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How To Stretch Lower Back To Relieve Pain

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11 Best Lower Back Stretches For Pain & Stiffness

As a yoga instructor, I have a few favorite stretches for the hips and theyre not just my favorites because they feel good theyre extremely functional and work the hip from all angles. Frangiamore is also a fan of these yoga poses. Stretches like the pigeon pose, warrior 1 and groin stretches all work to lengthen muscles that attach around the hip joint , which become shortened after prolonged sitting or resting, he says. Lengthening these muscles can decrease tension and excessive pull on the hips and lower back which can improve posture and decrease associated pain.

Ready to get loose? Give these three stretches a try.

Set Reminders Throughout The Day

Youll want to go through a full stretching routine in the AM and PM but if you really want to maximize the pain-relieving benefits of stretching, you should also plan to take small stretch breaks throughout the day.

Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to get up and stretch every two hours or download an app like StretchClock that will send you alerts when its time to get up and stretch.

Back pain is a real drag and it can keep you from feeling your best or performing at your highest level. But with the right stretches, you can build strength, alleviate back pain, and maximize your performance. So what are you waiting for? Get stretching!

What Are Some Effective Stretches That Help With Pain In The Low Back

Most guidelines typically state to hold stretches for 30 seconds and to perform 2-4 repetitions on each side . Described below are 8 low back pain stretches:

Pelvic Tilt: Lie down on the back. Bring the knees up but keep the feet down. Tilt the pelvis . Hold this contraction for 10 seconds and repeat 5 repetitions.

Trunk Rotation Supine: Lie down on the back. Bring the knees up but keep the feet down. Rotate both knees to one side, while keeping the upper body flat . Hold that stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 2 sets. Perform the same stretch, but with the knees on the opposite side.

Trunk Rotation with Leg Crossover: Lie down on the back. Have one leg straight out and on the floor, while the other leg is at a 90 angle. Pull the leg from the knee region across the body. Hold that stretch for 60 seconds. Repeat with the other leg .

Hamstring Stretch with a Strap: Lie down on the back. Keep one leg with the knee up and foot down. The other leg is the one being stretched. Put a strap on the palm of that foot. Be sure to have the leg straight and extended and bring the foot towards the body . Hold stretch for 60 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.

Prone Press Up : Lie down face towards the floor. Press up using the arms while making sure the hip and legs are always in contact with the floor . Hold stretch for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.

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Easy Stretches To Reduce Back Pain

Try doing these 6 easy stretches to reduce back pain right at home.

Back pain can be, well, a pain. Lower back pain, in particular affects almost everyone at some point during their lives. While it may be tempting to lie in bed all day, that can actually make the problem worse. Luckily, there are several basic stretches to help you get out of bed, off the couch, and back on the go.

Keeping the following helpful tips in mind can make sure you get the most out of your stretches:

  • Try to remain in whatever pose you choose for at least 10 seconds although a minimum of 30 seconds is ideal to allow joints and muscles to adequately stretch
  • Stretching should not be painful. You may feel slight discomfort, but it should feel like a gentle pulling sensation
  • Dont force your body into a pose thats too difficult
  • Stretches should be done on a firm, flat surface
  • Wear comfortable shoes that will stop you from sliding on the floor
  • Move into the stretch slowly and hold without bouncing

Simple Stretches To Relieve Back Pain

Pin on Relieve Lower Back Pain

There are many methods to help with eliminating back pain. One of the most basic and beneficial is through simple stretching. The benefits of stretching include not only pain relief but also increased flexibility and strengthening. And, stretching can be a contributing factor toward improved posture. It is important to note that pain relief may not be immediate and it may take some time for noticeable improvement.

All individuals can benefit from back-related stretches. First, consider these important guidelines. Start by wearing comfortable clothes. Next, while doing any type of stretch it is crucial not to stretch through pain. Move slowly through a stretch and to avoid bouncing. During the stretches, each position should be held for approximately 20 to 30 seconds. It is recommended to repeat the stretch approximately 5 to 10 times.

It is most helpful to focus on specific areas for stretches. These include the back, hip/gluteus and hamstrings. Two effective stretches for the back muscles are back flexion and knee-to-chest. For the hip and gluteus stretches, these are piriformis stretch and hip flexor stretch. One of the most important muscles to stretch is the hamstring. While stretching the hamstring one can lie on their back and place a towel under the ball of the foot. This will keep your back supported during the entire stretch. Another way to stretch this hamstring muscle is in the standing position. Refer to our illustrations for the stretches mentioned.

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The Importance Of Stretching And Moving

It’s also smart to add physical activity to your day. The goal is to break up prolonged sitting time and get on your feet. Physical inactivity can cause stiffness in our joints and muscles .

Even standing and taking a break to stretch or walk around the room every 20 to 30 minutes can do wonders, like improving blood circulation, studies show.

Consider setting reminders on your phone to get up from your desk or try incorporating more standing or walking meetings into your workday.

Dr. Cindy Lin, MD, is the Associate Director of Clinical Innovation for The Sports Institute at the University of Washington Medical Center and an Associate Professor in Sports and Spine Medicine in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. Dr. Lin earned her MD from Harvard Medical School. Her research includes biotech innovations, spine and musculoskeletal injuries and sports injury prevention. She has written for HealthDay and UW Medicine, among several other health and medical publications. Follow her on Twitter .

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Need More Help From Goodpath

Regular stretching combined with the right exercise techniques and lifestyle choices can be very helpful to your back pain.

Be sure to take Goodpaths quiz to create a custom back pain program. After you answer a few short questions, we can build you an integrative treatment plan that is specifically designed for you.

We analyze your medical history, lifestyle choices, age, and other factors before building a personalized kit delivered right to your doorstep.

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Core Stability Pelvic Tilt

Lack of core control and stability is a key player in lower back pain. When the abdominal muscles are not performing, the muscles of the lumbar spine have to work harder to stabilize the body in balance. An excellent way to improve core stability is to lie flat with the knees bent up. Tighten abdominal muscles and press the small of the back into the floor. Hold this contraction for 10 seconds and repeat 10-20 times. You can either have your arms resting by your sides or behind your head, depending on whats more comfortable. With this stretch, it is important remember:

  • Keep your feet flat on the floor
  • Keep your shoulders pressed to the floor, but relaxed
  • Do not hold your breath as you perform this exercise


While lower back pain is extremely common, it is not something you have to live with every day. Improving hip flexibility and core stability as well as lengthening the back muscles by stretching can help reduce the symptoms of lower back pain. However, if your back pain is chronic, the above stretches may help but additional treatment may be warranted.

Stretches To Help Your Back Feel Better

#1 Best Low Back Stretch for Lower Back Pain Relief

Hamstring Stretch

The hamstrings attach directly to your pelvis and can lead to stiffness and pain in the lower back if they are particularly tight. There are multiple ways to stretch the hamstrings. Try lying on your back with both legs straight. Loop a yoga strap or towel around one foot and slowly draw that leg up towards the ceiling until a stretch is felt behind the thigh. Make sure you arent rounding your back and your other leg stays flat on the floor. Hold at least 30 seconds.

Lower Trunk Rotation

Promote some mobility in your lumbar spine with this nice, gentle exercise. Begin lying on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep your shoulders connected with the floor and your knees glued together as you slowly and gently drift both knees from left to right. Allow knees to fall all the way to one side and hold for a moment so you feel a little twist and stretch happening in your lower back. Repeat about 10 times to each side.

Knee to Chest Stretch

While lying on your back with both knees straight, bend one knee and hug that knee towards your chest . Hold 30 seconds. Repeat on opposite side. Also, try hugging both knees to your chest at the same time so that you make a small ball. While doing this, allow your lower back to relax by taking several slow breaths.

Figure-Four Stretch

Open Books

Childs Pose


Cobra Stretch

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What Causes Lower Back Pain

Back pains are quite common because there are several reasons why it happens. Certain activities contribute to back pain in the lower region. Some spine conditions also cause extreme discomfort in the lower back. Here are some of the most common causes for back pain:

  • Sprains and strains Many cases of acute lower back pain are caused by muscle strains and sprains. These conditions happen when the muscles are overstretched, or the tendons are torn.
  • Herniated discs Accidents, falls, and sports injuries damage the spine. The back pain immediately happens after the accident, accompanied by numbness or tingling in the legs.
  • Sciatica This refers to the sharp pain in the lower back that travels to the buttocks and legs. This occurs when the sciatica nerve is compressed.

Stretch 4 Lying Knee Twist

Begin lying down on your back with the legs extended straight out. Then, bend the right knee up and cross it over to the left side of the body. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds to feel the stretch through both the lower back and buttocks and repeat three times on each side.

The stretch helps improve flexibility but can also strengthen muscles along the spine and in the abdomen.

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General Tips For Stretching To Relieve Back Pain

Keeping the following in mind can help effectively stretch the muscles without injury:

  • Wear comfortable clothing that wont bind or constrict movements
  • Do not force the body into difficult or painful positionsstretching should be pain free
  • Move into a stretch slowly and avoid bouncing, which can cause muscle strain
  • Stretch on a clean, flat surface that is large enough to move freely
  • Hold stretches long enough to adequately lengthen muscles and improve range of motion1
  • Repeat a stretch between 2 and 5 timesa muscle usually reaches maximum elongation after about 4 repetitions1
  • Stretch one side of the body at a time

Below are examples of stretches targeted for the neck, upper back, and the lower back.

Great Stretching Exercises For Your Spine

5 Stretches To Prevent and Relieve Lower Back Pain in 10 ...

Roughly 80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives, and for most of them the pain will resolve on its own within a few weeks. For millions of people, however, back pain becomes chronic. In fact, back pain is the second most frequently reported medical complaint.

Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Thomas Jones II and our team at The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas understand the impact of back pain on daily life. Simple activities that most take for granted can be a struggle. It can interfere with many areas of your life, from work to social activities. Seeking medical evaluation is the first step to getting relief.

Treatment for chronic back pain depends on the cause. Dr. Jones formulates a treatment plan for you after a comprehensive evaluation. Your treatments may involve steroid injections, physical therapy, pain-relieving medication, or surgical approaches.

Common causes of back pain include:

Stretching exercises for back pain can help keep your spine healthy and provide relief. While these stretches are safe for most people, its important to discuss it with your doctor first.

Here are five pain-relieving stretching exercises for your back.

  • Back flexion
  • Cat-camel back stretch
  • Prone extension
  • Levator scapula stretch
  • Chin-to-chest stretch
  • Tips for stretching your spine

    To stretch your spine effectively and reduce the chances of injury, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

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    Video: 4 Easy Stretches For Neck And Shoulder Pain

    See how to correctly perform the 4 neck stretches listed above.Watch Now

    Stretches that are not recommended include neck circles or quickly stretching the neck forward and backward or side to side. These stretches may cause muscles strain or place additional stress on the cervical spine.

    See Neck Stretches

    Get Loose How To Do Lumbar Stretches To Ease Lower Back Pain

    Are you someone who suffers from lower back pain?If so, youre not alone. In fact, its estimated that in the US, 80% of adults experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Lower back pain can wreak havoc on your life. Luckily, there are a lot of treatments out there that can help you alleviate your pain. One of the best treatments is lumbar stretching. What lumbar stretching should you do for lower back pain?Check out this guide to discover how to do lumbar stretches to ease lower back pain.

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    Target The Quadratus Lumborum For Extra Pain Relief

    Outside of the traditional stretches, you may want to consider stretching and releasing your quadratus lumborum muscle.

    The Quadratus Lumborum are muscles positioned around the lower back either side of the spine.

    A tight QL can also be the cause of lower back pain so its a good idea to investigate whether you have issues with your QL.

    Related: How to stretch the quadratus lumborum.

    Why Do We Get Lower Back Pain


    Back pain is very common and can creep up on you over time due to things like bad posture, too much sitting, too many repeated jarring motions , arthritis and other degenerative disc diseases, curvature of the spine, and more.

    Its also relatively easy to injure your back with a sudden movement, a traumatic fall, twisting while lifting, or an accident.

    That said, your back may also hurt for other reasons. For example, you need to stretch, or you need to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Any weakness or imbalance in your trunk can manifest as lower back pain, so always be sure to stretch sufficiently and work the lower back and abs equally.

    Other helpful tips for avoiding low back pain include choosing seating with good back support, never lifting heavy objects while twisting at the same time, bending your knees when you try to pick up something heavy instead of rounding your back, and always ensuring you maintain a neutral pelvic position.

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    Lying Knee To Chest Stretch

    To perform the lying knee to chest stretch:

    • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor
    • Draw one knee towards your chest and keep your other foot in the same place.
    • As you draw your knee in towards your chest make sure to keep your lower back pressed against the floor.
    • Hold your knee for a couple of seconds then switch legs.

    Simple Stretches To Relieve Lower Back Pain

    Lower back pain can be a debilitating and painful condition.

    Fortunately, staying physically active may be the most effective and cost-efficient way to soothe or prevent it.

    Here are 8 simple stretches to relieve lower back pain.

    3 ).

    Although its origin varies, changes in the lumbar, or lower back, structure due to musculoskeletal damage are considered to be the main cause .

    Your musculoskeletal system is made up of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues that provide form, support, stability, and movement to your body.

    Other muscles that play an important role in maintaining the normal curvature of your spinal column are reported to be associated with lower back pain. These include the hip flexor and hamstring muscles .

    Minor lower back pain normally gets better on its own within a few days or weeks. It can be considered chronic when it persists for more than three months .

    In either case, staying physically active and regularly stretching can help reduce lower back pain or prevent it from returning .

    The remainder of this article provides eight stretches for lower back pain, all of which you can do in the comfort of your own home with minimal or no equipment.

    Summary Lower back pain is an incredibly common condition that can be relieved or prevented with regular exercise and stretching.

    The knee-to-chest stretch can help lengthen your lower back, relieving tension and pain.

    To perform the knee-to-chest stretch:

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