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How To Stretch Your Lower Back Pain

Kneeling Lunge To Half Split Rocks

11 Best Lower Back Stretches For Pain & Stiffness

Start by kneeling with both knees on the floor. First move into a kneeling lunge: Step your right foot forward until your right thigh is parallel to the floor . Let your left leg extend behind you, place the top of your left foot on the floor, and reach your arms straight overhead . Then move into a half split: Slowly shift your weight back, sending your butt toward your left heel, as your right toes come up off the floor and your right leg is now straight . At the same time, bend forward over your right leg and touch your hands to either side of your right foot. Move back and forth with control between these two positions five times before repeating the sequence with the other leg in front.

What Are The Symptoms Of Lower Back Pain

Symptoms of lower back pain can come on suddenly or appear gradually. Sometimes, pain occurs after a specific event, such as bending to pick something up. Other times, you may not know what caused the pain.

Pain may be sharp or dull and achy, and it may radiate to your bottom or down the back of your legs . If you strain your back during an activity, you may hear a pop when it happened. Pain is often worse in certain positions and gets better when you lie down.

Other symptoms of lower back pain include:

  • Stiffness: It may be tough to move or straighten your back. Getting up from a seated position may take a while, and you might feel like you need to walk or stretch to loosen up. You may notice decreased range of motion.
  • Posture problems: Many people with back pain find it hard to stand up straight. You may stand crooked or bent, with your torso off to the side rather than aligned with your spine. Your lower back may look flat instead of curved.
  • Muscle spasms: After a strain, muscles in the lower back can spasm or contract uncontrollably. Muscle spasms can cause extreme pain and make it difficult or impossible to stand, walk or move.

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Suffering From Lower Back Pain These Stretches Can Help

Lower back pain is extremely common, affecting more than 80% of Americans. While not everyone’s condition is the same, research shows that movement can typically help relieve lower back pain for most individuals.

“Most of the patients who come to me with low back pain have been putting up with pain on and off for quite a while. Many of them have stopped being as active as they used to be, and over time, have lost strength and flexibility, which limits their mobility and causes more pain,” says Shelly Walker, PT, OCS, a physical therapist who has been with Nebraska Medicine for more than 35 years.

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Lower Back Stretches For Pain Relief And Posture

If you dont have lower back pain now, you probably will at some point. A whopping four out of five people battle the nagging ache, according to the American Chiropractic Association. And while conditions such as osteoarthritisand injuries like a strained ligamentcan cause back pain, poor posture is the most common culprit.

When the natural curve of the spine is out of alignment, weight and gravity are improperly channeled through the spine, hips, and legs, says Jonathan Ericson, a certified personal trainer and director of sports science at the NY Sports Science Lab. That causes tension and pain.

Correcting your alignment takes a two-pronged approach: Strengthening exercises, like rows, to boost your back and shoulders ability to support your body and stretches to help restore muscles to their optimal lengths.

Ready for relief? Keep reading to discover the best stretches for lower back painso you can stand taller and feel better.

Symptoms Of A Herniated Lumbar Disc

10 Exercises to Relieve Back Pain

If you are suffering from low back pain, your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory and pain medications. Physical therapy can also be helpful. A physical therapist can teach you how to do stretches and other exercises that will help you recover from your herniated disc.

Muscle fatigue and weakness can also be signs of a herniated disc. These symptoms are caused by the compression of nerves in the affected area. This can make it difficult to move or carry objects. Performing repetitive movements and carrying heavy loads can increase the risk of developing a herniated disc.

X-rays and physical exams are essential for confirming a herniated lumbar disk. MRI images can be highly detailed, showing where the herniated disc is and what nerves its pressing on. Electromyogram tests are also helpful for determining the exact location of the herniated disc.

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Simple Stretches To Relieve 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.

Indicators Of Low Pain In The Back

These can vary from a dull ache to a stabbing or shooting experience. The pain may make it hard to move or stand up directly. Discomfort that starts suddenly is severe..

It might occur throughout physical activity activities or significant hauling. Suffering that lasts higher than 3 months is taken into consideration consistent. You need to seek advice from a clinical expert if your pain is not far better within 72 hrs.

Heres the thing

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Common Causes Of Lower Right Back Pain

Now, lets turn to common musculoskeletal causes of lower right back pain. By learning more about these causes, youll be better prepared to get quick pain relief.

1. Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains are the number one cause of lower right back pain.

Whats the difference between a sprain and a strain? In essence, they are similar injuries. Sprains happen when you overextend or tear ligaments strains happen when you tear muscles or tendons . Typically, youll feel swelling, stiffness, bruising, cramping and/or spasms in your lower right back.

You usually know when you have a sprain or strain because you did something to trigger it. This could be an everyday activity, such as a sports injury, lifting something heavy, household falls or overexercising. Any sudden movements, or unnatural twisting and turning can also injure your muscles.

While both sprains and strains can heal on their own, you can help speed up the recovery process. Generally, the R.I.C.E. formula is recommended, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. The idea is to limit the use of your back muscles, ice them and apply any compression bandages. By following this formula, your lower right back should feel better in no time.

2. Disc Degeneration

In extreme cases, you may even consider steroid injections or surgery. However, most people with disc degeneration will focus on getting relief at home.

3. Osteoarthritis

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How To Stretch Your Lower Back

TEN Best Stretches For Lower Back Pain And Stiffness

Find out how to stretch your lower back, whether you have tight muscles from a workout or from sitting at a desk.

Knowing how to stretch your lower back can make a huge difference when it comes to preventing lower back pain, an incredibly common condition that can result from workouts, poor posture, spinal problems, or injury.

Certain fitness equipment can be useful for stretching and strengthening your back, such as foam rollers or a set of the best resistance bands . And one of the many benefits of yoga is that it stretches out your back, too.

Are you wondering what does stretching do to your body ? Read on if you’re experiencing some stiffness and need some relief.

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Exercises To Fix Uneven Hips

Physical therapy can assess and address the orthopedic impairments that may be causing hip inequity, Walter says. Heel lifts, orthotics, bracing, activity modifications, and exercise may help. Ideally the you should be evaluated to determine your specific impairments and course of action.

Here are 6 general exercises she recommends to optimize hip equity:

1. Hamstring stretch. For this exercise, lie on your back with your legs extended. Bend the right leg at the knee, placing the right foot on the ground. Place a strap or a belt around your left foot. Slowly raise your left leg upward toward the ceiling, keeping your hip/buttock on that left side grounded on the floor. When you feel a stretch or restriction in your hamstrings, hold the position for about 30 seconds. Do not let your buttock round up off the floor. Repeat on the other side. Perform 2 to3 times.

2. Hip flexor stretch. Position yourself lying close to the right side of your bed. Bring both knees up to your chest. Hold your left knee tightly into your chest as you lower your right leg off the side of the bed toward the floor. Do not let your low back arch away from the bed. Gravity will assist stretching your right hip flexor. Hold for about 30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg. Perform 2 to 3 times. This stretch can also be performed standing in front of a step. One leg is up on a step and you shift your weight forward keeping your back legs knee straight and heel firmly on the ground.

How Can I Reduce Lower Back Pain With Yoga

Simply put, the movementsand the isometric, or movement-free, holdsused in yoga can help you build both strength and mobility, both of which play a role in reducing low back pain.

“Yoga is great for working on flexibility and core stability, correcting posture, and breathingall of which are necessary for a healthy back,”Sasha Cyrelson, P.T., D.P.T., O.C.S., clinical director at Professional Physical Therapy in Sicklerville, New Jersey, tells SELF.

She adds that yoga is generally safe to do daily. It’s important, though, to make sure you’re in tune with your body and to stop doing anything that makes any discomfort worse.

“Never stretch into a position of pain, Dr. Cyrelson says. Pain is how our bodies tell us something is wrong. If it actually hurts, ease up on the stretch.” That means you should feel a combination of muscle tension and release, but if theres any pinching, sharp pain, or brief numbness, ease way back on the stretch.

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Lower Back Stretches To Reduce Pain And Build Strength

Lower back pain is a fairly common health concern, as so many things can cause it.

In some cases, it might be a symptom of an underlying condition, like kidney stones or acute pancreatitis. Other times, its simply a side effect of a sedentary lifestyle or repetitive motions.

While stretching isnt a remedy for all lower back pain, in many instances, it can provide relief. If youve been living with some mild discomfort or stiffness, these seven stretches may help reduce the pain and strengthen the muscles in your lower back.

Heres How To Fix Uneven Hips Which Can Throw Your Back Out Of Whack And Cause Low Back Pain

Stretch For Lower Back Muscles / Stretching Exercises For Your Back ...

Uneven hips can pull everything out of whack: Your posture, your gait, the way you sit, the way you move. Anything that throws off your biomechanics like uneven hips do mean that other muscles and joints need to pick up the slack to keep you moving. Since the bottom of your spine is also the foundation of your pelvis , uneven hips often mean as your core muscles and spine stabilizing muscles become fatigued from overcompensating.

Here’s what it means to have uneven hips, what can cause them, and how to fix uneven hips.

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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.

How Is Lower Back Pain Diagnosed

Your provider will ask about your symptoms and do a physical exam. To check for broken bones or other damage, your provider may order imaging studies. These studies help your provider see clear pictures of your vertebrae, disks, muscles, ligaments and tendons.

Your provider may order:

  • Spine X-ray, which uses radiation to produce images of bones.
  • MRI, which uses a magnet and radio waves to create pictures of bones, muscles, tendons and other soft tissues.
  • CT scan, which uses X-rays and a computer to create 3D images of bones and soft tissues.
  • Electromyography to test nerves and muscles and check for neuropathy , which can cause tingling or numbness in your legs.

    Depending on the cause of pain, your provider may also order blood tests or urine tests. Blood tests can detect genetic markers for some conditions that cause back pain . Urine tests check for kidney stones, which cause pain in the flank .

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When Surgery Is Necessary

When conservative treatment for low back pain does not provide relief or neurologic symptoms are worsening or severe, surgery may be needed. Candidates for surgery present any of the following:

  • Reasonably good health
  • Back and leg pain limits normal activity or impairs quality of life
  • Progressive neurologic deficits develop, such as leg weakness, numbness or both
  • Loss of normal bowel and bladder functions
  • Difficulty standing or walking
  • Medication and physical therapy are ineffective

If surgery is recommended, neurosurgeons have a variety of options available to help relieve pressure on the nerve roots. If several nerve roots and discs are causing the pain or if degeneration and instability exist in the spinal column, the neurosurgeon may choose: a minimally invasive approach a more open decompression or fusing the vertebrae together with bone grafts and stabilizing them with instrumentation, including metal plates, screws, rods and cages, depending on the extent of disease. After such surgery, patients may gain restored mobility in the back, including the ability to bend over. In addition, patients may require postoperative physical therapy.

The benefits of surgery should always be weighed carefully against the risks. Although a large percentage of patients with low back pain report significant pain relief after surgery, it is not guaranteed that surgery will help.

Tips For Managing Back Pain

10 Best Lower Back Stretches for Low Back Pain Relief – Ask Doctor Jo

Some simple steps can help relieve pain and reduce or prevent reoccurrence:

  • Stay mobile. Movement can help relieve stiffness. Try to keep active and do some gentle stretching and exercise throughout the day.
  • Medication. Over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help temporarily relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Complementary therapies. Some people find that massage, acupuncture, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulations helps with longer-term back pain.
  • Posture. Practice good posture while sitting. Try not to slouch, take regular breaks, and ensure that chairs and workstations are suitable and set up correctly. Some people find that standing desks help.
  • Yoga and Pilates. Many people find that activities such as yoga and Pilates can help improve posture and relieve back pain.

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Easy Stretches For Lower Back Pain Video

4 Easy Stretches for Lower Back Pain.

Back Flexion Stretch

  • Lie on your back.
  • Pull the knees to chest and flex the head forward until stretch is felt on the mid and low back.
  • Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and return to the starting position. Aim to complete 4 to 6 repetitions of this exercise.
  • Kneeling Lunge Stretch

  • Starting on both knees, move one leg forward so the foot is flat on the ground, keeping weight evenly distributed through both hips .
  • Place both hands on the top of the thigh, and gently lean the body forward to feel a stretch in the front of the other leg.
  • Repeat on the opposite leg.
  • Knee to Chest Stretch

  • Lie on the back.
  • Gently pull the knees to the chest with both hands until a comfortable stretch is felt in the mid and lower back.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.
  • Aim to complete 4 to 6 repetitions of this exercise.
  • Piriformis Stretch


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