4 Stretches For Lower Back Pain | Rocky Mountain Health Blog



Relieve Lower Back Pain with These Stretches

Lower back pain can be uncomfortable and sometimes debilitating — and it’s also unfortunately more common than you might think. People can experience lower back pain after performing daily activities like sitting at a desk for hours at a time, lifting heavy objects, and more. Regardless of the cause, relief can often be found through the stretching and strengthening of your muscles. These four stretches can be great for lower back pain, and they’re simple enough to do daily.

1. Knee to Chest Stretch

This stretch can help relieve tightness of your back and hips:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Use both hands to grab hold of your right lower leg, interlacing your fingers just under your knee.
  • With your left foot flat on the floor, gently pull your right knee up to your chest. You should feel a stretch in your lower back.
  • Hold your right knee for 30 to 60 seconds. Breathe deeply and relax your back, hips, and legs.
  • Release your right knee and repeat with your left leg.

2. Piriformis Muscle Stretch

This stretch targets your piriformis muscle, which is behind the gluteus maximus (or glutes). Your sciatic nerve runs underneath (or through) the piriformis muscle, which can also lead to lower back pain.

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Cross your right leg over your left leg, ankle resting on your bent knee.
  • Gently pull your left knee toward your chest until you feel a stretch in your right glute muscle.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds. This can be an intense stretch, so it’s important to breathe deeply.

3. Seated Spinal Twist

Raise yourself to a seated position for this lower back stretch.

  • Sit on the ground (on the edge of a cushion for added comfort) with your legs extended out in front of you.
  • Bend your right knee, crossing your right foot over your left thigh.
  • Place your right hand on the ground behind you for support, then bring the upper part of your left arm to the outside of your thigh.
  • Twist, gently pressing your left arm into your thigh to deepen the stretch. Breathe deeply with your chest up to maintain good posture.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

4. Seated Forward Fold

This stretch will loosen tight hamstrings, which are a common contributor to lower back pain:

  • Sit on the ground with your legs extended out in front of you.
  • Wrap a towel or yoga strap around the bottoms of your feet.
  • Bend forward at your hips, gently moving your stomach toward your thighs while maintaining a straight back.
  • If you can’t touch your toes, grab the towel or strap and use it to gently pull yourself deeper into the stretch.
  • Once you feel the stretch in your hamstrings and lower back, hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

What else can I do to relieve lower back pain?

For even more ways to help relieve back pain, check out this quick guide. If your back pain is debilitating, however, it’s always best to schedule a visit with your doctor. Depending on the cause of your distress, you may need specialized treatment.