My Top 3 Stretches for Back Pain/SIJ discomfort
If you are feeling discomfort in the lower back or sacrum, these are my top three stretches that have helped me.
- Side stretch at the wall.
Stretches out the Quadratus Lumborum muscle which can often cause SIJ
(Sacro-Illiac Joint) discomfort when tight.
Stand sideways next to a wall. Start with your left side facing the wall. Place your left hand on the wall for support. Bring your right leg across your left leg, so that your right foot is in front of your left foot. With your right arm, turn you palm so it is facing upwards. Then bring the arm up and over toward the wall (it doesn’t need to touch) – stretching out the right side of the body. Try not to collapse in the left waist, stand tall, lifting out of the pelvis. As the arm comes up, reach out with the right side of the pelvis away from the wall. These are small movements. Keep the ribs contained, and keep the shoulders and pelvis square to the front.Take a few smooth, calm breath. As the stretch eases off, extend away again through the right side of the pelvis. Keep the ribs contained, don’t left them flare out. Do the other side for the same amount of breaths. Observe if one side is tighter than the other.
- Outside of the hip stretch – Thread the Needle
Sit on the edge of a chair facing a wall. Have the feet hip width apart and knees square (not rolling in toward each other). Bend your left knee up and place the left ankle on top of your right thigh, just above the knee. Dorsi-flex your left foot which will now be outside of your right thigh.
Ensure there is no knee pain in the left knee. Let the knee just be wherever it is, don’t push it down. Lean the torso forward, bring the hands to the wall in front to support.
Breathe calmly and smoothly. Extend out through the left heel. You will hopefully be feeling a satisfying stretch to the outside of the left hip.
Only go to a satisfying stretch. If you feel an intense stretch to the outside of the hip without leaning forward, work there, sitting up tall.
Do the other side for the same amount of breaths.
- Lower back and Hamstring/hip stretch
(don’t do this one if you are pregnant, only do 1 and 2 above)
Equipment needed: Yoga Block and a strap/resistance band
Lay on your back with your knees bent. Lift the hips and bring a yoga block underneath your sacrum. Keep the knees bent. Take the strap. Bend your right knee into your chest and loop the strap across the ball of your right foot, hold the strap in both hands. Slowly straighten the right leg up.
Breathe calmly and smoothly. Extend out through the ball of the foot into the strap. Slowly drawing the leg toward the body in small increments with the breath. Ease the leg away on an in breath and draw it toward the body on an out breath. Hold the most satisfying position for a few breath. Take the strap into your left hand only and bring the leg across the body toward the left – this is only a small movement. Keep both sides of the pelvis grounded on the block and keep the right hip down, don’t let it hike up. You can use your right hand to keep it down. Hold for a few breath, then change sides.
When you have done both sides. Remove the block and lie flat on your back for a moment. Roll over onto your right hand side to come up to sitting. Ensure that you stack your shoulders and hips, do not twist the body as you come up to sitting.