Back Stretches to Relieve Pain

Millions of Americans of all ages suffer from varying degrees of back pain. Many seek treatment through therapy, medications, or even spine surgery. There are several types of back pain and several types of stretches that you can do to help relieve them. Definitely incorporate these stretches into your daily routine, 5-6 times a day before seeking harsher treatment methods.

Knee to Chest

This is a basic stretch that you have probably performed at some point in your life. Lying on your back on a mat pointing your toes up. Bend your right knee and pull your leg up to your chest in a slow motion. While wrapping your arms around your thigh or knee, pull the knee into your chest and hold that stretch for 20-30 seconds. Slowly extend the leg to the starting position. Change legs and repeat the stretch three times on each leg. Remember, stretches are supposed to take place after exercising, during which the body warms up. When stretching cold, you are more prone to injury, so take it slowly.

This stretch works to align your pelvis and stretch your lower back and gluteus muscles.

Lying Knee Twist

The lying knee twist helps to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Lying on your back with your legs extended in front of you, bend your right knee up and cross it over toward the left side of your body. Hold your leg in such a position for 20-30 seconds until you feel a stretch in your lower back and gluteus muscles. Tighten your core muscles and swing back to your initial position. Repeat three times with each leg.

Hamstring Stretch

Tight hamstrings put a lot of pressure on your lower back, exacerbating the lower back pain you already feel. A hamstring stretch can be performed sitting on the floor, in a chair, or even standing.

Lying on your back with one leg lying flat, pull up the other leg toward your chest. The leg you pull up toward you can be extended or have the knee bent.

The seated hamstring stretch can be done sitting on the edge of a chair. Sit up straight, tilt your pelvis forward, and bend your upper body toward one of your knees while maintaining a straight back. Your leg should have the heel on the floor and your toes should point toward you. Avoid resting your hands on the leg that is not extended. This is an excellent stretch for sciatica pain.

A standing hamstring stretch involves you standing up straight and slowly bending your torso toward your toes. A variation of this can be performed with one leg crossed over the other and performing the stretch. You can alternate which leg is crossed over. Be sure your torso and hips are both facing forward.

The above stretches are intended to help relieve back pain and are also effective post-surgery to get your blood circulating. To explore other pain relief options, be sure to contact The Spine Institute of Dr. Marc A. Cohen, a leading institution in spinal surgery and care.