Lower Back Pain Stretches

These lower back pain stretches are the best I've found. They are my current favorites for my clients. You can do them as often as you would like. No matter how tight you are, doing these over time will help your body move more freely.

Just follow along with the videos below, take your time, and you'll most likely be pleasantly surprised with the results you can achieve all by yourself. If you find yourself to be a little stiff at first, that's okay. Just keep at it and you'll find yourself more flexible every day.

The 3 videos for your Lower Back Pain Stretches are below on this page.
Go directly to any video on this page by clicking these links:
Video 1,  Video 2,  Video 3 .

These stretches are a great way to alleviate lower back pain…BUT they are even better if you do them a few times a week so you never get to the place where you're experiencing lower back pain in the first place.

While there are certainly many types of exercises for lower back pain, it has been my experience that the best lower back pain remedy is most often to loosen or free the inappropriately tight tissue in your body by stretching it or working it free with your hands. I've generally found the attempts to "strengthen" tissue far less effective than the approaches that loosen or free the tissue.

These basic stretches are meant to compliment the techniques on the Main Lower Back Pain page(click here) . If you are in pain right now, I recommend you go to the main lower back pain page first and then return here when you're out of pain. However, if you choose to start here the following lower back pain stretches will only help in providing the pain relief you are seeking.

Detailed Instructions For
Lower Back Pain Stretches

Important - FEEL FREE TO ONLY WATCH THE VIDEOS AND FOLLOW ALONG WITH WHAT I DEMONSTRATE. The text is there to support the videos if you need more clarification.

Once you get the routine down you can do all of these lower back pain stretches in about ten minutes time. And the ones that are the most difficult for your to do are probably the ones you need to do the most to stay out of pain. I also recommend you do them in the order given below, it's most effective when your lower back muscles are the last muscles to be stretched in the series.

Click directly to any pain relief video on this page:
Video 1,  Video 2,  Video 3 .

Step 1: Lower Back Pain Stretches - The Hips

These two lower back pain stretches are highly effective exercises for lower back pain. If you could only do 2 stretches to alleviate lower back pain I would give you these!

A. Reclining Hip Stretch -

Lie on your back, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Cross one leg over the other so your ankle is resting on the knee of the other leg. Now, with one hand grabbing the ankle that is resting on your knee and your other hand grabbing the knee of that same leg, pull that leg toward your chest.
You will feel this pull on all those muscles in your buttocks that you were just releasing with the tennis ball. Pull on your leg, then let go a bit, pull again, relax a bit, and you'll feel the muscles stretch a bit each time you do this. Do this for a minute or so. Do the same thing on the other side. Then go back to the first side. Alternate sides a few times and you'll notice improvement as you return again to either side and stretch it.

Notice how much pain relief this one lower back pain stretch provides for future reference.

B. Seated Hip Stretch

Sit on the floor with you one leg bent at a 90 degree angle in front of you, and the other leg at a 90 degree angle behind you. Lean forward over your front shin and notice that you'll feel a stretch deep in your buttocks. You do NOT want to feel this stretch in your knee, so if you do feel it in your knee then move your foot higher or lower so you do not feel it in your knee.
Lean over your knee, then shin, then ankle and notice the different areas you feel being stretched. Most likely you'll feel the deepest stretch when you lean over you ankle. Do this stretch on one side for a minute or so, then switch to the other side. Do three sets, at least, before moving on.

Notice how much pain relief this one lower back pain stretch provides for future reference.

Click directly to any pain relief video on this page:
Video 1,  Video 2,  Video 3 .

Step 2: Lower Back Pain Stretches -
Hamstrings, Tensor Fascia Latae, Psoas

Learning these three lower back pain stretches will be time well spent. You be able access some muscles that most people don't even know exist, and could be major contributors to your back pain.

A. Hamstring Stretch -

Your hamstrings are the muscles on the back of your legs from the top of the back of your knees to the bottom of your buttocks. I'm going to show you a basic hamstring stretch with one important trick that makes all the difference.
While keeping your legs straight,
stand with your feet shoulder width apart
with your weight in the balls of your feet (that means in the front of your foot and not in your heals, but not in your toes either)
bend forward like you where trying to touch the floor with your fingertips,
go as far as you can with just your bodyweight pushing you down
When you reach the point where your body won't naturally go any further you should feel a bit of tension in your hamstrings. NOW THE TRICK: Once you reach the point of bending over with only your bodyweight
FLEX YOUR THIGH MUSCLES (quadriceps)- the muscles that straighten your legs
While at the same trying to reach the floor with your fingertips.
Keep your legs straight while you do this and don't cheat!
You should feel this all the way from your calf muscles up to your butt when done properly. Press for a count of 5 to 10 seconds for each rep, do 3 sets of 3 reps.

Notice how much pain relief this one lower back pain stretch provides for future reference.

Note: You cannot do this stretch too often. It could be your secret lower back pain remedy if you did it many times a day, everyday. If you did 20 sets a day, especially if you sit at a desk all day, it would be wonderful for lower back pain relief before you ever actually feel it!.

B. Tensor Fascia Latae, IT Band Stretch -

The tensor fascia latae is located on the side of your hip in the vertical area between the top of your femoral head and the top side of your hip bone..

You want to make sure you have some type of physical support directly in front of you when you go to do this stretch.
It's best to watch me do this in the video. It can be a little bit tricky for some folks, so don't rush into doing this or you just might tip over when trying to perform it.

Once you get the feel for it, this is a great stretch!

Notice how much pain relief this one lower back pain stretch provides for future reference.

C. Psoas Stretch 1 and 2

The psoas muscle (pronounced "so-az") is a big round rope of a muscle that attaches to the front side of your spine (under your intestines), runs down through inside of your pelvis, and then attaches to inside top of your femur (thigh bone). The psoas is the filet mignone in a cow. If this muscle is tight, it can cause back pain.

Psoas Stretch 1 - the easy version -
This is the simpler of the two psaos stretches.
First, with a table, chair or other support next to you, kneel on the floor on one knee and one foot flat on the floor in front of you.
Now, while maintaining your balance and keeping your torso vertical and straight, move your hips as far forward as you comfortably can. You'll probably feel a stretch in your thigh (quadriceps) as you do this.
Lastly, while maintaining your balance, raise both of your arms straight up and back over your head, while still pressing your hips forward, keep your torso straight, but lean back as far as you comfortably can.
You should feel this stretch deep in your upper hip.

Notice how much pain relief this one lower back pain stretch provides for future reference.

Psoas Stretch 2 - the advanced version -

This stretch takes a bit more effort, but it's highly effective for those willing to do it.

First, get a bed sheet or strap that is at least 4 feet long.
Now, go stand next to your bed or couch with one foot on the floor and the other leg's knee shin and foot resting on the bed or couch.
Loop the bed sheet or strap under your foot and pull the two ends of the sheet up over your shoulder.
Now, while holding onto the sheet or strap against the front of your chest, lean forward so your upper body weight is supported by your elbows resting on the bed and half your pelvis and thigh is resting on the bed AND your foot is now being pulled up by the strap, so it's pretty close to your butt.
Get comfortable and stable. There is no rush.
Now walk your foot that is on the floor forward (toward your head) and feel the stretch go deep and high into your hip joint.
This is a fantastic stretch! It's worth the time spent to get it right.

Notice how much pain relief this one lower back pain stretch provides for future reference.

Click directly to any pain relief video on this page:
Video 1,  Video 2,  Video 3 .

Step 3: Lower Back Pain Stretches - The Lower Back Muscles (Quadratus Lumborum!)

These are fantastic lower back pain stretches for pain relief and general maintenance. Please take the time to do this properly. You'll be glad you did.

Here's what we're going to do:

A. Quadratus Lumborum (lower back muscle) Stretch -

Now that we've released all the bigger stronger muscles that could be yanking on your lower back muscles and causing them to tighten up, it's time to stretch the muscles that you probably wanted to stretch in the first place. Believe me, they're much more likely to let go now that you've stretched all the other muscles on this page.

It may help to think of this stretch as the "lying down version" of the tensor fascia latae stretch we did in Step 2B on this page. Lying down and hanging one leg off the edge of a couch or a bed will allow us to stretch your lower back muscles.

Go to your bed and stack two pillows with the short end of the pillows at the edge of the long side of the bed.
Now, lie on your side with your body straight, with the pillows under the side of your lower back, just above the side of your pelvis.
While remaining lying on your side, stick your bottom arm out in front of you for balance.
Also for balance, take your bottom leg, bend it at the knee and slide it out and up so it's resting on the bed at the level a bit lower than your belly button.
Drop your top leg off the side of the bed and let it drop as far as it can while your keep your pelvis and body perpendicular to the bed (lying on your side like you started). FEEL the stretch in your lower back muscle.
Gently play with moving your pelvis into different positions to find different sections of the muscle to stretch.

Repeat this stretch on the opposite lower back muscle.

Notice how much pain relief this one lower back pain stretch provides for future reference.

B. Passive Low Back Stretch -

This stretch ideally has you comfortably lying on your back with your low back hanging off the edge of some pillows or cushions, with your buttocks resting on the floor, and the soles of your feet pulled up toward your buttocks and pressed together.
The goal is to get some gentle……and I do mean gentle traction on your back.

Here's how we'll do it:

The goal is to have your upper body supported by the cushions as you lie on them, with your low back hanging off the edge and your buttocks touching the floor……

So take the cushions off your couch or all the pillows off your bed and place them on the floor so you can lie comfortably flat on them. The stiffer the cushions the better. You want them to squish down to about 6 inches thick when all your body weight compresses them.

Position your body on the cushions so your low back hangs off the edge of the cushions and your buttocks touches the ground with some of your body weight.

Pull your feet toward your hips and put the soles of your feet together, so your knees are now hanging out to the side in mid-air.

Take a couple of soft pillows and shove them under the sides of your legs to support them, but allowing for a gentle stretch of your inner thighs is good.

Once you are comfortable, stay in this position for about 5 minutes. Do take the time to make sure you can comfortably relax in this position. It's time well spent.

After about 5 minutes, gently pull the pillows out from under your thighs……
bring your knees together and put your feet flat on the floor……
And now gently roll your entire body to the side to get off the pillows.
Take your time getting up as you may be a bit stiff in certain areas after this stretch.
Feel free to walk around for a couple of minutes before doing the next stretch.

Notice how much lower back pain relief this one stretch provides for your body.

Self-Assessment Of
Lower Back Pain Stretches

Is your lower back pain completely gone? Partially gone?
Which stretches gave you the most lower back pain relief?
Was there one specific lower back pain stretch that instantly relieved your pain? Remember what worked best for you, so you can do that first next time lower back pain occurs.

Are you still experiencing some lower back pain?
Which muscles were hard to stretch (that means they are too tight!) and could use some more work?
Go back and repeat those lower back pain stretches that seem to need a few more rounds. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results you get now that you've released other muscles that may prevented them letting go on the first attempt.

Investigate a bit and you'll eventually find which stretches work best for you to provide the best lower back pain relief. Then you'll be able to fix yourself whenever you desire because you'll have your own personalized lower back pain remedy!

To visit the Best Groin Stretches page (click here)

To see more techniques click here to visit the main Lower Back Pain Relief page.

Click here to see a quick lower back maintenance program called the "tennis ball tune-up"

This lower back pain remedy with a massage tool is a wonderful addition to your main program, if you're so inclined.

Sacroiliac Joint Pain Relief (click here) for techniques and tips on how to release your s i joint pain.

Exercises For Sacroiliac Joint Pain - some "quick fixes" for your s i joint pain.

Return from this Lower Back Pain Stretches page to the
Do-It-Yourself Joint Pain Relief Homepage

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