5 Stretches for Immediate Low Back Pain Relief

low back pain relief

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Low back pain is one of the most common pain locations most everyone will experience at some point in life.

Low back pain can be extremely challenging and disruptive in our day-to-day lives.

It can keep us from being able to sit, stand or walk for an extended time. You may also find it difficult to bend, lift and squat.

Some can even reach the point where their back pain becomes so debilitating that they don’t leave their homes very often.

Can something be done about this? Yes!

Causes of Low Back Pain

cause of low back pain

Low back pain can start for many reasons.

It could be related to a specific trauma, such as from a car accident.

Maybe you injured it picking up that heavy item from the floor that probably should have just been left where it was.

If you wake up with low back pain, it could very well be your mattress not giving you enough support, or even your sleeping position itself.

It’s also important to consider structural changes in the spine that you may have been born with or developed as you got older.

This may include the following:

In addition to natural structural changes in the spine, if muscle imbalances exist in the back, this can lead to back pain.

Muscle imbalances usually involve certain muscles being too short and tight, while others are too long and weak.

How to Relieve Low Back Pain

While there are different ways to relieve low back pain, stretching is one of the top ways to find more immediate relief.

Why does stretching work on back pain?

Stretching helps to lengthen and relax tight muscles. 

Muscle tension and guarding are natural responses to pain in the body (or this tension could be the cause of pain, to begin with!).

By stretching and lengthening tight muscles, you can very easily relieve some unnecessary stresses that may be hurting your back.

Also, keep in mind that when stretching, you’re not only lengthening the muscles, but you’re gently moving the joints, such as the spine.

This gentle movement will promote healthy blood flow and nutrition to the joints, which can help to relieve pain.

What Are the Best Low Back Pain Stretches?

While there’s plenty to choose from, the following 5 stretches are considered among the best for immediate low back pain relief.

All of these can be practiced on your bed or couch if you’re not comfortable getting up and down from the floor.

  1. Double Knees to Chest Stretch
double knees to chest stretch step 1
double knees to chest stretch step 2
  • Lying on your back, have the knees bent and feet flat on the surface.
  • Lift both knees towards the chest, hugging them closer with the arms looped around the thighs.
  • Make sure to relax in this position and allow the arms to cradle the legs.
  • Hold for 30-60 seconds. Repeat twice.
  1. Lower Trunk Rotation Stretch
lower trunk rotation stretch step 1
lower trunk rotation stretch step 2
  • Lying on your back, have the knees bent and feet flat on the surface.
  • Keep the thighs and feet touching together.
  • Brace the core by gently pressing the belly button down towards the surface to flatten the back.
  • Slowly allow both knees to fall towards one side of the surface. Only move the legs as far as you can without any back pain.
  • Hold for 5 seconds, then return to your starting position.
  • Repeat in the opposite direction.
  • Continue alternating back and forth in this stretch for 10 repetitions each side.
  1. Open Book Stretch
open book stretch step 1
open book stretch step 2
  • Lying on your side (you can pick either side to begin with), allow the legs to curl up as if you’re going to sleep. 
  • Allow both arms to stretch forward with the palms facing each other.
  • Slowly allow the top arm to lift up towards the ceiling while keeping the elbow straight. Let the head remain down, but rotate it to follow the hand.
  • Continue moving the arm so that you end up reaching backwards. You should allow the torso to slowly rotate as the arm continues to move.
  • Hold the end of the stretch for up to 5 seconds, then return to your starting position.
  • Repeat 10x, then practice on your other side.
  1. Hamstring Stretch with a Strap
hamstring stretch with a strap step 1
hamstring stretch with a strap step 2
  • Lie flat on your back with the legs stretched in front of you.
  • Loop a non-elastic strap around the leg you intend to stretch.
  • Use the arms to pull on the strap and slowly lift the leg up off the surface.
  • Raise the leg as high as you can without bending the knee.
  • Hold at the end of the stretch for 30-60 seconds, then slowly lower back down.
  • Repeat 2x. Practice on both legs.
  1. Child’s Pose
child’s pose step 1
child’s pose step 2
  • Position yourself on your hands and knees. 
  • Sit back towards your heels, allowing the arms to stretch out in front of you. Make sure to relax your head.
  • Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds, then return to your starting position.
  • Repeat 2x.

If you’re a big fan of the child’s pose stretch, then you should check out the following variation!

This video will demonstrate a couple different angles you can include with your child’s pose for a more advanced stretch.

It’s important to remember that if the cause of your low back pain is related to a recent injury or trauma, make sure you see your doctor right away to have it examined.

Make sure to always be gentle with your stretches. They should be comforting, not painful!

Wondering What's Next?

Discover 11 Easy, At-Home “Stretch Exercises” for Stronger, Pain-Free Joints (click below)

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