Complete Lower Back Pain Relief: 8 Stretches In 8 Minutes

If you are in the 80% of the North Americans¹ who have experienced back pain at some time in your life, you’ll need these stretches. Lower back pain is one of the consequences of being sedentary and of the 9 to 5 jobs sitting at the desk all day long. You can also have back problems because of a repeated activity or a wrong movement. You are not alone in this situation and with some prevention you could get rid of your pain. However, I suggest you to visit a specialist if you have a recurrent issue. Whether you experience aches, stiffness or spasms, the following stretches for a lower back pain relief will help keep your back strong and fit. You can do these stretches at home, after your workout is the best time to execute them. You can also do them at any time in your day, include them in your morning routine and your back will be grateful. Important note: for every stretch it’s very important to breathe deeply, the relaxation of the muscles is done in the exhale.

 

  1. Single leg hamstring stretch for lower back pain relief

Back pain relief - hamstring stretchWhat does it work? Hamstrings

• Extend your right leg and bend the left leg.
• Take a deep breath and try to catch the right foot with both hands.

Helpful tip: Try to keep the extended leg fully to the ground without bending the knee. With each exhalation try to go a little further.

If you’re not able to reach your foot, use one of those resistance bands for helping you to stretch further.

2. Knee to chest stretch

Back pain relief - Single knee to chest stretch

What it works?  Hips / Glutes (aka Butt) / Lower Back

• Lay on the floor on your back.
• Pull your bent knee up towards the shoulder.
• Hold this for 30 seconds.
• Repeat on the other leg.

Helpful Tip: Contract your abdominals and try to straighten your right leg. If you experience any discomfort in your back, you could leave your right leg bent.

3. The spinal stretch

Back pain relief - spinal stretch

What it works? Lower Back / Obliques

• Bring your right knee to your chest.
• With your left hand bring your knee at left.
• Try to touch the floor with your right knee and your right shoulder.
• Hold this for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other knee.

Helpful Tip: Contract your abdominals before bringing your knee on the side. Breathe deeply and with time, you will be able to drop your right knee and right shoulder to the ground. Relax and don’t put too much pressure on your knee.

SOS Sciatica

 

4. The piriformis stretch

Back pain relief - piriformis-stretch

What it works?  The Glutes

• Lay on the floor on your back and cross the right ankle over the left knee.
• Grip the thigh of your left leg and pull the knee towards you, lifting the foot off the floor.
• Pull the knee further towards you to increase the stretch.
• Hold for 30 seconds.
• Repeat with the other leg.
Helpful Tip: Contract your abdominals before crossing your leg for rest your foot on the opposite knee.

5. The hip flexors stretch

Back pain relief - hip flexor stretch

What it works?  Hips / Front of thighs (quadriceps)

• Lift up your left knee and rest the sole of your left foot on the floor.
• Place your left hand on your left leg.
• Exhale, bend your left knee and lean forward.
• Hold for 30 seconds.
• Switch sides and repeat the stretch.

Helpful Tip: Remember to contract your abdominal. You should keep your shoulders down and back straight. To be gentle with your knees with this stretch, you should use an exercise mat (this one available at Amazon.com) to rest your knee on.

 

6. The quadriceps stretch

Back pain relief - quadricep stretch

What it works? Quadriceps

• Starting with your left foot, bring it back behind you, bending at the knee as you straighten your hip.
• Grab your left foot with your left hand and pull up, stretching the quad.
• Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat the stretch.

Helpful Tip: Engage your abdominals before gripping the top of your foot and bringing it to your butt.

7. The total back stretch

Back pain relief - total back stretch

What it works? Total back / Shoulders

• Grab a desk or a chair that is at the height of your hips.
• Place your feet at a distance to be able to draw a 90-degree angle with your arms.
• Put your head between your arms and try to push back and relax.
• Hold for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat the stretch.

Helpful Tip: Try to push back your butt and draw a 90-degree angle with your body.

8. The Side Stretch

Back pain relief - side stretch

What it works? Laterals, lower back

• Stand upright, back straight.
• Stretch the left arm up and lean to the right, keeping your hips straight.
• Hold for 20 seconds.
• Switch sides and repeat the stretch.

 

Repeat these stretches as often as possible, ideally once a day and after every workout. Day after day you will feel less pain in your lower back, until a complete relief. With the right discipline and care, you will say goodbye to your back pain! If it’s not enough check out these tools to relief your back pain at home.

 

Sources:
¹ Back Pain Stats. Referred to American Spinal Decompression Association 
  Baby your back. Referred to Ontario Chiropractic Association 
Images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net