8 Easy Stretches to Relieve Back Pain: Back pain is one of the most excruciating sensations one can experience. Pain can be caused by a chronic condition such as ankylosing spondilitis or scoliosis, a sudden accident, lack of activity, or constant strain. It causes us to slow down and even quit some tasks that used to be manageable. If back pain gets bad enough, it may even leave some bed ridden. Medicine or hot/cold patches may provide temporary relief, but eventually the pain will return. Stretching helps the muscles activate and build strength to support the spine - leading to reduced frequency and intensity of pain. Below are some simple exercises that can have you back on your feet in no time:
8 Easy Stretches to Relieve Back Pain: #1 Imprinting
This simple but effective exercise allows blood to flow to the deep core muscles and strengthens the spine.
- Lay relaxed on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- Breathe out and gently lift pelvic floor muscles. Then, pull the navel down toward the spine so that the lower back ”imprints” into the floor.
- Breathe in, relax the muscles, and return to your initial position.
8 Easy Stretches to Relieve Back Pain: #2 Chest Lift
Core and abdominal strengthening exercise allows more support in the core and less tension on the back.
- Lay relaxed on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and hands behind the head.
- Breathe out and lift the head and chest, keeping the stomach pulling flat, and pelvis still.
- Breathe in to lay the head back down.
8 Easy Stretches to Relieve Back Pain: #3 Supine Spinal Twist
Rotation helps to stretch the back muscles and helps to strengthen the oblique muscles to further support the spine.
- Lay on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms stretched out to the sides.
- Keep knees squeezed together. Slowly take the knees over to one side, keeping shoulder blades in contact with the floor.
- Breathe out pulling your navel into your spine and drag the knees back to the center.
- Repeat the exercise 3-5 times to each side, alternating sides.
8 Easy Stretches to Relieve Back Pain: #4 Hamstring Stretch
Stretching the hamstrings helps to immediately relieve tension in the back. Improvements in posture will become noticeable over time.
- Lay on your back. One leg bent with foot flat on the floor and other leg lifted straight towards the ceiling.
- Keeping your leg straight, pull the leg towards you as much as possible without twisting, until you feel a stretch.
- Focus on breathing and try to relax. You should feel a stretch in the back of the thigh.
- Hold for 15-20 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.
8 Easy Stretches to Relieve Back Pain: #5 Hip Flexor Stretch
Stretching the hips and buttocks helps maintain spine flexibility.
- Kneel on ground with one leg forward with your foot flat on the ground. Lift tall in the spine and keep the navel pulling in, then tuck the pelvis under.
- Feel a stretch in the front of the hip. Bring weight forward onto front leg if more stretch is required.
8 Easy Stretches to Relieve Back Pain: #6 Roll Backs
Moving the spine using the abdominal muscles helps to not only stretch and relieve tension in the back muscles, but also helps to strengthen the core and abdominals. It immediately creates a greater ease of movement in the spine.
- Sit tall with the legs bent comfortably out in front and feet on the floor. Hands placed on the back of the thighs.
- Breathe out and begin curving the spine starting from the tailbone, rolling backwards until arms are straight and the whole spine is curved in a C-shape.
- Hold there and breathe in. Breathe out and bring the body forward, keeping the C-curve, until shoulders are over the hips, then stack the spine up to a straight, tall position. Repeat 6-10 times.
8 Easy Stretches to Relieve Back Pain: #7 Kneeling Arm & Leg Reach
This exercise works the entire stabilizing muscle system for the torso.
- Kneel on all fours, ensuring the hands are under the shoulders, the knees are under the hips, and the spine is relaxed.
- Without moving the torso, reach one arm forward and the opposite leg back keeping the finger tips and toes on the ground.
- Lift the extended arm and leg off the ground, keeping the navel pulled in to help stabilize the torso. Hold for a few second before bringing the hand and leg back down and to the start position.
- Repeat 3-5 times each side.
8 Easy Stretches to Relieve Back Pain: #8 Cat Stretch
Stretching the whole back allows not only relief but also mobility and flexibility.
- Position yourself on your hands and knees.
- Slowly arch your back as if the abdomen is lifting you up toward the ceiling.
- Then slowly let your back and abdomen sag toward the floor.
- Return to starting position and repeat 3-5 times twice a day.