5 Back Stretches to Naturally Relieve Back Pain

Lower back stretches don't require great physical effort; anyone can do them at the slightest sign of pain for easy relief.
5 Back Stretches to Naturally Relieve Back Pain

Last update: 25 March, 2021

Various stretches and yoga positions can help gently relieve lower back pain. Would you like to get started? If so, here are 5 stretches that help counteract tension in the lower back and can relieve recurring pain.

Lower back pain is a very common problem in people who lead a sedentary lifestyle, as well as in people who use electronic devices frequently for long periods of time, such as at work. In fact, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) at least 80% of people experience lower back pain for this reason.

This discomfort is characterized by a feeling of tightness and stiffness in the lower back, sometimes accompanied with tingling and difficulty moving. It most often occurs as a result of an injury like a muscle strain or sprain, sudden movements or poor body mechanics when lifting heavy objects.

1. Lower back kyphosis back stretches

A woman with an exercise ball.

 

This kyphosis exercise can be a little hard for people with back stiffness or a lot of back pain. However, with a little practice you’ll get better and gain better muscular and joint mobility.

In addition, it’s a very good stretch for increasing energy and improving your posture.

How do I do it?

  • Firstly, lie back onto a round surface (like a large ball) and carefully support your back a bit lower than the level of your shoulder blades.
  • Get a good hold on the surface, breathe deeply, and then let the rest of your body sink smoothly down.
  • Your spine will curve to the shape of the surface. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Do 8 repetitions.

Read: The Six Best Exercises to Strengthen Your Lower Back

2. Psoas and iliacus stretches

These stretches together are useful for strengthening your back and improving both your posture and joint movement. Regularly practicing them improves your coordination and, along the way, strengthens your hips to prevent injury.

How do I do it?

  • Firstly, look for a surface with support, like a table, and two belts.
  • Use one of the belts to tie one foot to a table leg and put the other just below your other foot.
  • With the help of the belt, bring your knee towards your chest as you lie back on the table.
  • Stretch your knee little by little until you feel tension, hold for three seconds, and then return to your initial position.
  • Repeat with the other leg.

3. Crossed hip stretch

Women in a yoga class doing back stretches.

The crossed hip stretch is one of the most complete and effective stretches for relieving back pain.

In fact, since it improves your flexibility, it’s ideal for relaxing your shoulders, hips and other parts of your body that also are affected by tension.

How do I do it?

  • Firstly, lay on an exercise mat, twist your pelvis to one side while rotating your spine towards the other side.
  • Your top leg will go forward, while the other leg moves back, knee bent.
  • Stretch both arms out to the side that your spine is stretching towards, as well as your head.
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds then rest.
  • Do 3 repetitions on each side.
  • Combine the stretch with deep breathing.

4. Piriformis stretch

The piriformis stretch is a simple way to stretch your back muscles and relieve tension and stiffness.

How do I do it?

  • Firstly, lay face up on a mat, bend your knees, and put your feet on the ground.
  • Next, raise your right knee towards your chest and hold it with your left hand. Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Return to your initial position and then repeat with your other leg.
  • Gradually increase the resistance for up to 30 seconds.

5. Hip flexor stretch to relieve back pain

A woman doing a back stretch.

Your hip flexors are made up of the psoas major, psoas minor, and illiacus muscles that are found in the lesser trochanter of the femur. Stretching your hip flexors has a calming effect on the back region, and relieves pain and stiffness, especially from bad posture.

How do I do it?

  • Firstly, kneel on your right knee and put your left foot in front of you, so your left hip and knee are at a 90 degree angle.
  • Put your right hand on your right hip and push it forward, so it is in front of your right knee.
  • Keep your chest up and avoid leaning forwards.
  • Hold for 10 seconds, rest, and then repeat with the other side.

The spine and back are very important areas of the body because they help us to stand up upright. A study published by the Mutua Colaboradora de la Seguridad Social (FREMAP) showed that sports and physical activities are very beneficial for the body.

You also need to take care of your diet, try to maintain an adequate weight, avoid toxins such as tobacco and alcohol, try to reduce anxiety and stress, and finally, practice good sleep hygiene. All of this will help greatly as you try to take care of your back and lumbar region.