What Are the Best Stretches for Lower Back Pain?

Medically Reviewed on 9/29/2022

What are lower back pain stretches?

Lower back pain is one of the common types of complaints by the general population.
Lower back stretches can help reduce the likelihood of low back pain and sciatica symptoms.

Lower back pain is one of the common types of complaints by the general population. It may happen due to poor posture, injury, stress, or poor sleeping facilities. Simple stretches that take little time to practice can alleviate lower back discomfort.

What are the benefits of stretching?

The benefits of stretching include:

  • Improving range of motion and mobility
  • Reducing muscles tension supporting the spine; tension in these muscles can worsen pain from several back pain conditions
  • Reducing the risk of disability caused by back pain
  • Reducing the risk of back, hip, and knee surgery
  • Improving the quality of life

Stretches for lower back pain

Lower back pain may be relieved by doing the below few common stretches. Here are the different stretches for your lower back pain.

  • Floor twist:
    • Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor.
    • Spread arms out to either side for support.
    • Gently let your knees drop to the right side while you rotate your head and torso to the left.
    • Return to the center, and repeat the stretch on the opposite side.
  • Child’s pose:
    • Start on all fours.
    • Slowly sink your hips back toward your feet until your butt touches your heels, and
    • your chest would be pressed against your quads.
    • Extend your arms in front of you and feel the gentle stretch along your back.
  • Figure 4:
    • Start by facing a chair back, table, or sturdy towel rack.
    • Cross your right foot over your left knee, bending your right knee out to the side so that your legs form the shape of the number “4.”
    • Holding the support in front of you, bend your left knee, stick your lower area out and sink into the stretch, rounding your spine and pulling away from the support to deepen the stretch in your lower back.
    • Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Cat pose: Start this move on all fours. Drop your head toward the floor and round your back, imagining the center of your spine being lifted by a string toward the ceiling.
  • Cradle pose:
    • Turn over onto your back and bend your knees, feet flat on the floor.
    • Raise your feet and bring your knees toward your chest.
    • Wrap your arms over your shins as if you are giving them a big hug.
    • Gently pull your knees in closer to your spine, raising your head so that your back is rounded.
  • Chair stretch:
    • Sitting in a chair, cross your right leg over your left.
    • Place your left hand on the outside of your right knee.
    • Gently press against your right knee as you twist your head and torso to the right, letting your legs turn slightly to the left.
    • Return to neutral. Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Runner’s stretch: Sometimes, a tight lower back is exacerbated by even tighter hamstrings.
    • For this stretch, start sitting on the floor, both legs straight in front of you.
    • Turn your right leg out and bend your right knee, sliding your right foot up so it touches the instep of your left knee.
    • Lean forward and grab your left toes with both hands (grasp your left calf if you don’t have the flexibility to reach that far) feeling the stretch down your back.
    • Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Golf swing:
    • Get your knee into the corner of the wall, or as close to it as you can, and get your other leg up.
    • It might be hard at first, so you might need to bend forward, but eventually, as the muscles loosen up you can straighten.
    • Doing this stretch for 2 minutes per side daily will help keep your hip flexors loose.
    • This means less low back pain and more flexibility to turn in your golf swing.


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Medically Reviewed on 9/29/2022
Care Instructions. Low Back Pain: Exercises. https://thrive.kaiserpermanente.org/care-near-you/northern-california/santarosa/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2015/09/Low-Back-Pain-Exercises_tcm28-181043.pdf

University Health Services Tang Center. Low Back Pain. https://uhs.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/LowBackPain.pdf