8 Simple Stretches to Relieve Back Pain

A lady practicing an exercise to alleviate and relieve lower back pain, using a foam roller

8 Simple Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief

Try out these practical and effective stretches to relieve your lower back pain.

Back pain is a very common condition that affects people of all ages, young or old. It is estimated that 80% of adults will be affected by back pain at some point in their life, most commonly between the ages 30 and 55.

Common causes of back pain especially in the lower back include injuries from sports, repetitive strains and activities as well as poor posture. In some cases, it may be a symptom of an underlying condition, such as scoliosis, degeneration or osteoporosis.

Stretching and staying physically active is an effective way to provide relief for all kinds of back pain. Our physiotherapist Maritza shares the 8 best exercises you can try to tackle lower back pain in the comfort of your own home!

Firstly, please listen to your body and do not push yourself in each of the movements we share below! If the pain seems to get worse, please consult with your physiotherapist.

1. Knee to Chest Mobilization

Lie on your back and gently pull both of your knees towards your chest until you feel a slight stretch in your lower back. 

Release the position and return to the starting position.

Repeat 30 times a day.

2. Cobra Pose Exercise

This is yoga-based stretch can help to alleviate certain types of back pain.

Start by lying on your stomach with your legs straight and feet shoulder-width apart. Use your hands to push your chest off the ground to feel the stretch.

3. Lower Back Rotation Exercise

To start, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

Breathe deeply and drop both knees to one side while keeping your shoulders flat on the floor. Rotate to both sides 30 times.

Rotate to both sides 30 times.

4. Lying Twist Stretch

Start by lying on your back and spread your arms horizontally.

Bend the left knee, lift it and turn it across to opposite shoulder, while keeping your shoulders down.

Feel the stretch on the left side of your back. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Repeat it for the other side.

5. Stretch with a Foam Roller

This is a modification of the child’s pose exercise common in yoga.

Start by placing your hands on the foam roller no more than shoulder width apart and sit back onto your calves.

Stretch out your arms overhead and hold for 1 minute.

You may also shift your hands to the edges of the foam roller to target each side of your back.

6. Posture Correction with a Foam Roller

Place the foam roller vertically on the floor and lie down along the length of the roller. Make sure your head is supported on the roller and your feet are planted firmly on the floor.

Bend your arms so that your elbows are bent to 90 degrees and in line with your shoulders. Simply lie down and breathe. Hold the position for 1 minute.

Then move your arms to form a “V" shape and hold for 1 minute. Lastly, move your arms up to form an “I" shape and hold for 1 minute.

7. Standing Side Bend Stretch

Stand comfortably with your feet shoulder-width apart, one foot forward and the other foot backwards.

Lower your left arm down the left side of your body and raise the right arm over your head. Gently bend your body to the right.

Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 4 times before switching sides.

8. Standing Hip Stretch

Start in a kneeling position with left knee in front of the right, at a 90 degree angle.

Lean forward to tilt your pelvis until you feel a stretch in your right hip flexor. Make sure to keep your back straight at all times.

Hold the stretch for 30 seconds before repeating on the other side, stepping the right leg forward. Do 2-3 repetitions on each side.

Bonus Stretch! Straight Leg Hamstring Stretch

It may surprise you that tight hamstring muscles are also a fairly common cause of lower back pain!

While lying on your back, lift your leg up, keep your knee straight and pull your straight leg towards your body.

As an alternative, you can also wrap a towel behind your foot and pull each end towards you.

When should you see a physiotherapist?

Stretching and staying physically active are highly effective in providing pain relief, easing tension and improving flexibility. 

However, it can be challenging for those who have been experience chronic back pain. Any pain that lasts longer than 3 months (chronic pain) may require months of regular stretching to successfully reduce the pain. In these cases, a physical therapy program may be required.

We've got your back!

Our physiotherapists are here to help you if you have been experiencing any back pain or discomfort.

Working with a qualified and experienced physiotherapist, you will receive a detailed assessment to fully understand the root cause and identify areas requiring treatment.

From there, we provide a range of manual therapies to help with your pain and/or develop a program to help to return to full function!

Need help? Contact us today!

At Prohealth Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy Centres, we offer hands-on pain relief and treatments for back pain conditions as well as other musculoskeletal injuries that affect the muscles, bones, joints and movements of the body.

Our treatment plans are always personalised for each individual to each their maximum recovery potential.

For more information, contact us at +852 2530 0073, or email appt@sportsandspinal.hk.