Stretching the back muscles is a beneficial way to reduce back pain and tension, improve your range of motion, and strengthen the lower back muscles.
When stretching your back muscles, it’s critical to be gentle so that you carefully and safely build up strength and release tension.
For back pain relief, there are a few different stretches you can try.
The child’s pose is a restorative pose in yoga designed to stretch the muscles of the lower back, buttocks, and thighs while releasing tension along the neck, shoulders, and spine.
To get into the child’s pose:
- Find a tabletop position with your hands and knees on the ground
- Sink your hips back until they rest at your heels
- Slowly fold forward as you walk your hands out in front of you, eventually resting your stomach on your thighs
- Extend your arms out as you breathe deeply to release any lingering tension
You can hold this pose for one minute or as long as it feels good.
This stretch releases tension from your lower back while relaxing the muscles of your hips, glutes, and thighs.
For the knee-to-chest stretch:
- Lie on your back, planting your feet on the floor
- Pull your right knee to your chest while extending your left leg to the floor
- Avoid lifting your hips as you hug your knee into your chest, wrapping your hands behind your thigh or around your shinbone
Breathe deeply for up to a minute before repeating the stretch with the left leg.
Stretching your back like a sphinx allows you to engage in a gentle backbend that strengthens and lengthens your spine, chest, and core.
To find the sphinx stretch:
- Start lying on the floor, stomach down
- Plant your hands ahead of your shoulders as you engage your glutes and core, slowly lifting your chest from the floor as you lengthen your arms
- If this stretch feels too intense, lower your forearms to the ground with your shoulders stacked over your elbows
- Hold for 30 seconds to a minute before releasing back to the ground
Carefully stretching and strengthening your lower back can offer long-term pain relief and an immediate release of tension. As you perform these exercises, you should be able to breathe comfortably and smoothly. By using your breath as a gauge, you can ensure you don’t overdo it.
Regenerative Medicine for Lower Back Pain
Regenerative medicine is a rapidly evolving field that aims to develop new therapies to treat a wide range of medical conditions, including lower back pain. There are several potential regenerative medicine treatments that are being investigated for lower back pain, including:
Stem cell therapy: Stem cells are cells that have the ability to differentiate into many different types of cells in the body. Stem cell therapy involves injecting stem cells into the affected area to promote the growth of new, healthy tissue.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy: PRP therapy involves extracting a patient’s own blood, processing it to concentrate the platelets, and then injecting the concentrated platelets into the affected area to promote healing and tissue regeneration.
These are options available for patients who may want to explore an alternative option either in place of or in conjunction with traditional therapies available. Choosing a facility that offers these options should have board-certified providers performing the therapies and a positive and reputable background. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine which may be best for your care and wellness.