Your lower back pain could have you in a state of mild discomfort in the form of stiffness, and maybe a dull ache. At the extreme end, it can be debilitating.
Back pain can prevent you from moving freely and doing the things you love.
Practicing a gentle routine of the best lower back stretches for pain relief can form part of an effective approach to preventing, managing, and improving your lower back pain.
The seven simple stretches we’re sharing today could be just what you need to take control of your lower back pain, and start feeling better today.
Common causes of lower back pain
Lower back pain is a widespread problem that can have many contributing factors.
Sometimes, it could be a lasting reminder of a previous injury.
In other instances, it can be the result of poor posture and movement patterns, and resulting muscle imbalances.
Lower back pain can affect you if you live an active lifestyle.
It can also become a problem if you’re in a more sedentary desk-bound role.
The causes of lower back pain aren’t always purely mechanical.
Social, psychological, and biological factors can all interact to make it a complex issue to treat.
In any case, it’s important to understand the reasons you are getting lower back pain.
When you can identify what is triggering the pain, you’ll be in a better position to treat it effectively.
Possible treatment options for lower back pain
First, it’s important to seek medical advice if you have extreme, or chronic (ongoing) back pain.
Each person requires an individualized strategy for improving their lower back pain.
With an approach that is not specific to your needs, your back pain could end up becoming worse.
There is a wide range of professionals who can offer treatments for back pain.
These include physical therapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, acupuncturists, and physiotherapists.
Some modalities offer a more holistic approach than others.
Many therapists combine a variety of techniques based on what they believe is best for the individual.
Many simple exercises can also help treat lower back pain.
Lifestyle adjustments are also an important consideration for tackling the root cause of the problem.
The best news is that there are many ways to relieve, manage, and even prevent pain in your lower back.
Exercises for lower back pain
Some of the best exercises for low back pain may include:
Lower back pain stretches. These could be targeted specifically at the lower back muscles, or at surrounding muscles that may be pulling on the lower back and creating tension
Strengthening exercises for the lower back, abdominal muscles, or other surrounding muscles. It’s not always tight muscles, but sometimes weak muscles that could be causing lower back pain
Mobility-based exercisesthat focus on better full-body movement, or perhaps releasing trigger points that are causing restriction
Out of all these lower back pain exercises, today we’re focusing specifically on some of the best stretches for lower back pain.
How to stretch your lower back
There are some general important points to note about the following back stretches for lower back pain.
Most importantly, the stretches listed below are not personalized.
Depending on your default posture and the balance of muscle groups in your body, some of these low back stretches may be more effective for you than others.
Although these stretches are designed to be gentle, stop doing them and seek medical advice if they make your pain worse.
General guidelines for back stretching exercises
Some of the stretches may not target your lower back directly. They purposely focus on releasing surrounding muscle groups that could be causing your lower back pain. If the selected stretch doesn’t directly stretch your lower back, we’ve explained why it could be crucial for improving your back pain
The stretches we are focusing on today are mostly static. This means that they are stretches that you hold in one position for a set time. Static stretches should feel relaxing. They are generally easy to perform safely. Studies have shown that both dynamic and static stretches can be effective for relieving back pain
Take each stretch to the point where you can feel your muscles stretch, without feeling any pain
Breathe continuously during each exercise. This will help you to relax into the stretch and release tension
Except where noted, aim to hold each posture for about 30 seconds. You may wish to repeat the exercises for a second round
Finally, stretching is easier and more safely done when your muscles are warm. Perform these exercises after a 5-minute general warm-up, or at the end of your workout.
Best Exercises For Lower Back Pain – 7 Powerful Back / Spine Stretching Exercises
The following stretches for back pain have been ordered to create a nice flowing sequence.
They’ll take you from your hands and knees, down to your stomach, and then over to your back.
These are all floor-based exercises, which should help you to relax and release tension even further.
After practicing these exercises consistently you should start to learn what works best for you.
From there, you can tweak your stretching routine so that it’s just right for you.
1) Cat-cow stretch
The cat-cow stretch is a stretching exercise that’s not static.
It offers a fluid, and continuous movement to gently release through your spine.
It’s a nice one to start with before you move on to the static postures.
a) Cat-cow starting position
To perform the cat-cow stretch, place your hands and knees on the ground.
Your knees should be directly under your hips, and also hip-width apart.
Extend your arms directly under your shoulders and place your hands shoulder-distance apart.
Roll your shoulders back and down so that they’re away from your ears.
Keep your spine long, and become aware of your abdominal muscles by gently drawing your belly button towards your spine.
b) Cat-cow movement phase
Move into the “cow” phase of the cat-cow stretch by looking up, and letting your abdominals drop down so that you have a gentle arch through your back.
You should feel the stretch through the front side of your torso.
Then transition to the “cat” phase of the cat-cow stretch.
Tuck your hips under, dropping your chin towards your chest, and rounding through your back.
You’ll feel a nice stretch through the full length of your back.
Continue to transition between cat and cow for 30-60 seconds.
A regular stretching routine is one approach that may help to relieve your lower back pain.
A good stretching plan can help reduce tension through your low back muscles.
It can also release other areas of your body that may be affecting your lower back and overall health in general.
Remember that a personalized approach to stretching is always best.
Many factors can contribute to lower back pain.
Some of the other muscle groups you may need to look at stretching for back pain include the quads, hip flexors, and tensor fasciae latae.
If your back muscles feel better with these stretches, then great!
Keep doing them!
For chronic or severe lower back pain, it’s important to seek medical advice.
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