5 Simple Stretches for Lower Back Pain

Some back pains can be managed through simple stretches. It may not only rehabilitate back pains but also strengthen the spinal column.

Woman stretching before running

The lower back or lumbar spine has one of the most crucial responsibilities in the human body because it interconnects the bones, nerves, muscle tissues, and joints, which support us to maintain flexibility and balance. However, it’s also very prone to pain and injuries. Fortunately, there are stretches for lower back that can help prevent injuries from happening.

The lumbar spine primarily supports most of the upper body’s weight that provides us our mobility. It makes simple to complex physical movements possible—from walking around with ease to lifting heavy weights. It also supports spinal cord stability. Consequently, if the lower back is injured it may have a significant effect on our daily lives.

Most cases of lumbar spine problems occur in the muscle tissues and joints, which is one of the main symptoms of arthritis. Other cases involve inflammation which may be explained as the body’s healing mechanism during recovery from injury. Minor lower back pain may become severe if not given immediate attention. Also, some minor lower back problems could be relieved through simple back stretches that will be discussed later.

Anytime we experience any kind of muscle aches in our body, it’ll numb the nerves and making it hard for the nervous system to accurately detect the cause of pain. When this event happens, we may confuse a specific symptom of a disorder to another. For instance, we may feel the same pain sensation of a pulled muscle to a degenerated lumbar disc. Both condition creations inflammation and muscle pains in the same region. A muscle tissue injury may heal faster than a torn lumbar disc. One method to conclusively identify the cause is through the recovery period.


Lower back pains occur when ligaments are over-stretched that causes it to tear—damaging the ligaments itself and/or muscle tissues located between the joints.

Here are a few examples of the usual causes of lower back pains:

  • Poor posture.
  • Injuries obtained from contact sports.
  • Any activity that puts pressure on the lumbar spine, for example, lifting heavy objects.


The hallmark of this condition, as the term suggests, is a throbbing pain in the lumbar area. However, other symptoms may also occur. Common symptoms of lower back pains may include one of the following:

  • Unusual pains when changing your position: For instance, a person with spinal stenosis may find it difficult to walk normally but when he leaned on something like a shopping cart or a cane, it may lessen pain. We may identify the problem by determining the area of pain when a person tries to shift position.
  • Pain that’s caused by prolonged sitting: This event usually happens to office workers. Back pains can normally be relieved through simple stretches or walking but may return upon sitting again.
  • Sciatica: It’s characterized by pain that usually starts from the lumbar spine and extends through the buttocks, legs, and feet. People may experience tingling or sharp pains and even numbness.

Five Simple Stretches for Lower Back Pain

Normally, lower back pains may go away in just a few days. But in those few days, it may have a significant impact on our livelihood or other endeavors. Some back pains aren’t severe and can be managed through simple stretches. Incorporating this activity into your daily routine, even after your back pain has healed, may strengthen the lumbar spine and enhance muscle flexibility. Some back stretches you can do at home include:

1. The cat-camel back exercise

It’s a gentle exercise and recommended for beginners. The goal of this exercise is to strengthen lumbar muscles that support spine stability, which includes the abdomen and back extensors. It should mobilize the lumbar spine and reduce stiffness caused by the inflammation. In the long-term, it may also improve your posture, endurance, and prevent back pain from returning.

How to do this exercise:

Start by positioning yourself on all fours, with the hands directly under the shoulders and the spacing between the knees and hands width apart. Tighten your abdomen then arch your back upwards. Maintain this position for at least five seconds, then release slowly by relaxing your spine. Now this time try to arch your stomach towards the ground. Then maintain this position for at least five seconds. Repeat this sequence for at least ten times.

2. Hamstring exercise

Some studies suggest that lower back pain may be caused by constricted hamstring muscles. This is because muscle tissues are connected to each thigh and extend through the back of the knee. It can lengthen muscle ligaments then reduce thigh tensions and eventually lessen the pressure in the lumbar spine.

How to do this exercise:

Start in a sitting position on the floor, then bent one leg while straightening the other. Move forward by pivoting from the hip; continue until you felt your thigh stretching. Maintain a straight posture during the session. Do the same procedure on the other leg after set. Hold this position for ten seconds and repeat at least five times.

3. Child’s pose

It’s sometimes referred to as a beginner’s yoga stretch. This type of exercise targets the lumbar spine muscles and upper thighs. It will not only work on individuals with low back problems but also those with aching thighs. First sessions may be difficult but once we get used to it, we may experience a deep relaxing feeling. It supports the spine in maintaining balance and enhancing flexibility.

How to do this exercise:

Start on all fours then lean your lumbar area backward while stretching your arms forward. Maintain your position for ten seconds until you feel a stretch, repeat this at least five times.

4. Spinal trunk rotation exercise

This type of exercise is not only essential in treating lower back pains but also can prevent it from returning when practiced on a daily basis. Some health articles prefer to pair trunk rotation stretch with other common exercises like side-bridge, curl-ups, or bird-dog. In the case of a lower back pains, the goal is to regain the strength and stability of the spinal column.

How to do this exercise:

Start by lying on the floor facing the ceiling then bent your knees. Maintain a flat back while lying on the floor. Rotate your legs while moving it toward the floor; continue until you feel a stretch. After the set, repeat it on the other leg. Maintain the stretch for five seconds and repeat at least ten times.

5. Hip flexor exercise

One reason why lower back pain is common to office workers can be associated with sitting for a long period of time. This is because the muscle ligaments located in the thigh area tightens then pulling nerves from the lumbar spine causing pain. Hip flexor stretch restores hip flexibility to reduce lower back pains.

How to do this exercise:

Start by kneeling on the floor. Move your body forward then bending your front knee until you feel a stretch on the other knee. Maintain the stretch position for ten seconds then repeat it five times.

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