There is a high prevalence of people suffering from back pain. Although the cause is usually biomechanical in nature (displaced vertebrae causing irritation to the corresponding spinal nerve), muscle tension and/or spasms are another cause that should not be overlooked. Stretching exercises can help relieve tension that may accumulate in the lower back.

There are three muscles that play an important role in the integrity of the lower back: the hamstrings, the multifidus muscle and the iliopsoas muscle.

Estiramiento músculos isquiotibiales

Stretching 1

Hamstring muscles.

To stretch this muscle, lie on your back on the floor with your legs fully straight, gently resting your heels on the wall without lifting your buttocks off the floor and tucking your belly button inward to make sure your lower back is completely flat against the floor. You should position yourself at a distance from the wall where you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your legs without feeling pain. If you feel pain in your legs, move further away from the wall and in case you do not feel a stretch, move slightly towards the wall. Hold this position for 2-3 minutes.

Estiramiento musculo multifido

Stretching 2

Multifidus muscle.

The second muscle to be assessed is an important stabilizer of the back that serves to extend the lumbar area (in addition to other functions). To stretch it, lie on your back on a hard surface (for example, on a mat on the floor). Bend both legs and with your hands pull your knees towards your chest. Do not strain your trapezius while doing this and keep your belly button in to make sure your lower back is completely flat against the floor. Hold the pose for 15 to 20 seconds and do 3 repetitions.

Estiramiento musculos iliopsias

Stretching 3

Iliopsoas muscles.

The third muscle is the iliopsoas which serves to flex the hip towards the chest. Many people who spend a lot of time sitting have this muscle loaded. To stretch the right side of this muscle, as illustrated in photo number 3, make sure your back is straight. You should notice a stretch in the groin area on the same side where the leg is placed behind the spine. Hold the posture for at least 15 seconds. Repeat 3 times on each side.

As these 3 muscles are directly attached to the spine and/or pelvis, stretching them can help relieve some back discomfort.

Note: The above tips are general guidelines. If you have any medical condition related to the spine or if you feel pain when doing these stretching exercises it is recommended that you visit a chiropractor.