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Lower Back Stretches to Relieve Pinched Nerves

by
author image Dana Severson
Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.
Lower Back Stretches to Relieve Pinched Nerves
Someone helping with a lower back stretch. Photo Credit debstheleo/iStock/Getty Images

A pinched nerve in the lower back is likely the result of a herniated disk. These pads of cartilage can slip or tear, placing pressure on your sciatic nerve, disrupting its function and leading to sciatic pain in the back, though it usually radiates out to the hip and leg. Stretches can alleviate some of the pain, but talk to your doctor before doing any type of exercise to relieve a pinched nerve.

Prone Stretches

Lie on your stomach with your legs extended behind you. Bring yourself up onto your elbows and press your hands into the floor, causing your lower back to arch slightly. Hold this stretch for five seconds and release. Repeat for a total of 10 repetitions.

For a more advance form of this stretch, bring yourself up onto your hands instead of your elbows. Again, start off lying on your stomach. Place your palms on the floor just in from of your shoulders. Press your hands into the floor, extending your arms until they’re straight. Like in the previous stretch, feel your back arching. Hold for one second and release. Repeat for a total of 10 repetitions.

Come up onto your hands and knees, positioning your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees just behind your hips. Your back should form a straight line. From this position, arch your back, pushing your bellybutton toward the floor. Reverse this motion by arching your stomach and pushing your upper back toward the ceiling. Repeat for a total of 10 repetitions.

Supine Stretches

Roll over onto your back and draw your heels toward your buttocks until your knees are bent at a 45-degree angle. Rest your hands on your chest with your elbows on the floor. Arch your back, pointing your bellybutton toward the ceiling. Feel your pelvis rotate down slightly. Hold for five seconds before releasing. From here, flatten your lower back toward the floor, moving your bellybutton away from the ceiling. Hold for five seconds and release. Repeat for a total of 10 repetitions.

While still on your back, with your hands resting on your chest and your knees at a 45-degree angle, tighten your abdominal muscles and raise your hips off the floor. Your upper body should form a straight line with the front of your thighs. Hold for five seconds before releasing. Repeat for a total of 10 repetitions.

Standing Stretch

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and rest your hands gently on your hips. Bend your knees slightly to better balance your body before moving into the stretch. From this stance, arch the back slowly. Feel your shoulders moving backward slightly. Hold this stretch for five seconds and release. Repeat a total of 10 repetitions.

Other Stretches

Besides stretching the lower back, you may also need to stretch the hamstrings. When these muscles are overly tight, you may begin to experience lower back problems. Lie down onto your back with your knees at a 45-degree angle. Lift your right foot off the floor, keeping your knee bent. Grab this knee with both hands and draw it towards your chest. Hold this stretch for five seconds before releasing. Do the same for the left side of your body. Repeat for a total of 10 repetitions.

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