Want to alleviate back pain? Here is how to stretch your lower back

Updated: Jun 23

Exercise and stretching plays a pivotal role in maintaining our mental and physical health. The changes our brain experiences while we're exercising regulate stress, relieve depression and help us produce positive feelings due to the heightened levels of endorphin. Furthermore, physical activity can help with weight loss, energy levels, muscle and bone stability, and even reduce the risk of chronic disease.

The benefits of activity are undeniable, no matter how intense the workout routine is. This is particularly important for people who wish to exercise to alleviate pain. Gentle but consistent stretching can do wonders for sensitive and painful areas of the body without the risk of causing greater pain or exertion.

We'll take a look at the benefits of stretching when it comes to managing back pain, especially common among those who have a sedentary lifestyle in this digital era but also among those who experienced injuries or consistent strain.

Lower-back pain is the most common

The five vertebrae (L1 - L5) make up the lumbar region, or - the lower back. It supports most of our upper-body weight and is therefore sensitive to strain. Some of the common causes that give us grief in this area are:

  • Congenital (skeletal irregularities)

  • Injuries

  • Degenerative problems

  • Nerve and spinal cord problems (such as osteoporosis and sciatica)

  • Non-spine sources (like kidney stones or pregnancy)

Why stretch in the first place?

Stretching the back muscles will strengthen muscles, ligaments, and tendons, which will, in turn, provide much-needed spine support and relieve neck and lower back pain. The tension in these muscles worsens the pain of all back conditions. By doing stretches, you will not only improve the overall mobility, but also reduce the risk of disability caused by back pain.

Want to give it a go? 6 stretches you can try right away

1. Let’s start with a knee to chest position

Align the pelvis to stretch the rear-end muscles and the lower back.

We'll walk you through it, but always remember to listen to your body and never force positions that cause you pain or discomfort.

While lying flat on your back, toes towards the sky, slowly bend your right knee and move your leg close to your chest. Your arms should go around your thigh, shin or knee. Hold the position for 20 seconds and slowly extend the leg again. You can repeat the process with each leg three times and even bring both legs in and hold that position while gently massaging your lower back against the floor.

2. Lying knee twist

This is how we stretch the paraspinal muscles and strengthen the abdominal ones. Extend your legs straight while lying on your back. Bend your right knee and gently place it on the floor (or as far as feels comfortable) over your left side of the body. You should feel a gentle stretch in your back muscles and buttocks for about 20 seconds. Then, slowly rotate back to the center and repeat three times on each side.

3. Cat/Cow yoga position

While kneeling (on all fours), place your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Gently breathe out and arch your spine. Then inhale, tighten the core, and round your back. Move slowly and hold each position for a maximum of 10 seconds. A set of 10 exercises would be an excellent start.

4. Piriformis Seated Stretch

The name stems from the piriformis muscle, which grows stronger and longer with this stretch.

It is often the cause of sciatica or radiating leg pain, and here's how to get rid of the pain with the seated stretch.

Sit on your mat with your back straight and cross your left leg over your right. Land the foot next to your thigh and move your right leg towards your buttocks. Use your right arm to gently stretch while in this position. It is vital to keep your back straight and chest lifted. You can hold for 20 seconds and repeat each side three times.

5. The cobra stretch

This particular movement is famous for loosening the abdominal muscles and the lower back.

Lie on your belly and extend your legs with palms planted on the sides of your head and your forearms and elbows flat on the ground. Use this footing to gently lift your body upwards. You should feel your weight resting on your forearms while keeping your hips from lifting up from the ground. Once you feel comfortable, you can hold the position for about ten seconds, thus stretching your abdominal muscles and lower back. You can even strengthen your arms, but only if you feel comfortable enough.

6. The Restful child’s pose

This is to help you relax your body. On your hands and knees, position yourself on the floor with your knees just a little wider than hip distance apart.

Then, push your hips backward, bending your knees. Once you feel comfortable, extend your arm while letting your head fall into a comfortable position. You can rest here for about 20 seconds and slowly return to the starting position afterward. A set of three is quite enough.


Stretching can do wonders for your lower back, and it only takes several minutes a day. If you feel more at ease, you can attend a yoga class or hire a professional, so you can deal with this problem specifically while having the support of the professional. Whatever you deceit, you'll be able to see the difference and feel more mobile and flexible just after a few weeks of exercising.

Be consistent and careful as well. Never go into a position you feel will overwhelm any part of your body. Who knows, you might fall in love with the endorphins and keep exercising with vigor even when your lower back [ain is almost gone.

11 views0 comments