Unlock Your Back Bliss: 7 Must-Try Stretches for Lower Back Relief and Flexibility

Many people experience lower back pain, and there are various reasons for it. Doing specific stretches designed for lower back pain can help ease discomfort and enhance the flexibility of the muscles that might be causing the pain.

Lower back pain can result from various causes, such as kidney stones or acute pancreatitis. It can also be linked to a sedentary lifestyle, repetitive movements, or a strained muscle.

Although stretching may not cure all types of lower back pain, it often offers relief. Keep reading to discover seven stretching exercises that may help alleviate discomfort.

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How can you stretch your lower back?

Certain yoga poses and gentle stretches can help alleviate tension in your lower back.

If you have any injuries or health concerns, be extra careful and approach these exercises with caution. It’s advisable to consult with a doctor before incorporating new exercises into your routine, especially if a recent injury might be causing your pain.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) suggests avoiding sudden movements that could strain your back. Instead, focus on low-impact exercises that strengthen your back and abdominal muscles.

Perform these stretches once or twice daily. However, if your lower back pain worsens or you experience significant soreness, it might be beneficial to take a day off from stretching.

While doing these stretches, go at a comfortable pace and focus on your breathing. Let your breath be your guide to avoid straining or pushing yourself too hard. Make sure you can breathe comfortably and smoothly during each pose or stretch.

Knee-to-chest stretch

This stretch helps loosen your hips, thighs, and buttocks, promoting overall relaxation.

Here’s how to do the knee-to-chest stretch:

  • Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Keep your left knee bent or straighten it along the floor.
  • Bring your right knee towards your chest, holding it behind your thigh or at the top of your shinbone.
  • Lengthen your spine down to your tailbone, and don’t lift your hips.
  • Take deep breaths, letting go of any tension.
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Switch and repeat with the other leg.

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Child’s pose

This simple yoga pose is great for stretching your buttocks, upper back muscles (lats), and the muscles along your spine. It can help ease pain and tension in your spine, neck, and shoulders.

Child’s Pose also has a calming effect on your body, which can help loosen up tight muscles in your lower back and improve flexibility in your spine.

Here’s how to do Child’s Pose:

  • Start on your hands and knees, then sit back on your heels.
  • Bend forward at your hips, reaching your hands out in front of you.
  • Rest your belly on your thighs.
  • Extend your arms in front of you or alongside your body with your palms facing down.
  • Breathe deeply and focus on relaxing any tense areas.
  • Hold the pose for up to 1 minute.

You can include this pose in your stretching routine and do it between other stretches for added relaxation.

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Piriformis stretch

This exercise targets the piriformis muscle deep in your buttocks. It can be helpful in reducing pain and tightness in your lower back and buttocks.

Here’s how to do the piriformis stretch:

  • Lie on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Cross your right ankle over your left thigh.
  • Place your hands behind your left thigh and gently pull your knee toward your chest until you feel a stretch.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Repeat the stretch on the opposite side

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Seated spinal twist

This simple twist is great for your hips, buttocks, and back. It helps your spine move better and stretches your abs, shoulders, and neck. Plus, it gives your internal organs a little boost.

Here’s how to do a seated spinal twist:

  • Sit on the floor with both legs stretched out.
  • Bend your left knee and put your foot on the outside of your right thigh.
  • Put your right arm on the outside of your left thigh.
  • Place your left hand behind you to support yourself.
  • Starting from the bottom of your spine, twist to the left.
  • Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Image by Alfa27 |Adobe stock

Cat cow

Cat-Cow is a fantastic exercise to gently energize your spine and also give a good stretch to your shoulders, neck, and chest.

Here’s how you can do Cat-Cow:

  • Get on your hands and knees, like a tabletop (hands and knees on the ground).
  • Inhale as you press into your hands and feet, looking up and letting your belly expand with air.
  • Exhale as you tuck your chin to your chest and arch your spine toward the ceiling.
  • Repeat this back-and-forth movement with each breath.
  • Aim to continue for 1 to 2 minutes.

Image by Avilika |Adobe stock

Sphinx stretch

The sphinx stretch is a simple backward bend that helps you stay active yet relaxed. This gentle stretch works on your spine, buttocks, and chest.

Here’s how to do the sphinx stretch:

  • Lie on your stomach with your elbows under your shoulders and your hands stretched out in front, palms down.
  • Keep your feet slightly apart; it’s fine if your big toes touch.
  • Engage your lower back, buttocks, and thighs as you lift your head and chest.
  • Keep your lower back and abs engaged while breathing deeply.
  • Press your pelvis into the floor.
  • Look straight ahead or gently close your eyes.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Image by Victor Koldunov |Adobe stock

Pelvic tilt

Pelvic tilts are great for strengthening your tummy muscles and easing lower back discomfort. They also benefit your buttocks and hamstrings.


Here’s how to do pelvic tilts:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Tighten your tummy muscles and flatten your back against the floor.
  • Breathe normally and hold this position for up to 10 seconds.
  • Relax, take a few deep breaths, and release.
  • Repeat these 3 to 5 times for 1 to 3 sets.

Image by ROM |Adobe stock

Which stretches can ease lower back pain?

Gently stretching and doing yoga poses can ease tension and loosen tight muscles in the lower back.


Key points

Your lower back is crucial for many activities like walking, running, and even just getting out of bed in the morning. Stretching regularly is a fantastic way to improve and maintain flexibility, reduce tension, and build strength.

Disclaimer:

Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Correction to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.

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