The spine is the fundamental base when performing any type of movement or exercise. We need a very stable and strong support to keep us in balance, and not run the risk of having problems or contracting pains such as in the lower back or lumbar spine.
Why do lower back pains suffer?
Low back pain can become chronic, and is characterised by acute pain that can vary, but usually lasts between two and three months if not treated correctly. As reported in the British Journal of Sport Medicine (BJSM), it is located just below the costal margin and above the lower buttock creases, with or without leg pain.
Low back pain is an injury that occurs in the tendons of the spine and muscles, and comes from various causes such as conditions, injuries, or diseases; a very common cause in women and men that makes it more or less impossible to walk, work, sleep or perform daily activities.
Low back pain can come on suddenly or gradually. Sometimes, it can occur from bending down, or without an apparent cause, but the pain is usually dull and sharp and can spread, if the back is forced, to the lower or back of the legs and can trigger sciatica, so the best way to avoid a serious condition is lumbar stretching.
Symptoms and how to prevent low back pain
Some of the most common symptoms of low back pain include:
- Postural problems: Many people with frequent back pain may have trouble standing upright. Standing with the back bent and torso to one side rather than in line with the spine causes the lower back to be flat rather than curved, so that over time the lower back begins to suffer.
- Stiffness: If we get up after sitting for a while and it is difficult to straighten or move our back and we need to stretch and walk to relax the area, the area has reduced range of motion, so we may eventually start to notice discomfort and pain.
- Muscle spasms: this is the most obvious symptom, because if the muscles in the lower back spasm or start to contract uncontrollably, it is difficult to stand, move or walk, as well as experiencing acute pain, it is a symptom of low back pain.
If you experience some of these symptoms and start to deal with frequent low back pain and discomfort, and you can no longer continue with your exercise practices and daily activities, it is important to know how to relieve the pain before the low back inflammation increases.
A study published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine (JCM), concluded that any type of exercise, whether aerobic or stretching, is the best way to reduce and relieve pain and to reduce the risk and prevent chronic back pain.
In particular, the report highlights that mindful exercises and lumbar asanas and stretches such as those practised in yoga are particularly beneficial and effective in reducing pain intensity and even disability.
Exercises and stretches to relieve lower back pain
It is best to try to hold the following exercises for at least 10 seconds each, but if you hold them for 30 seconds or more, so much the better, as the pain relief will diminish as you are able to hold the postures to improve the quality of the lumbar stretches.
In addition, you can find these moments as an opportunity to relax as much as possible to allow the stretches to have a greater effect on your body. For this, the most important thing in each posture is to make it conscious and to breathe at all times.
1. Lumbar Twisting Exercises
This exercise is very simple to practice and at the same time helps to relax and loosen the lumbar region in a very effective way, as the stretching is quite intense despite the simplicity of the posture itself.
To do this, lie on your back and keep your legs bent with your feet flat on the floor. Hold your ankles with your hands and hold for one minute. Then turn your knees to the right side and make sure your feet stay in place. Turn to the right and hold for a couple of minutes. Do the same on the opposite side. You will feel relief almost immediately.
2. Asana or half bridge exercise
This asana is performed in yoga postures as well as in any exercise series in the gym. It is particularly good for the lower back as it contracts the muscles of the lower back, while stretching and relaxing the muscles of the buttocks and abdomen. A very complete and very simple pose.
To do this, lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. Relax your shoulders and lift your pelvis off the floor without lifting your feet. If you can, use your hands, so you can interlace them and place them on the mat.
Once you are up, try to hold the position for about 20 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat as many times as you can. Ideally, do 30 to 50 repetitions.
3. Knee-to-chest lift
As with the previous postures, raising the knees to the chest is a very good stretch to lengthen and stretch the contracted muscles of the lower back.
To do this, lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands just below your knees and clasp both hands just below the kneecap. Gently bring both knees together towards your chest. Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds and return to the starting position.
4. Asana balasana
Balasana is one of the best postures for stretching and relaxing the area. It is a posture that, at first glance, seems simple, but its complexity lies in the maintenance of the posture.
Also known in yoga as child’s pose, it helps to soothe areas of inflammation. To do it, just sit in a seated position and lean back on your knees. Spread them slightly and lean forward with your arms stretched out as far as you can. If you feel pain or find it hard to hold the pose, you can place a support such as a cushion under your belly. Hold the pose for 20 to 30 seconds or more.
5. Cow-cat posture
This posture is quite dynamic and effective as it moves and stretches the lumbar muscles.
To do this, get on all fours with your hands just below your shoulders and place your knees just below your hips. Inhale and round your back to, if you can, look at your navel and hold for about five seconds. Exhale and arch your lower back as you look up and hold for another five seconds. Repeat the movement several times until you notice how your lower back relaxes and becomes more flexible.
In short, low back pain can be prevented and treated with the help of stretching, apart from some treatments to be applied to the area such as Orgono G7 Sport Recovery cream, effective for the recovery of the joints after physical effort and training, or Orgono Sport cold gel, designed for athletes and composed of organic silica, suitable for avoiding physical inactivity and reducing pain quickly.