The Best Back Stretches for the Sacral Area

senior woman with neck pain
It is important to stretch your back. (Image: Tomwang112/iStock/Getty Images)

Due to sedentary lifestyles, many people experience pain and stiffness in their sacral area. It's the region that's located in your lower back, starting at your tailbone and spanning up to where your lumbar begins at the L5 vertebra. Even if you work out consistently, you'll benefit from back stretches that hit your sacral area. They'll reduce the tension in your lower back and legs, providing pleasant relief from pain and tightness.

"The" Sacrum Stretch

A favorite stretch that physical therapists and their assistants recommend for stretching the sacrum is simply called the sacrum stretch. You perform it by standing with your feet in a wide stance and squatting down low. Bring your arms between your legs so that you can grasp your ankles from the back with your hands. The backs of your thighs will be resting on your elbows and upper arms. Tuck your tailbone in as you drop your hips and bring your chin into your chest. Hold the position for about 30 seconds, then relax, bringing your weight off of your arms. PTA Rebecca Peterson has her clients repeat the sacrum stretch two or three times at least twice a day.

Bent Knee Stretches

There are two variations of the bent knee stretch that will work on your sacrum and provide a relieving, pleasant feeling in your lower back. For either one, start out lying on your back, your feet on the floor and both knees bent. Bring your left ankle up and place it on your right knee. Put your left hand on your left knee and press against it gently, pushing your left knee away from you. Hold the pressure for 20 to 30 seconds, then relax. For the second variation, as you press against your knee with your hand, you'll bring your right foot up off the floor and place your right hand behind your right knee to pull it toward your chest. Also hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds. Perform each stretch two or three times on each leg, two or three times a day.

Hamstring Stretch

If the hamstring muscles that run down the backs of your legs become tight, they can pull on the muscles in your sacrum and cause lower back pain. When you stretch your hamstrings, you'll feel the relief in your sacrum, too. Do this by lying on your back on the floor with your legs extended. Lift your right leg in the air, keeping your knee straight. Clasp your hands behind your right knee and gently pull your leg toward you. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds, then lower your right leg and repeat the stretch with your left leg. Do the hamstring stretch two or three times with each leg at least twice a day.

Yoga for the Sacrum

Many yoga poses will benefit your sacral area. The forward bending poses such as Seated Forward Bend and Standing Forward bend will stretch out your lower back. The Knees to Chest pose, in which you hug your knees to your chest as you lie on your back, will also stretch the sacral area effectively, as will Child's Pose. To perform Child's Pose, start out kneeling on the floor, then bend forward to lay your torso on your thighs. Stretch your arms out over your head and lengthen your waist by reaching as far as you can. Hold the yoga poses for 30 to 60 seconds.

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