Easy Stretches for Back Pain Relief
December 07, 2022
Lower back pain can be one of the most frustrating ailments to have. Our expert, orthopedic spine surgeon, Ravi Verma, M.D., shares 10 stretches to help alleviate back pain and find some relief.
“For immediate pain relief, you can try hot or cold compresses, as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medicine. Depending on the source of your pain, you may need to strengthen your core to reduce pain, and there are many stretches and exercises that can do that,” says Dr. Verma.
Here are 10 easy exercises you can do anywhere in your home – many of these moves will be familiar to those who practice yoga.
Always remember to breathe while exercising and don’t rush; these exercises are designed to relax your body.
Lower Back Rotational Stretch
- Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor
- Keeping your shoulders flat on the floor, rotate your knees to one side and hold for five to 10 seconds
- Return to your starting position and repeat on the other side
- Repeat these stretches two to three times a day
Seated 4 Stretch
- Sitting on a stool or chair, cross your right leg over your left leg
- Brace your left ankle against the outside of the right knee
- Lean forward to feel a stretch, hold for 10 seconds
- Repeat on the opposite side
- Repeat exercise three to five times on each side, twice a day
- With your hands and knees on the floor, slowly arch your back and lift up your abdomen
- Slowly let your back down and let the abdomen sink
- Return to starting position and repeat three to five times, twice a day
- On your back with your knees bent and your feet, shoulders and head on the floor, tighten your abdominal and glute muscles
- Raise your hips to form a straight line from your heels to your head
- Hold for three breaths
- Return to starting position and repeat, starting with five per day and working upward
- Lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat, extend your arms to form a “T” position
- With your shoulders on the ground, roll both knees to one side; do this 20 to 30 times
- Return to starting position and repeat on the opposite side
Supine 4 Stretch
- Lying on your back, with knees bent and feet flat, lift your right leg, flex your right foot and cross the right ankle over the left thigh
- Hold for 10 to 15 breaths and switch to the other side
- Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor
- Using both hands, pull up one knee and press it to your chest
- Tighten abdominal muscles and press your spine to the floor, holding for five seconds and then return to starting position
- Repeat exercise with the opposite leg
- From your starting position, repeat with both legs at the same time
- Repeat each stretch two or three times
- Lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat, place your right ankle at the base of your left thigh
- Place your hands behind the left thigh and pull toward your chest and hold for 30 seconds
- Return to starting position and do the opposite leg
- In the plank position, tighten your abdominal muscles and pull your right knee to your right hand
- Place your right foot as close to the left hand as possible
- Breathe and hold for 30 seconds
- Return to the plank position and switch sides
- In a push-up position, bend both your arms at the elbows so your weight rests on your forearms
- Tighten your abdominal and glute muscles, keeping your body straight from heels to head
- Hold as long as you can
Next Steps & Resources:
- Meet our source: Ravi Verma, M.D.
- To make an appointment with a health care provider near you, call 800-822-8905 or visit our website.
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.