Many people all around the world suffer from lower back pain known as sciatica that is manifested by experiencing pain starting from the lower back, going through the hip up to the toes. This pain is mostly a result of long sitting hours in front of a screen or due to injury.
However, there is a way how we can alleviate this pain and that is implementing stretching exercises performed regularly.
For that purpose, Kelly Collins, a yoga teacher with a degree in physiotherapy at the University of San Diego, demonstrated 8 postures that can help us with this issue. They can be easily performed at the comfort of our home.
8 Efficient Stretching Postures
- Posture of the child
This basic stretching movement makes it possible for the whole back to stretch and at the same time opens the hips by stretching the buttocks.
Here it is how to perform it: begin the movement on all fours, and then spread your knees but make sure that your big toes touch each other. Next, position your hips on the heels and start moving your both hands forward till the forehead reaches the ground. In this position leave your arms to relax on the floor. Keep this position for half a minute.
- Recumbent posture
This posture targets the muscles of gluteal, piriformis (pelvic muscle) and lower back, thus lowering the hip pain and releasing the lower back.
Take a lying position on your back, and then bend your right knee by putting your right ankle over the left knee on the thigh. Next, place the right hand between the legs and keep together your hands behind the left thigh. Start pulling your left thigh towards your torso, but make sure that your head and shoulders are down on the ground. Keep this posture for half a minute, and after that change sides.
- Torsion posture
By performing this movement you are stretching the lower back and as well as by elevating the external rotation of the hip you are lowering the hip pain.
Take a lying position with your flat back on the floor, and then start bending your right knee and put the right ankle over the left knee on the thigh. Place your hands near your head positioned on the floor like taking a cactus position. Flex your feet and allow for your knees to gently fall to the right securing that your right ankle is over the left thigh in order to perform a slight twist. Keep this position for a half a minute, and after that change sides.
- Opening of the adductors and flexors of the hip
Begin this posture by taking a standing position with your feet apart, heels in, and toes pointed at 45 degrees. Squat and position your hands on the inside of your thighs. Press your thighs to stay open so that to feel the stretch inside the thighs and groin. Keep this posture for half a minute.
- Legs apart
By taking this position you will manage to stretch the lower back, upper back, buttocks, and hamstrings.
Take a standing position with your feet apart and toes pointing straight ahead. Lower your chest down until you bring your hands to the floor. Support your body on the elbows with your head hanging. Keep it for 30 seconds, and then gradually return to your initial upright position.
- Posture of the cow’s head
Stretch the outer hips and lower back by taking this position: just sit on the ground, and put the right knee bent on the top of your left knee. Take a few deep breaths and keep this position for half a minute.
- Neck twist
The performance of this stretch will release the lower back, glutes and piriformis.
Sit on the floor with your knees bent, and then cross your right leg under your left leg in order to bring your right foot out of your left thigh. Put your left arm behind you with your fingers on the floor, take a deep breath while you are lengthening the spine, and then exhale to turn to the right, wrapping your right arm around the front of your right shin. Keep this position for half a minute and after that change sides.
- Happy baby postured
This posture targets the flexor muscles of the hip and opens the lower back.
Take a lying position with your flat back on the ground, bend your knees and bring them towards your chest so that your hands touch the outer edges of your feet or ankles. Your thighs are wide open, just like an infant stretches itself. Keep this position for half a minute.