Lower back pain is one of the most common body aches nowadays, affecting millions of people around the world. It can make your back sore and stiff, and the pain can range from mild to severe. Between 60-80% of people in the USA are affected by some kind of back pain which can prevent you from doing your daily chores.
Sciatica is another painful problem that affects a big part of the population – it is caused by inflammation in the sciatic nerve and can be pretty difficult to resolve. Painkillers rarely work in cases of sciatica, but luckily, stretches do.
Stretching will support your back in many ways. It will make it more durable and stronger and will prevent pain and stiffness when lifting heavy objects. Stretching will make you more flexible as well and allow you a better range of movement. Furthermore, it will strengthen your back muscles and improve your posture, effectively preventing a wide range of injuries.
Here are 6 simple sciatica stretches that will relieve your lower back or hip pain:
The camel pose
Works on: rectus abdominus muscle and the external obliques
Go down on your knees on the floor and put your hands on your feet behind you, then stretch as far back as you can without putting too much pressure on your lower back. In this way, you’ll be able to stretch your abs and improve your posture and core stability. This pose is one of the best stretches against lower back pain.
The wide forward fold
Works on: adductor muscles
Sit down on the floor and keep your back straight, then straighten your legs slowly and lean forward to reach your feet. This stretch will work on your hips and improve your mobility, while preventing sprains and injuries in your back.
Works on: adductor muscles
To do the frog pose, go down on all fours, then widen your knees slowly until you feel tension in the groin. Push against the floor with your hips to open them even wider.
Wide side lunge pose
Works on: adductors and hamstrings
Squat down in a wide stance facing forward, then shift your weight on the left food and extend the right with the toes pointing at the ceiling like in the picture above. Besides opening up your hips and improving your flexibility, this stretch will also work on the areas through which the sciatic nerve passes.
Works on: adductors
Sit on the floor and bend your knees, then touch your soles and keep your back straight. Press your hands into the knees and bring them as close to the ground as possible until you feel the stretch.
Forearm extensor stretch
Works on: forearm extensor
Stand upright with your shoulders rolled backward and your chest stuck out forward, then stretch the left hand and fold your fingers with the right hand cupped over it. Now, use the right hand to press the left toward your body until you feel a slight stretch. This exercise will improve your grip and reduce the risk of injuries while lifting heavy stuff.