Try these stretches to help with those chronic aches and pains.  They are designed so you can do them at work or home – simply and effectively.

When you are familiar with them, you can do just the 2 or 3 stretches you find are most effective for you.

Note: If you have any of these complaints, you should be evaluated by a doctor:

  • Chronic pain of the neck or back.
  • Any neck or back pain that is associated with pain, numbness or tingling in the arm or legs.
  • Any neck or back complaint associated with muscle spasms or cramping.
  • Chronic pain or symptoms of recurring headaches, weakness, numbness or tingling of the upper or lower extremities should be evaluated by a doctor.

Before You Start:

  • Make sure the chair you use when stretching is stable and secure.
  • Do not push or stretch through pain or cramping – stop and get evaluated by a doctor.
  • Be very careful stretching a joint that is visibly swollen or is bruised.  You should be evaluated first.
  • Stretching is more effective if you are “warmed” up – meaning not the very first thing in the morning.
  • It helps to ensure that you are breathing deep and relaxed – so take a deep abdominal breath and as you slowly exhale, go into your stretch and continue to breathe deep and relaxed while you hold the stretch.

When in doubt, seek advice from a professional.

Lower Back Stretches

Single Knee to Chest– Lying on back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor (can perform stretch sitting or standing as well).  Hug one knee up toward chest, hugging under the knee joint, to feel a stretch in the buttocks. (see chart for  additional information).

Active Knee to Chest– Lying on back, hug both knees to chest.  Gently push knees up to ceiling (against resistance). Then hug knees tight to chest again.  Hold and repeat. (see chart for additional information).

Lumbar Rotation- Supine– Lying on floor with arms out at shoulder level.  Bend one knee and cross that leg over opposite leg.  Let knee drop across and over toward floor while turning the head to the opposite side.  Feel a stretch in the hip and low back. (see chart for additional information).

TFL/QL Trunk-Supine- Lying on back with knees bent, feet flat on floor, arms out to sides.  Roll knees and lower body from side to side, holding at each side, to feel a stretch in the low back and hip.

Seated Flexion- Sitting at edge of chair.  Suck stomach in and slowly bend upper body forward, bending vertebra by vertebra from the head down.  Bend forward at the waist (not at the hips) to feel a stretch in the low back.

Cat Arch- On floor on hands and knees.  Let head relax down, suck stomach muscles in toward the spine and arch spine up to the ceiling like an “angry cat”.

Lower Back Stretches

 Move Well * Eat Well * Think Well

Source by Dr. Dennis Mutell