5 Back Stretches to Naturally Relieve Back Pain

· March 16, 2017
Do you suffer from back pain? Discover 5 easy, healthy stretches that will help to naturally relieve your pain.

Back pain is very common in today’s world with the sedentary lifestyle we lead and constant use of electronic devices that are so widespread. This symptom can be caused by many different things, but usually it is due to bad posture while working or walking. Today we’ll bring you some great back stretches which are sure to bring you relief.

Back pain is characterized by a feeling of tension or stiffness in the lower back, sometimes accompanied by tingling and difficulty moving. While it’s usually managed with a little rest and some pain killers, for many people it’s a chronic and recurring problem.

Fortunately, there are many effective ways to fight it, including ways that don’t rely on excessive medication. For example, just by doing a few stretching exercises, you can relax the muscles to quickly get some relief from this condition.

Since many of you may not know how best to do them, we’ll show you 5 easy back stretches.

1. Lower back kyphosis back stretches

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.

Read also: Yoga for Back Pain

3. Crossed hip stretch

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

A woman doing stretching exercises.

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.

As you can see, you don’t have to be a professional to do a few back stretches when you feel back pain coming on.

Try them at the first sign of pain and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much they help.

  • Kean Chen, C., & Nizar, A. J. (2013). Prevalence of Piriformis Syndrome in Chronic Low Back Pain Patients. A Clinical Diagnosis with Modified FAIR Test. Pain Practice. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1533-2500.2012.00585.x
  • Hu, H., Meijer, O. G., Van Dieën, J. H., Hodges, P. W., Bruijn, S. M., Strijers, R. L., … Xia, C. (2011). Is the psoas a hip flexor in the active straight leg raise? European Spine Journal. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00586-010-1508-5