentle stretch. Keep the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds and slowly return to the start position. Repeat three to four times with each leg, daily.
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Gently pull your belly button towards your spine.
Tilt your pelvis and flatten your back to the ground. Hold for five seconds before returning to the start position. Repeat five to 10 times, daily.
Kneel on all fours, ensuring your back is straight and head in line with your body.
Arch your back upwards and let your spine arch downwards, before returning to the start position. Repeat five to 10 times, daily.
“If you have low back pain, it’s important to stay physically active. Not only is exercise great for your overall health, it may help to reduce back pain and prevent it coming back,” said Bupa.