If you’re suffering from low back pain, you may be tempted to run straight to the medicine cabinet and pop open the ibuprofen or acetaminophen. While these medications may help with inflammation and pain, they don’t address the root of the problem—muscle tightness—and often cause stomach problems that can exacerbate your pain instead of easing it. You can use stretches to help relieve your low back pain by loosening your muscles and improving mobility, which decreases stress on your spine and helps restore balance to your body’s systems.
1) Chest Stretch
Start by standing up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly bend forward at the waist, keeping your back straight and your knees relaxed. Once you\’re as far down as you can go without pain, place your hands on your lower legs and hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
2) Upper Body Pec Stretch
- Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.
- Next, raise your arms straight out in front of you until they\’re parallel to the ground.
- Slowly begin to lean forward, keeping your back straight as you do. You should feel a stretch in your chest and shoulders when you do this.
- Once you\’ve reached a comfortable point, hold the stretch for 30 seconds before returning to the starting position.
3) Side bend with Overhead Reach
- Start standing with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Reach your left hand overhead and bend to the right, bringing your left hand toward the floor.
- Keep your right knee directly above your right ankle as you reach your hips back and lengthen through the left side of your body.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
4) Knee to Chest
Start by lying on your back with both knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Place your hands on your thighs or behind your knees, whichever is more comfortable. Slowly bring your right knee up to your chest, keeping your lower back pressed firmly against the floor. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat with your left leg.
5) Bending at the waist
Bending at the waist is one of the most common movements we do every day. But when you have lower back pain, this simple act can be very difficult. The good news is that there are a few stretches you can do to help relieve your pain.
6) Hamstring stretch
One of the best stretches for lower back pain relief is the hamstring stretch. This stretch targets the muscles in the back of your thigh, which can often become tight and contribute to lower back pain. Here’s how to do it
7) Hip flexor stretch
- Start in a standing position and take a big step forward with your left leg.
- Keeping your back straight, bend your left knee and sink down until your thigh is parallel to the ground.
- Make sure your right knee doesn’t go past your toes as you bend down. You should feel a stretch in your left hip and outer thigh.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds before switching sides.
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