10 Simple Stretches to Relieve Back Pain

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Upper and Lower Back Stretch - Child's Pose - Reach Stretch & Recovery

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people miss work and visit the doctor. It affects people of all ages and can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain that makes it hard to move. While there are many potential causes of back pain, simple muscle strains and poor posture are some of the most common culprits.

The good news is that there are many stretches and exercises you can do right at home to help relieve back pain and prevent it from returning. In this blog post, we’ll share 10 easy stretches for back to add to your daily routine to keep your back feeling its best.

Child’s Pose

The child’s pose is a gentle stretch that helps open up the hips and relieve tension in the lower back. To do it:

  • Kneel on the floor and touch your big toes together behind you as you sit on your heels.
  • Reach your arms out in front of you and lay your chest down between your thighs. Let your forehead rest on the floor.
  • Hold this pose for 30 seconds, breathing deeply.

This stretch helps lengthen the spine and allows the back muscles to relax.

Knee to Chest

This stretch helps alleviate lower back pain by gently opening up the spine and hips. To do it:

  • Lie on your back and pull one knee up to your chest until you feel a stretch in your lower back and buttocks.
  • Hold the knee with both hands to keep it in place.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Cat-Cow Pose

Cat-cow pose is a gentle sequence that warms up the spine and relieves back tension. To do it:

  • Get on your hands and knees with a flat back.
  • Inhale and arch your back up toward the ceiling, lifting your head (cow pose).
  • Exhale and round your back down toward the floor, tucking your chin into your chest (cat pose).
  • Repeat 5-10 times, moving with your breath.

Flowing between these two poses massages the spine and opens up tightness.

Seated Spinal Twist

Twisting motions can help realign the vertebrae in your spine and relieve pain. Try this gentle seated twist:

  • Sit up tall on the floor with both legs straight out in front of you.
  • Cross your right leg over your left, bending your right knee and placing your right foot flat on the floor.
  • Place your right hand behind you and gently twist your upper body to the right. Turn your head to look over your right shoulder.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Kneeling Lunge Stretch

This lunge opens the front of your hips to gently stretch your lower back. To do it:

  • Kneel on your right knee with your left foot in front of you, foot flat on the floor.
  • Place both hands on your left thigh and slowly lean your hips forward until you feel a stretch in your lower back.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Bridge Pose

Bridge pose strengthens your back, glutes, and hamstrings while giving your back muscles a gentle stretch. To do it:

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart.
  • Pushing through your heels, lift your hips up toward the ceiling.
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds, then lower back down slowly.

Downward Facing Dog

A yoga staple, downward dog gently stretches the whole back side of your body. To do it:

  • Start on your hands and knees with wrists under shoulders and knees under hips.
  • Curl your toes under, lift your knees off the floor, and push your hips up and back to form an upside down V shape.
  • Let your head hand freely to stretch your neck. Hold for 30 seconds.

Cobra Pose

Cobra pose strengthens your back while opening up your chest and shoulders. To do it:

  • Lie face down with legs straight behind you and toes pointed.
  • Place your hands under your shoulders.
  • Push your chest off the floor, straightening your arms.
  • Look up and hold the pose for 30 seconds.

Seated Spinal Stretch

This stretch does wonders for improving flexibility and reducing tension in your spine and back muscles. To do it:

  • Sit up tall near the front edge of a chair with feet hip-width apart, grounded on the floor.
  • Reach your arms straight in front of you at shoulder height, keeping shoulders down.
  • Gently round your upper back and lean slightly forward from your hip joints.
  • Hold for 30 seconds, then slowly sit back up.

Knee to Opposite Shoulder

This twist stretches your lower and mid-back. To do it:

  • Lie on your back and bend your knees, feet flat on the floor.
  • Cross your right knee over to your left shoulder.
  • Hold the outside of your right knee with your left hand and gently pull it toward the floor.
  • Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.

Conclusion

Simple stretches like these can make a world of difference when it comes to relieving back pain. Try incorporating a few into your daily stretching routine, especially after long periods of sitting or strenuous activity. Pay attention to your body’s signals, being careful not to overstretch. And if you have chronic back pain or your symptoms worsen, be sure to check with your doctor. With some consistency, these stretches can help keep your back feeling supple and pain-free.

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