Lower Back Stretches – Millions of people across the globe suffer from back pain. Lower back pain alone takes up a good percentage of that. Studies have shown that stretching will ease your lower back pain. If you are suffering from lower back pain the following lower back stretches can help give you some relief. At the same time, they can help strengthen your lower back muscles.
I am no stranger to chronic back pain and have had to live with it for many years. In the past, there was a time for me when stretching did help my back but I ended up getting away from it. That’s when I really got into power walking. Ideally, I should have been doing both but unfortunately, I didn’t. However, I am happy to say I am stretching again. I have not been doing it long but I am glad to be doing it again. For now, I am only sticking to lower back stretches and will see how it goes.
Lower Back Stretches for Pain Relief
When starting out, take your time and take it slow. If you have health concerns at all, it’s always best to consult your doctor first. These lower back stretches can be done more than once a day. Again, start off slow, and only do them once a day. If you feel really sore then skip a day. If your pain seems to worsen then stop and call your doctor. These lower back stretches are meant to help you, not hurt you. Some soreness is to be expected. Trust what your body is telling you.
When you are doing these lower back stretches for pain relief, pay attention to your breathing. You should be able to breathe through these stretches. Meaning, not lose your breath. If you start losing your breath, slow down. Your stretching and breathing should be smooth.
You may want to grab a bath towel, pillow, and chair (kitchen/fold-up). Keep these on hand just in case but you might not need it. You might not need the bath towel and pillow but at least you will have it handy.
The focus of this stretch is on your hips, glutes, and thighs. You should feel the stretch in all those areas.
Follow these steps for the Knee-to-Chest Stretch:
You want to lay down on the floor on your back. Then bend your knees keeping your feet flat on the floor.
Straighten out one leg on the floor. If you need to keep it bent that’s OK.
Pull in one knee to your chest using your hands clasping them behind your thigh.
- Keep your back as flat as you can on the floor. Make sure to keep your hips down and try not to lift them.
- Do not forget to breathe and hold this pose between 1 and 3 minutes.
- Next, repeat the process with the other leg.
You can always place a pillow behind your head if you need to for support. If your arms do not reach and you need some help with holding up your legs. Take a towel and put it around your leg.
Seated Piriformis Stretch
The Piriformis Stretch works the piriformis muscle. The muscle is located in your butt. This stretch is great for lower back pain. It can relieve pain and tightness in your butt not to mention the lower back.
Follow these steps for the Piriformis Stretch:
1. Start sitting upright in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.
2. Take your right leg, placing your right ankle just above your left knee.
3. Take your hands and push it down slightly on your right knee. Use your left hand to hold your ankle to keep it from sliding.
4. Engage your stomach, sit up straight and lean forward.
5. Lean forward enough to feel the stretch in your left butt cheek (buttock).
6. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then relax.
7. Repeat this for the other side.
8. Do this 2 to 3 times on each side.
Seated Pelvic Tilt Core
This stretch helps your glutes/butt muscles, hips and most of your back. It also stretches your abdominals, neck, and shoulders.
Follow these steps for the Seated Pelvic Tilt:
1. Sit on a chair with your hand on your hips.
2. Slowly curve your spine and roll you’re pelvis forward as far as you can without to much pain.
3. Reverse, and tuck your tailbone underneath you curving your spine in the other direction.
4. Continue to move forward and backward for about 30 seconds.
5. Another option is to lay down with your knees up and feet flat on the floor.
6. Arch your back down and tuck your bottom underneath you.
7. Reverse, by arching your back up towards the ceiling and your pelvis towards the floor.
8. Continue this for 30 seconds.
9. Repeat this stretch 2 times each side.
Seated Spinal Twist
The Spinal Twist Stretch will stretch your back and buttocks. This, in turn, will give you more flexibility
Follow these steps for the Spinal Twist Stretch:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet are flat on the floor.
- Slowly let your knees drop to the floor until you feel a gentle stretch in your spine.
- Hold this for 10 seconds returning to your starting position.
- Next, let your knees slowly drop to the other side until you feel a stretch.
- You want to hold this for 10 seconds and return to your starting position.
- Repeat this multiple times on each side.
This Child Pose will help to relieve pain and tension on your spine, neck, and shoulders. This will help loosen up your tight lower back muscles. Along with improving your flexibility and the circulation of blood in the spine.
Follow these steps for the Child Pose:
- Put your hands and knees on the ground and sit back resting your hips on your heels.
- Hold your hips in place as you lean forward. Then walk your hands out in front.
- At this point, you want to be resting on your belly with your thighs underneath. You can extend your arms out in front or alongside your body. Rest your arms with your palms facing up.
- Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- This pose can be done multiple times during your stretching routine. Remember, concentrate on your breathing. Your breathing and stretching should work as one.
- If sitting back on your legs is too much, roll up a shirt or bath towel, depending on how much support you need. Place it underneath your thighs resting on the back of your legs.
Cat and Camel
The Cat-Camel stretch works on your shoulders, chest, and neck.
To do the Cat-Camel stretch, follow these steps:
1. Start on the floor or even on a bed if it’s more comfortable with your hands right under your shoulders. If you have knee problems a bed or sofa might be a better choice than the floor.
2. Push your back down towards the floor.
3. Then, push up tucking your bottom underneath with your back arched up.
4. Continue to transition back and forth between positions slow and controlled.
5. Press and hold each position from 5 to 30 seconds.
6. Do each position 3 times.
This Sphinx Stretch will strengthen your chest, spine, and buttocks. If you have lower back pain this may irritate it so take it slow. I am speaking from my personal experience. I know I can not do this exercise without feeling pain. If that’s the case for you, skip this exercise.
Follow these steps to do the Sphinx Stretch:
You want to lay down on your stomach on the floor or a bed. Make sure your elbows are underneath your shoulders and have your hands extended in front with your palms facing down.
Place your feet about a foot apart.
Slowly lift your head and chest. Then gradually engage your lower back, thighs, and buttocks.
You want your pelvis pressed into the floor.
Breathe slowly as you feel the stretch.
Hold while concentrating on your breathing for 1 to 3 minutes.
Repeat this exercise 2 to 3 times.
I hope these exercises work for you. Listen to your body and if it’s telling you to stop, you need to stop.
If These Stretches Do Not Work For You?
If these exercises do not work for you that’s OK they are not for everyone. Getting pain relief from these stretches will take time. If you would like more immediate pain relief I have listed some proven products below that will give you that more immediate pain relief that you seek.
Sunny Health & Fitness Invert Extend N Go Back Stretcher Bench
This durable invert stretcher comes with an inversion bench that is built from steel. It is protected by a thick layer of upholstery padding. This assures comfort while keeping you safe. The Sunny Health & Fitness Invert Extend N Go Back Stretcher Bench is 72L X 27W X 28H. This back decompression machine comes with 3 length settings that provide multi-stretch functions. This allows you to target different muscles. The ankle holders come with 4 different length and height settings. Keeping you secure, safe, and stable.
It provides an easy reach crank to comfortably and safely stretch your back, hips, and legs. This will help in eradicating your back pain. There are high density, foam cushioned rollers for your underarms and legs. It provides full comfort with relief from back pain and pressure. The Spine stretcher comes with 3 different inversion settings. Those settings make is possible for multi-stretch settings and inversion type therapy. The purpose of having Inversion therapy is to help alleviate back, muscle spasms, muscle tension, and sciatica pain. This is built to support up to 350 LB.
The back stretcher is built with large heavy-duty handlebars to guide you on to the padded backrest. The rollers will keep your ankles intact while supporting your body during your stretches. It comes with convenient transport wheels for easy movement if you need to change locations or move the stretcher into storage after use.
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Air Compression Back Stretching Mat
This sucker is awesome! I had never heard of this product until a friend of mine got it as a birthday gift. My friend uses it all the time and once I found out about it I had to try it out. It’s totally different than anything else I have ever used. It really does stretch you out and feels kinda weird at first but you get used to it.
The HoMedics® Air Compression Back Stretching Mat can literally do your stretching for you. The mat is built with precision-controlled air compression chambers for maximizing your stretches with little effort on your part.
You have the option of choosing from 4 preset programs and 3 levels to control the intensity of your stretch. It additionally has a programmed hand controller, making it convenient so there is no extra effort on your part to get a great experience. The mat can be easily folded up for storage.
It has precision controlled air compression chambers for inflating and deflating in sequence to emulate the stretches just like you would do with yoga.
- You can customize your experience with Four pre-set programs.
- The option of controlling the intensity of your stretch with three preset levels.
- A hand controller that has been programmed for easy use.
- Folds up for easy storage.
The HoMedics® Air Compression Back Stretching Mat allows you to create a yoga studio in your own home. The precision-controlled air compression system takes stretching to an entirely different level. You can increase your flexibility and relieve the tension throughout your back. This is done by the air chambers inflating and deflating to replicate the various stretches and exercises as you would get with yoga.
If you are not into yoga, that’s okay too. This mat is just as great for those looking to simply stretch out.
The HoMedics® Air Compression Back Stretching Mat makes it possible to choose between four pre-set programs for customizing your experience. Additionally, there are three different levels for controlling the intensity of your stretch. The controls are easy to reach with the programmed hand controller.
This mat can be easily stored. You want to make sure you turn the device off, it’s unplugged and totally deflated before storing it.
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CHISOFT Lumbar Stretching Device
This device is very simple to use and cheap compared to other products. The ChiSoft has a 3-level gear adjustment to give you different ranges for stretching your back. It’s very durable and has acupressure points to increase your blood circulation and to help with healing.
To use the ChiSoft you need to place the device on the floor. Kneel down and push the back end of the device against your knees. From here you will adjust the arch level you want.
From here you can place it either at your upper, middle or lower back and slowly lay back on it while exhaling. You want to try to stay on it stretching your back for 5 minutes twice a day. This will produce the best results.
The ChiSoft is 15 x 2.8 x 4 inches and weighs 1.2 pounds.
Chi-Soft Top Features
- It has 3 different arch angles.
- There are acupressure points for increasing your circulation.
- Very easy to assemble.
- It is made with durable plastic of high-quality.
- The instructions are easy to follow.
- Very lightweight.
- You can use this on a chair.
The plastic spikes for the acupressure points may hurt a little but that can be resolved by putting a towel over it.
Spinal Decompression is another way you can reduce back pain. Learn More about Spinal Decompression at Home.