6 Back Stretches For Period Pain If Your PMS Hits You Hard In Your Lower Back
PMS can be truly excruciating at times. Those monthly menstruation woes can include annoying ailments such as sore breasts, nausea, mood swings, and, my personal least favorite of the bunch, lower back pain. If back pain is your biggest PMS struggle each month, these back stretches for period pain will definitely help you feel like a semi-functioning human being again.
Having lower back pain during your period is one of those things that, at first, doesn't seem like it makes much sense, which makes it that much more frustrating to deal with. Yes, cramps are awful, too, but like, I get it: My uterus is literally contracting and pushing blood out of my body; that makes sense to me, at least. Back pain, on the other hand, just seems like some cruel cherry on top of what's already the worst week of the whole month.
However, there is some rhyme and reason to this annoying PMS symptom. According to the Virginia Spine Institute, back pain happens during your period because of hormonal changes happening in your body during that time — specifically, hormones called prostaglandins, which are released at a higher volume during your time of the month to help shed your uterine lining. As these hormones are released, the institute explained, this can have an uncomfortable effect on your lower back muscles. Plus, the cramps you're experiencing in your abdominal area can actually radiate all the way into your lower back. Ah, the joys of being a woman!
Of course, if your back pain is getting to a point where you can hardly even get up and go about your daily routine, it's in your best interest to talk to your doctor about what treatments might be best for you. However, if you're just looking for a little bit of relief from your lower back pain, try out these six stretches the next time PMS tries to take you down.
1. Happy Baby Pose
Happy baby pose is a yoga pose that opens your hips while simultaneously releasing the muscles your lower back. Oh, and the name doesn't lie, fam: This playful asana literally makes me feel happier when I do it, even when it feels like my lower back is on fire during my period.
When you're in this pose, try rocking gently back and forth on your spine for a gentle, lower-back massage. Close your eyes, and try to release any tension or stress that your PMS might be causing you.
2. Seated Figure-Four Stretch
If your period is being a major pain in the lower back, targeting your piriformis (a muscle that sort of runs from real low in your lower back, all the way to your butt) with a gentle, seated, figure-four stretch might just provide you with the relief you're searching for.
Stretching with your legs in a figure-four position will release those tight muscles and help relax your entire body.
3. Reclined Twist Pose
TBH, when I'm on my period, I like to stick to stretches that allow me to lie down as much as possible — because I'm menstruating, and I freaking deserve it.
For real, though, a reclined spinal twist will definitely help soothe the nerves in your body that are making your lower back tense up during your time of the month. Remember to breathe very deeply here as you relax your shoulders, legs, and hips. Let yourself melt into the floor, and enjoy this time you've carved out for yourself.
4. Knees Into Chest Stretch
The simple act of lying on your back, slowly bringing your knees into your chest, and giving yourself a giant hug will feel so amazing when you're on your period. Plus, this one is super easy to do if you're just lazing in bed or on the couch — no need to roll out a workout mat here.
Keep your legs and hips as relaxed as possible in this stretch. Close your eyes, and simply hold yourself close as you allow the passivity of the stretch to envelop you.
5. Standing Forward Fold
OK, I know I said lying down is my sh*t when I'm PMSing, but standing will be worth it for this one — trust me.
Standing forward fold lengthens the spine while stretching the hips, which can help ease any pain that might be radiating through the hamstrings and up into the lower back.
Plus, if you're like me, and have been lying down for a while because your period is getting the best of you, standing will encourage healthy blood circulation throughout your body, and release any muscles you weren't able to target while lying down.
While you're in this pose, you might want to try taking hold of opposite elbows and releasing the muscles in your shoulders and neck, drooping over your legs like a rag doll. Ah, sweet, sweet relief.
6. Child's Pose
If your PMS-induced back pain just isn't budging, child's pose will relax your hips and soothe your backaches by providing your sacrum with a long, gentle stretch.
Inhale deeply and exhale slowly while you're resting in child's pose. Direct your breath toward the back of your body, where most of your pain resides. Allow your entire torso to rest between your thighs, and release any additional tension that might be contributing to your discomfort.
If you want to make the stretch even more restorative, you can place a pillow beneath your torso, and feel the pain gently melt away as you meditate for a bit with your eyes closed.