Daily stretching routine for lower back pain

Do you suffer from chronic lower back pain (LBP)? Did you doctor or physical therapist suggest daily stretches? The video below is a daily stretching routine for the lower back, meant to encourage you to stick to daily stretching by removing the need to think about your moves: simply put your favorite music on, and follow the prompts! In approximately 6 minutes you will be done with your stretches for the day. After a few weeks, enjoy increased mobility and reduced pain.

Detailed sequence

The goals of this video are to stretch the back in all directions, except in flexion (see note below) and to stretch the hips as tight hip muscles can put strain on the lower back.

Note: most of the time, LBP is caused by staying for a long period of time with the lower back in a rounded position, slumped, or in flexion. So the stretches featured are focused on restoring lower back extension rather than flexion. In a few cases, such as during pregnancy or if suffering from hyperlordosis, LBP can be due to the lower back being over extended, in which case the extension movements in this video should be replaced by flexion movements, such as pulling the knees toward the chest or reaching the hands toward the toes.

Cat/cow

To begin by warming up the back, on all fours, round the back on a breath in, and extend in on a breath out. Continue for 5 breaths.

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Child’s pose

Then sit your hips on your feet, and extend the arms forward, to decompress the lower back. Hold for 30 seconds.

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Hamstring stretch

Lay on your back, both legs straight, and bring your left leg toward the sky. At the top of the movement, gently pull with your hands or a stretching band for 2 seconds, then bring your leg back down. Repeat 10 times, then switch sides and repeat on the other side.

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Glute stretch

Still on your back, cross your right leg over your left leg and pull your left leg toward you by holding onto your thigh or lower leg. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

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Back twist

Now bring your left leg over your right, knee bent, and hold it as far down as comfortably possible with your right hand, look to the left and bring your left arm out. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

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Side bend

Return to a sitting position and put your right hand down next to your hip, and bring your left arm over your head to reach out as far to the side as possible while still facing forward. Hold for 15 seconds then switch to the other side. Repeat twice on each side.

To read more about LBP, see our related articles:

As always, make sure to ask your doctor or physical therapist before starting any new exercice regimen, and stop if any movement causes pain.

At Phila Massages, your therapists can include some of these stretches in the session or go over them with you to ensure proper positioning.

References (retrieved 9/7/19):

  1. https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet

  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/back-pain/symptoms-causes/syc-20369906

  3. http://www.backcare.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Exercises-for-Back-Pain-Factsheet.pdf

  4. http://mypainfeelslike.ie/mypainfeelslike/en_IE/Pathways-through-pain/stretching-and-exercises-for-back-pain.html

  5. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/lower-back-pain-exercises/

This article/video is for educational purposes only; do not attempt without your physician’s clearance. If you are in pain or injured, see your physician.

Copyright © Vidal Sports LLC 2019