Lower Back Pain Stretches You Can Do at Home for Lumbar Pain Relief
Stretching is one of the best things you can do to minimize back pain, increase your flexibility, and promote muscle strength. That’s why medical professionals recommend stretching as part of your daily health routine. If you have lower back pain, it’s even more crucial to give your back the care it needs. Luckily, there are targeted lower back stretches you can do right at home to get some much-needed relief, and we’ll focus on 5 of the best in this article.
Stretch 1: Cat Cow
The cat-cow is a well-known lower back stretch that combines two movements that help to release tension between the vertebrae and increase flexibility. Read the following steps to try it out for yourself.
- Get on your hands and knees on a yoga mat. Ensure that your hands are under your shoulders and that your knees are under your hips. Look straight ahead.
- Do the cat pose. Inhale as you tuck your tailbone under and tuck your chin in towards your chest. If you’re doing this correctly, your back will be rounded outward.
- Hold the stretch for about 5 seconds.
- Go back to your beginning pose where you’re on all fours and looking straight ahead.
- Do the cow pose. Exhale and lift your tailbone upward and push your torso towards the floor. Then, lift your head upward. If you’re doing this correctly, your back will be rounded inward.
- Repeat the stretch several more times, alternating between the cat and cow poses (however many times you’d like).
Stretch 2: Supine Pelvic Tilts
If you’re looking for something that’s a little less athletic, pelvic tilts are sure to come in handy. They’re great for loosening up any tightness and reducing your lower back pain. Here’s how to do it:
- Lie flat on your back on a relatively soft mat.
- Bend your knees.
- Engage your core and tilt your pelvis upward. To ensure you’re getting a thorough stretch, push your pelvis into the mat.
- Hold that position for 5 to 10 seconds.
- Relax your pelvis and back. Go back to your neutral position.
- Repeat the stretch as desired.
Stretch 3: Child’s Pose
The child’s pose lower back stretch is relaxing to your mind and body, loosening up tight back muscles and promoting blood flow throughout your spine. And anyone can learn how to do it. Read the below steps to try it out now:
- Get on all fours with your hands in line with your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips.
- Lean back so that your bottom rests on top of your feet.
- Walk your hands out in front of you until your tummy is resting on your thighs.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute. While you wait, try to relax all of your muscles. The more relaxed you are, the deeper the stretch will be.
Some people find that this back stretch is a little uncomfortable – if that’s the case for you, you can try one or both of the following modifications:
- Place rolled up towels under your thighs to take the pressure off your knees or on top of your thighs to limit how much your back is stretched.
- Put a rolled up blanket or cushion in front of you and rest your head on it.
You can do the child’s pose whenever you want, including when you have pain or when you’re feeling stiff.
Stretch 4: Knee-to-Chest Stretch
Another helpful stretch for those who have low back pain is the knee-to-chest back stretch. It’ll gently release pressure along your lumbar spine and enhance the flexibility of your muscles in the area. Those who have herniated discs can benefit greatly from this stretch. Follow the below instructions to reap the benefits:
- Lie down on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat.
- Lift one of your knees up and use both hands to pull it towards your chest. As you’re doing so, press your tailbone into the floor to maintain proper form.
- Hold your knee for up to 30 seconds, release, and gently lower the leg back down to the ground. To maximize the stretch, you can tuck your head to your chest and lift your shoulder blades off the ground as you reach for and hold your leg.
- Repeat the previous two steps with the other knee.
For those who have trouble with this stretch, you can elevate your head with a pillow or rolled up towel. You can also grab your leg with a towel or scarf if you’re unable to reach with your hands.
Stretch 5: Spinal Twist While Sitting
If you suffer from back pain and mobility issues, perhaps the seated spinal twist should be part of your stretching regimen. It can dramatically increase your spine’s range of motion in addition to working to alleviate any pain. Follow the below steps to do a spinal twist while sitting:
- Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out.
- Cross your left leg over your right leg at the knee. Your foot should be flat and on the outside of your right thigh.
- Position your right arm on the outside of your left thigh, right above the knee.
- As you use your left arm to support your upper body, twist your body to the left to stretch your lower back. Do it slowly.
- Wait about 30 to 60 seconds as you hold the pose.
- Do the same stretch on the other side and hold for another 30 to 60 seconds.
You can modify this back stretch by not crossing a leg over another. Simply sit down with your legs straight and twist your body. If you choose to modify this way, be sure not to move your legs as you twist.
So, there you have it – the top 5 stretches for lower back pain. You can try one, two, or even all five to see which ones provide you the most relief. Keep in mind that back pain improvement can take time, so be patient as you’re trying these back stretches out. We hope you found the information in this article helpful and that it brings you some degree of relief.