This set of exercises is a nice way to get the low back moving in the morning or to stretch out after a long day. While these exercises are not appropriate for all back conditions, they can help many decrease tension, decrease radiating nerve symptoms, and increase mobility. Check out the overview image below and read on for exercise details!
There are 6 exercises in this series - each held for 15 seconds two times:
1) 1 single knee to chest: Laying down with one leg flat, bring other knee up towards chest and hold.
2) Double knee to chest: lying down bring both knees towards chest and hold
3) Knee to opposite shoulder stretch: begin as in the first stretch but then angle knee towards opposite shoulder.
4) Piriformis pretzel stretch: bend one knee and place the ankle of the other on it. To start push the top knee away for a stretch. If this is tolerated well you can reach through to your lower leg and pull it towards your body for a greater stretch.
5) Hamstring stretch with stretching strap: loop the strap around your foot and with other leg relaxed, slowly raise foot off the table with knee straight, hold at end range of tolerable stretch.
6) Tensor Fasciae Latae stretch to decrease IT band pain: loop the strap around your foot and begin stretch as with the hamstring, then pull leg across body for a stretch of the lateral side of the leg.