8 Simple Stretches to Relieve Lower Back Pain

Medically Reviewed on 6/15/2022
Lower Back Pain
Lower back stretches can help reduce the likelihood of low back pain and sciatica symptoms.

Lower back discomfort is a common issue that negatively affects your quality of life. Lower back discomfort can be caused by several factors, such as poor posture or excess body weight.

Back discomfort is a frequent health problem that might interfere with your daily activities. 

  • Overuse of pain relievers is associated with several health risks.
  • Some natural therapies can effectively heal this condition.
  • Exercise is one of the most effective treatments for lower back pain. Some easy stretches might help treat lower back discomfort. It is advised to consult your doctor to know which exercises you can safely do.

Simple stretches that take little time to practice can alleviate lower back discomfort.

8 stretches for lower back pain

  1. Kneeling lunge stretch
    • Begin with kneeling on both knees and bring one leg forward until the foot is level on the ground.
    • Maintain equal distribution of weight across both hips (rather than on one side or the other).
    • Lean forward with both hands on the top of the thigh to feel a stretch in the front of the opposite leg.
    • This stretch affects the hip flexor muscles, which link to the pelvis and, if overly tight, can compromise posture.
  2. Piriformis muscle stretch
    • Lie on your back with your legs bent and heels flat on the floor.
    • Cross one leg over the other, placing the ankle on the bent knee, and slowly draw the lower knee toward the chest until a stretch in the buttock is felt.
    • Alternatively, lie on the floor and cross one leg over the other, pulling it forward over the torso at the knee while maintaining the other leg flat.
  3. Cobra Stretch
    • This technique can stretch tight abdominal muscles and the lower back.
    • Begin by lying on your stomach, legs outstretched, palms placed on either side of your head, forearms, and elbows flat on the ground.
    • Slowly raise your body such that your weight is supported on the forearms.
    • Keep your hips firmly planted on the ground.
    • Hold for 10 seconds until you have found a comfortable posture that gradually extends your abdominal muscles and lower back.
    • Return to the starting position slowly and repeat five times.
    • Straighten your arms if you have more flexibility in your lower back.
  4. Restful or the child’s pose
    • The calm child's pose, a basic yoga practice, can help you relax your body.
    • Position yourself on your hands and knees on the floor, with your knees slightly wider than hip-distance apart.
    • Bring your toes together and push your hips back, bending your knees.
    • As you find a comfortable seating position, completely stretch your arms forward and allow your head to fall forward into a relaxed position.
    • Hold this stance for 20 seconds before returning to the beginning position and repeat it three times more.
    • If you experience shoulder pain, position your arms on each side of your body and stretch them toward your feet.
  5. Seated spinal twist
    • A simple sitting spinal twist might help with lower back discomfort.
    • This position will help with flexibility.
    • This easy stretch has several health advantages, including improved mood, knee, spinal, and shoulder flexibility.
    • Sit on the floor, with legs straight out in front of you and arms behind your back.
    • Place both hands on the floor behind you with your fingers facing away from you.
    • Place your left foot flat on the ground on the outside of your right knee.
    • Inhale and bring your right arm up.
    • Exhale and pull your right arm down placing your elbow on the outside of your left leg.
    • Turn your chest, head, and eyes to the left.
    • Hold for about a minute. Breathe. Slowly bring your head and then your chest back to the center.
    • Repeat on the other side.
  6. Legs up on the wall
    • Crawl your legs up and rest them on the wall while lying flat on your back with your buttocks flat on the wall.
    • If your lower back muscles are sensitive to touch, rest on a folded towel or blanket for more support and cushioning.
  7. Trunk rotations
    • If your back stiffness stops you from rolling or rotating, this is an excellent stretch to help loosen things up.
    • To begin with, lie on your back on the ground, legs facing up, hands behind your head, and elbows on the floor.
    • Allow your legs to rotate toward the ground to one side while keeping your knees together.
    • This stretch focuses on tight muscles in the lower and middle back.
  8. Pelvic tilt
    • This stretch is another basic exercise that efficiently relieves lower back muscular tension. This stretch increases the area's flexibility.
    • Begin by laying on your back with your feet flat, knees bent, and arms at your sides. Because of the curvature of the spine, the lower back is somewhat raised.
    • Gently arch your lower back and push your tummy out. This stance aids with core stability.
    • Before relaxing, hold the posture for at least five seconds.
    • Push the pelvis slightly upward while remaining on the floor. Tighten the muscles in your glutes and abdomen.
    • The lower back should be placed on the floor.
    • Before relaxing, hold the posture for at least five seconds. Repeat the exercise every day. Start with 10 to 15 repetitions and slowly build it up to 25 to 30.


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What is the link between hamstrings and lower back pain?

Lower back discomfort is frequently caused by tense hamstring muscles. The hamstring muscles stretch from the hip to the back of the knee on the back of each thigh.

The following four stretches help progressively lengthen and relax the hamstring muscle, reducing stress in the lower back.

  1. Standing hamstring stretch
    • Stretch your hamstrings while standing.
    • Bend forward at the waist, arms dropping down toward the ground and legs straight, without locking the knees.
    • Try to touch your toes and stop bending forward as you feel a tiny pull in your hamstring.
    • This exercise is not usually suggested because it can be difficult to perform and can even aggravate discomfort from a lumbar herniated disc, spondylolisthesis, or other problems. Other ways of hamstring stretches are encouraged.
  2. Chair hamstring stretch
    • Stretch your hamstrings while sitting.
    • Sitting in a chair, extend one leg straight out in front of the body on another chair.
    • Stretch one leg at a time, reaching toward the toes.
  3. Towel hamstring stretch
    • Hold either end of a rolled-up towel and wrap it behind the foot while resting on your back.
    • Then, raise the leg in front of you to feel a tiny stretch in the hamstring muscle.
  4. Wall hamstring stretch
    • Lie on the floor with your buttocks against a wall and your legs extended out against it.
    • Attempt to keep the knee as straight as possible.
    • This stretch is typically pleasant on the lower back because it puts less stress on it, and the body is supported while lying down.

Stretching the hamstrings for 30 to 60 seconds has been demonstrated to be the most beneficial. Stretching should be done two times a day consistently. You must include stretching into your routine.

Do stretches help lower back pain?

Long periods of sitting can cause stiffness and excessive strain on the lower back. Stretching before and after work can help maintain mobility of the lower spine and flexibility of the muscles flexible and keep them healthy. Lower back stretches can help reduce the likelihood of low back pain and sciatica symptoms. It can improve your ability to walk, bend, and conduct daily chores.

To stretch your muscles properly and prevent injury, you must follow a few strategies while performing stretches to relieve back pain.

  • Wear loose-fitting clothing that does not bind or restrict movement.
  • Stretching should be painless.
  • Avoid jumping into a stretch, which can create muscular tension.
  • Stretch on a clean, level surface with enough room to move about.
  • Stretches should be held for 15 to 30 seconds to sufficiently lengthen muscles and enhance range of motion.
  • Repeat a stretch two to five times since a muscle normally reaches maximal elongation after four repetitions.
  • Stretch only one side of your body at a time.
  • Consult your doctor or physical therapist before attempting any stretches or exercises.

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Medically Reviewed on 6/15/2022
Image Source: iStock image

Pierce B. Six Stretches To Help Alleviate Low Back Pain And Tightness. Pierce Chiropractic. https://www.piercechiropractic.net/blog/six-stretches-to-help-alleviate-low-back-pain-and-tightness

WebMD. Best Exercises for Lower Back Pain. https://www.webmd.com/back-pain/exercises-lower-back-pain

Ocampo S. 7 stretches to make your spine smile. Total Wellness Magazine. https://totalwellnessmagazine.org/articles/7-stretches-to-make-your-spine-smile