Hi, it’s Dr. Brad Holden from HealthFirst Spine & Wellness, where we teach you to take control of your health by optimizing the core four of spine, mind, food, and move. Today we’re going to cover the top three low back stretches to alleviate low back pain. Now before we get into these it’s important, if you’ve not seen my video on the top six causes of lower back pain, you watch that first. Because muscle imbalances, and postural distortions are only one of the potential causes of lower back pain. You want to make sure you always are getting the correct treatment for the right cause, if that makes sense. So this video is really if you understand that you maybe have an anterior pelvic tilt going on, and some muscle imbalances. So we’re going to address that.
The three stretches we’re going to go over are going to be the psoas, or hip flexor stretches. We’re going to go over the erector lumbar, or the low back muscle stretches. We’re going to go over the hip and piriformis stretches, which are three common areas of tightness I see with my clients all the time. By the way, if you like the information you’re getting, make sure you subscribe to our channel so we continue bringing you goodness on the core four each and every week. Today we’ve got Nicole helping us out. She’s going to be demonstrating these stretches for us.
So Nicole, let’s go ahead and do the hip flexor stretch first. This is going target the psoas muscle. The psoas muscle attaches along the lower back into the hips. It can be chronically tight. A lot of the triathletes we take care of have chronically tight hip flexors from all the running, and being in the arrow position on their bike. People that sit a lot also have chronic tight hip flexors. This is one of the more trickier stretches to do. So if you want more detail, make sure you tune into our psoas stretch video as well.
So what we’re going to do is we’re going to start by tilting the pelvis posteriorly, or flattening the back. That’s going to pre tension the hip flexor there. Nicole is going to continue to contract her glute muscle on that same side. That’s going to help relax the muscle in the front. She’s then going to lunge forward in that direction, which she’s going to feel some stretch on that hip flexor already. To make it even more effective though, she’s going to take this arm, and she’s going to reach across her body, like that right there, to further elongate that muscle.
All of these stretches you want to hold for 20 to 30 seconds at a time. Each repetition you should be feeling a little bit of release in that muscle. If you’re feeling a lot of tension in that muscle, you’re stretching too hard. So stretching is kind of like we have to work with cold taffy. We have to get it warmed up, and let those tissues stretch. If we just jump in there and start trying to pull them apart, it’s going to backfire, the muscle is actually going to contract even tighter. We’re going to do both sides of these. So the prescription for all these is the same, three to five repetitions, 20 to 30 seconds each time. Let’s go ahead and come out of that Nicole.
Let’s go ahead and go right into a child’s pose now. So for child’s pose you’re simply going to start on all fours. From this position she’s going to rock back her hips onto her feet, go ahead and drop her head and her chest down to her arms. She can extend her arms out if she would like to get some stretches along the lats as well, which is good. Another modification of this is she can bring her arms down along her side, palms up in the air, again letting the chest relax. This exercise in particular I like to as I exhale imagine that my chest is sinking into my thighs a bit more.
For this last series of stretches I’m going to have Nicole, go ahead and roll over on your back there for me Nicole. We’ll kind of scoot towards this, into the mat a little bit. Here we’re going to stretch the hip muscles. The hip muscles we’re going to focus on are going to be the posterior joint capsule, the gluteals, and the piriformis. So we’re going to hit these all in the same stretch. So we’re going to start by crossing this foot on this knee. We’re going to bring this knee up to the chest. You can grab on with your right arm if you would like to kind of brace and support that. You can also put your left hand there to support your knee if you would like. You’re going to pull this up. Again, same recommendation, 20 to 30 seconds. This is really targeting more of the joint capsule. You can also take this knee there, and as you pull this in, push this down. It’s a little bit of a different stretch, but that’s okay if you want to add that in as well.
Next we’re going to roll right into the next position, where we roll about mid shin on the knee. The knee is going to come. The left knee being stretched is going to come more towards the center of the stretch. You’ll feel it more in the center of the glutes there. Again, 20 to 30 seconds. We’ll wrap this series up by bringing this knee all the way across. Now you can take this hand out if you like, kind of hug that knee right there with both arms, pull it to the opposite shoulder, and you’ll feel even a deeper stretch in that hip there.
So Nicole come on and sit right up. So those are the three stretches I’ve found to be most effective for lower back pain related to mechanical imbalances. Now there are obviously countless stretches and exercises that can be done. In our office with all of our clients we customize exactly what they need. But those are the three that show up over, and over, and over again for 90 plus percent of the population. If you’ve found value in this video, make sure you subscribe to our channel, so we can continue bringing you tips on spine, mind, food, and move every single week. If you have any ideas, or suggestions, or requests for videos you would like to see, or topics you would like us to cover, go ahead and post those down in the comments section. We’d love to be able to address your needs. Again, thank you so much for tuning in. Have a great day.