Lower back pain can be debilitating. When you’re dealing with back pain, it impacts every part of your life. Fortunately, you can find relief from your pain by doing lower back stretches. Here are ten practical back exercises to relieve your back pain and relax your entire body.
What causes lower back pain?
Generally, back pain stems from overuse or lifting. Other things that could contribute to your lower back pain are these:
- Too heavy of a backpack
- Sleeping in an uncomfortable position
- Sitting for too long
- Lying down for too long
- Lifting too much weight for your strength
- Working out too hard
If your lower back pain continues for months or gets worse, see your doctor. They can do tests to see if there is an underlying cause aggravating your lower back. Potential underlying reasons for lower back pain includethe following:
- Herniated disc
- Spinal stenosis
- Osteoarthritis of the spine
Benefits of lower back stretches
Studies show that doing back stretches and yoga poses reduces lower back pain. Besides reducing your back pain, doing back stretches can
- Improve your back’s mobility
- Reduce tension in your spine and muscles around your back
- Increase your range of motion
- Lowers your risk of you getting a back disability because of a compressed spinal cord
- Improve spinal alignment
- Help you relax and release stress
Ten Lower Back Stretches That Relieve Pain and Relax Your Body
Here is a list of some of the most effective lower back stretches to reduce your back pain and strengthen the muscles that affect your back.
1 – Child’s pose
This pose stretches the muscles in your lower back. Be sure to do this pose slowly and gently to avoid injuring your back. Get on your knees and hands to begin this stretch. Extend your arms in front of you so that your palms are on the floor. Sit back on your heels so that your head is down on your arms as you reach forward. Hold this pose for one minute. Exhale and inhale slowly to relax. Repeat the pose a couple of times if it is giving you relief. Do this pose daily to help relieve your back pain and tightly compressed spinal muscles.
2 – Knee to chest stretch
This lower back stretch strengthens your lower back muscles. Lie on your back with bended knees and your feet flat on the floor. Using your hands, grab below your knee caps. Using your hands, slowly bring both knees up to your chest. Hold for one minute and allow your back to feel the stretch. You can rock your hips from side to side or up and down as you stretch. Return to the starting position and do the exercise again. Try to do the move at least five times if your back feels okay.
3 – Single knee to chest
Often your lower back hurts because of hip tightness. This exercise stretches your hamstrings and back muscles to relieve pain. Lie on your back with one knee bent and the other leg stretched out straight. Put your hands under your leg and gently lift your chest back until you feel a stretch down the back of your leg. You can also stretch your back by holding your bent leg at your knee and pulling your knee towards your chest. Hold for one minute, then repeat with the other leg. Repeat this stretch five times on each leg. Do this stretch daily.
4 – Piriformis Muscle Stretch
Start this lower back stretch lying on your back with bent knees, so your heels are on the floor. Cross one leg over your other leg so that your ankle is leaning on your bent knee. Slowly pull the bottom knee toward your chest until you feel a stretch. Relax and return to the starting position. Repeat with your bent knee on the other leg. Try to do five repetitions on each leg.
5 – Pelvic tilt
If you’re looking for some relief from your low back pain, pelvic tilt stretch can help. Lie down on the floor with bent knees slightly away from your body. Lift your torso off the floor so that your pelvic area is tilted upwards. Hold this for thirty to sixty seconds. Repeat at least ten times. The pelvic title is a great daily exercise to build back strength.
6 – Partial crunches
Having firm abdominal muscles may relieve your back pain. Your stomach muscles support your spine and keep your back in alignment. If your abdominal muscles are weak, it can affect your core strength, causing lower back pain. For this stretch, start on the floor with bended knees and feet flat on the floor. Put your hands under your neck and tighten your abdominal muscles as you raise your shoulders off the floor. Hold for thirty seconds and return to your former position. Repeat this stretch at least five times. This exercise is one that you should try to do every day to build up your back muscles.
7 – Plank
The plank energizes all your core muscles at once to strengthen your back. You can modify your plank depending upon how your back feels while you’re doing this stretch. Here’s how to do a plank.
- Lie on your stomach up on your elbows. Make sure your legs are straight behind you and together.
- Push up on your elbows and forearms to align your body with your head and feet straight out. Don’t let your hips or back sag.
- It would be best if you looked down. Hold this position and tighten your stomach muscles. Breathe slowly.
- Try to hold this pose for at least twenty to thirty seconds, then lower your body. Relax.
- Do the plank again at least three times.
- Try to do the plank every day until you can hold the pose for one minute.
If you can’t do a regular plank, try a modified plank from your knees. This plank allows you to do the plank while standing straight and leaning against a counter with your body at a 45-degree angle.
Whether you do a regular or a modified plank, it is a great move to alleviate your pain.
8 – Trunk rotation
This lower back stretch relieves tension, strengthens your pelvic muscles, abdominal muscles, and your back muscles. Lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest. Extend your arms to the side with your hands, palm down on the floor. Staying in this position, gently roll both of your bent knees to your right side and hold for thirty seconds. Return to the first position and repeat on your left side. Repeat this lower back stretch five times on each side.
9 – Seated forward bend
This lower back stretch helps relax your tight hamstrings and relieves tension in your spine. Begin by sitting on the floor with your legs out straight in front of you. Using a towel or a resistance band around your heels, gently pull back, allowing the band to stretch. You should feel the tension and stretch in the back of your legs and your lower back. Hold for thirty seconds. Repeat at least five times.
This video demonstrates five chair yoga poses that are handy to know.
10 – Belly flop
These belly flops aren’t for the swimming pool, but they’re great for spinal alignment and back pain relief. Lie on your stomach on the floor with your hips on top of a rolled-up towel. Relax your body and turn your head to either side. Hold this position for two minutes. Repeat five times, with a resting time for 30 seconds in between each belly flop.
Besides Lower Back Stretches, Try These Pain Relief Ideas
Besides lower back stretches, you can get relief from back pain by following these suggestions.
- Stay active: It may seem counterintuitive to move when your back is hurting, but movement can reduce your pain. Take a walk with your dog, or go for a 15-minute walk around the block. Being sedentary produces weak spinal muscles, so you end up in pain and are more susceptible to lower back pain.
- Maintain good posture: Stand tall, keep your head centered over your pelvic area. Avoid slouching or craning your chin forward when you walk.
- Stay at a healthy weight: If you carry the extra weight, it affects your back.
- Stop smoking: Smoking causes spine problems. Nicotine and tobacco weaken spinal bones and pull nutrients from your bones.
- Apply heat and ice: Both heat and ice ease lower back pain. Some people like heat more than ice while others prefer ice instead of heat. It’s really up to you and what works. Ice is usually the recommended treatment for pain to reduce swelling and inflammation of your spine and muscles. Use a heating pad if your muscles are stiff or tight.
Final Thoughts on Performing Lower Back Stretches to Ease the Pain
Lower back pain interrupts your life. There are many things you can do to find relief, but one of the most effective ways to ease lower back pain is doing stretches. Lower back stretches can help you avoid compressed muscles, improve your spinal alignment, and strengthen your back muscles to prevent further injury.