Back pain can range from tight and uncomfortable to downright debilitating and painful. If your back is sore, you just can’t focus on much else. It can sneak up on you or be the result of an injury of some type. In many cases, there is a simple, natural way to improve your back pain and even prevent it from coming back. Simply put, stretching can be your answer, more specifically, stretches for a sore back.
There are several reasons you can end up with a sore, painful back. Muscles strains, spasms, or more serious alignment issues are generally the root of your problem. If you have back pain, you might first consider bed rest. But as logical as that seems, it’s not usually the solution. In fact, studies have concluded that staying active is actually more beneficial.
Most back pain can be resolved by a regular stretching routine along with doing regular exercises that strengthen your core and lower body. This keeps your spine supported and flexible. That’s why doing these 5 stretches for a sore back can really improve your day and maybe even your life!
This common beginner yoga pose gently stretches the lower back and is easy to perform.
Starting on all fours, gently lower your hips back to your heels. Rest your forehead to the floor or mat and slowly breathe in and out trying to lower your hips into the stretch as you exhale.
Your arms can be out in front of you or at your sides.
When you release, place your hands on the floor under your shoulders and come to a seated position.
The knee to chest stretch is simple but effective for relieving tightness and pain in your lower back. It feels good and can give you immediate relief for mild soreness. It also helps with joint flexibility and you can do this one any time for a good relaxing stretch or as part of a preventative routine.
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Keep your feet flat on the floor. Pull one knee up to your chest while the other foot remains on the floor. If you don’t experience pain and want to extend the bent leg straight out and to the floor, you can do that as well. It’s important to keep your core engaged and your lower back pressed to the floor.
Interlace your fingers and hug the bent knee to your chest, feeling the stretch more as you pull the knee closer to your body. Release and repeat on the other side.
Downward Facing Dog is really an all-body, weight-bearing stretch with many benefits for your body and well as an ability to calm your mind. It also opens up your chest and shoulders to help alleviate neck and back pain that can be attributed to poor posture or sitting at a desk all day.
From the floor on all fours, tuck your toes under and press into your hands while lifting your hips upward. Your feet should be about as wide as hip-distance apart and your toes are facing forward. If you can, press your heels into the floor. You may keep a slight bend in the knee but keep your back flat and straight. Relax your head and neck.
To release, slowly bend at the knees to return to all fours position.
Tight or misaligned hips can be the root of back pain. It’s important to stretch not just your back but any surrounding areas that may be a contributing factor. The Pigeon Pose will open up your hips and alleviate pressure on your back.
Starting from the Downward Facing Dog position, bring one knee forward under your chest. Turn your knee to the outside of your body and lower both legs down to the floor so that your bent leg (in front of you) is close to perpendicular with your straight leg (behind you).
Hold this stretch, breathing slowly and relaxing into the hips. Hold between 10-25 seconds and then gently push yourself up, releasing the bent leg behind you and return to the Downward Dog position. Repeat on the other side.
This stretch is one of the most simple to perform, but really effective. Keeping your legs straight against the wall stretches the hamstrings and releases tension and pressure on your back. It’s really useful for flushing lactic acid build-up after a tough leg workout. This stretch is also so relaxing you may want to stay here all day. You can spend up to 15 minutes in this stretch.
Start about 6 inches from the wall and sitting. Then swing your legs onto the wall and support yourself as you lie back. The closer you can move your butt to the wall, the deeper the stretch will be. Gently scoot yourself closer to the wall, using your elbows on the floor for support if you need to. Lie back and relax, feeling the tension release while you get a nice long stretch through the hamstrings.
To release, bend your knees on the well and gently push back. Come up to elbows and roll to your side.
These stretches can be performed daily for relief and prevention. You can hold these poses for up to 30 seconds at a time in a series or just do one or two as you have time. It’s important to also do strengthening exercise for your core if you are experiencing chronic back pain. A stable core will support your spine and prevent further injury and discomfort.