Strong back muscles are necessary for general movement of your body, maintaining good posture and avoiding pain. In the process of keeping your back strong, working out can create sore back muscles that need tending to before you can get back to hitting those weights on a regular basis. Likewise, constant inactivity such as working from a desk or being put on medical bedrest can have a toll on your muscles as well, creating a sore back that can be difficult to soothe. Fortunately there are a few things that you can do to loosen the tension in your back and relieve some pain.
Piriformis Seated Stretch
If you work on your feet for most of the hours in the day then your sciatic nerve is at risk for being pinched causing serious pain in your back and down your leg. This stretch helps to lengthen your piriformis muscle, so that your sciatic nerve will be less likely to be pinched. To perform this stretch you should start in a seated position on the floor. Keep your back straight and pull your left foot back towards your buttocks keeping your left leg on the floor. Lift your right leg up and over your left leg and place your foot flat against the floor so that your right knee is up at your stomach. Place your left hand around your right knee and gently pull it towards you to deepen the stretch. Hold this pose for at least thirty seconds before switching sides.
Cat & Cow
The cat and cow yoga stretch is one of the simplest stretches for a sore back. All you need is a big of floor space and perhaps a small towel to roll up and put under your knees for cushioning. Start on all fours on the floor, with a towel under your knees if you want a bit of padding. Keep your spine and neck parallel to the floor. Push your back up towards the sky while pulling your head in towards your chest to get into the cat position of this stretch. Hold this position for thirty seconds. Next release your back and let it sink down towards the ground while bringing your gaze forward. This is the cow position of the cat and cow yoga stretch. Hold this pose for thirty seconds before starting over again.
For pain and tightness in your lower back or abdominals the cobra yoga stretch is particularly helpful. You may want to bring out a yoga mat or large towel for this stretch however as it will have you lying face down on the ground. Begin by placing your mat on the ground and laying down on your stomach. Keep the tops of your feet pressed against the ground with your toes pointed backwards. Bend your arms so that your forearms are on the ground and your upper arms are perpendicular to it. Lift your upper body up keeping your head in neutral spine and resting your weight on your forearms. If you are a bit more flexible or looking for a deeper stretch straighten your arms. Hold one of these positions for thirty seconds before lowering down and beginning again.
Knee To Chest
A sore back is one of the most inconvenient ailments and a sore lower back is one of the hardest to rid yourself of, but this stretch will help eliminate the pain in your lower back and buttocks. Bring out that yoga mat or long towel again because this is another stretch you’ll need to do laying on the floor. To begin lay on your back with your feet flexed and your toes pointing upward. Keep your left leg flat against the ground and pull your right knee up to your chest. Keep your knee bent at a 90 degree angle and grasp your hamstrings for a slight stretch or bring your hands to the front of your knee and pull it closer to your chest for a deeper stretch. Hold this position for thirty seconds before switching sides.
Lying Knee Twist
This stretch will loosen your paraspinal muscles in your sore back to help relieve pressure and stress. To perform this stretch begin by laying down on a yoga mat or long towel on your back with your feet flexed and toes pointed upward. Lift your left leg up and over your right leg lowering your left foot to the floor on your right side. Keep your back straight and firmly pressed against the floor. Place your right hand over your left knee and gently apply pressure to deepen your stretch. Hold this stretch for thirty seconds and slowly release your left leg back to its resting position so that you can stretch your right leg.
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