Doing a few stretches for lower back pain can make a huge difference in your pain level!
Seriously, stretching can be absolutely game-changing when your back is stiff or aching.
Stretching will loosen up tense muscles, increase blood flow to your joints, combat inflammation, and help to restore proper alignment of your spine.
Time you spend stretching and limbering up will never be wasted, I guarantee it.
I want to share with you a few of my favorite stretches for lower back pain, stretches I’ve used for decades to help loosen things up and restore healthy movement following a back injury.
Make a routine of these stretches, and you’ll have a handy solution for treating—and preventing—your back pain!
My X Favorite Stretches for Lower Back Pain
Knee-to-Chest – This is one of the simplest yet most effective stretches you can do to reduce the pressure on your lower back and re-align your spine. It’s incredibly useful if you’re experiencing a great deal of pain or stiffness in your lower back, and because it’s a unilateral (one-sided) movement, you can spend more time working on the side that is giving you the most grief.
Cat-Cow Stretch – This is an incredibly gentle stretch that helps to elongate and contract your spine very effectively. It can both improve your flexibility and reduce the tension in your spinal muscles, joints, and connective tissue. It’s a truly amazing addition to your stretching routine if you’re feeling a great deal of pain, or you can use it in your daily warm-ups and cool-downs to prevent injuries before, during, or after training.
Trunk Rotation – This stretch will pull on the spinal muscles and connective tissue very effectively, increasing your flexibility and limbering up your spine. It’s highly recommended to use following a spinal injury or flare-up of pain, and I like to include it as part of my daily stretches because it gives me greater range of rotational (twisting) movement. It can be a game-changer to reduce your risk of injury while playing sports or working out.
Bridge – This serves double-duty as both a stretch and an exercise for your lower back. While you are in the bridge position, you are tensing the spinal supporter muscles, but you’re also arching upward to try and increase the range of motion in your spinal column. If you add in a leg lift, you really double down on the effectiveness of the workout. Over time, you’ll find that your back becomes more resistant to injury because of just this one exercise-stretch combo.
Pelvic Tilt – This is the trimmed-down version of Bridge, which is perfect for anyone feeling a bit of pain in their lower back and don’t want to risk making an existing problem worse. Instead of maintaining the elevated position and keeping the spinal supporter muscles contracted for long periods, this stretch uses a 5-to-10-second hold to activate the muscles a little without straining existing joint or connective tissue injuries. This stretch will do wonders to activate both the lower back and the muscles and joints connecting the spine to the pelvis.
Flexion Rotation – This is another amazing stretch that will help to increase your range of rotational (twisting) movement, which can both strengthen your spine against injury and accelerate recovery from existing back pain. It’s not the easiest stretch—it will take time to develop a greater range of motion—but it’s absolutely worth putting it into your routine so you can increase your flexibility.
Seated Forward Bend – If you’re feeling tension, stiffness, and pain in your lower back, it could be the result of spinal misalignment or a disc slipped out of place. This stretch helps to re-align your spine and increase the range of motion of your lower spinal muscles, as well as in your hamstrings. And you definitely want more movement in your hamstrings, because it’s believed that reduced mobility in your back-of-legs muscles is a major contributor to lower back pain and injuries.
Supported Bridge – This is an interesting stretch that can do wonders to decompress your spine. It’s certainly going to cause a noticeable amount of discomfort—you’re going to be lying with something directly beneath your spine, as well as any stiff or painful muscles or joints—but it’s absolutely amazing to decrease tension on those muscles or joints and increase your mobility. Breathe through the pain, and you may find that you move a lot more easily once you stand up.
Belly Flop – I love this stretch because it works on decompressing the spine, but without direct pressure applied to the spinal joints and muscles. Instead of lying on your back with something placed beneath your spine, you lie face-down with something placed directly beneath your hip bones. This will elevate your pelvis and reduce the pressure on your spine.
Child’s Pose – When I’m in a lot of pain, this is my go-to stretch. It’s a simple, relaxing Yoga pose that can make a huge difference on my discomfort level, and I can go as deeply into the stretch as I’m able to based on the stiffness or pain in my back.
Stretches for Lower Back Pain are just the first step; it’s time to Get Back on Track!
Using stretches for lower back is a great place to start, but you’ve got to take it a step farther and find solutions for strengthening your back and “bulletproofing” it against injuries.
That’s where Back on Track can lend a hand. Our system was created specifically for people who are prone to regular back injuries, and anyone who wants to prevent injuries from impairing their lives in the future. It will teach you the basic cause behind so many back issues, an ignored-but-dangerous syndrome that could be the reason you’re in pain. By learning how to address them, you can reduce the chance of future injuries and make your stretches for lower back pain DOUBLY effective!
Use left/right arrows to navigate the slideshow or swipe left/right if using a mobile device