Lower back pain can be a debilitating and painful condition.
Fortunately, staying physically active may be the most effective and cost-efficient way to soothe or prevent it.
Here are some simple stretches to relieve lower back pain that I have tried and tested myself over the years, having suffered with lower back pain.
The knee-to-chest stretch can help lengthen your lower back, relieving tension and pain.
To perform the knee-to-chest stretch:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent
and your feet flat on the floor.
- Using both hands, grab hold of your
right lower leg and interlace your fingers, or clasp your wrists just under the
- While keeping your left foot flat on
the floor, gently pull your right knee up to your chest until you feel a slight
stretch in your lower back.
- Hold your right knee against your
chest for 30–60 seconds, making sure to relax your legs, hips, and lower back.
- Release your right knee and return to
the starting position.
- Repeat steps 2–4 with your left leg.
- Repeat three times for each
To make this stretch more difficult, simultaneously bring both of your knees to your chest for 15–20 seconds. Do this 3 times, separated by 30 seconds of rest.
Summary Perform the
knee-to-chest stretch by lying on your back and pulling and then holding one or
both knees to your chest.
The trunk rotation stretch can help relieve tension in your lower back. It also works your core muscles, including your abdominals, back muscles, and the muscles around your pelvis.
To perform the trunk rotation stretch:
- Lie on your back and bring your knees
up toward your chest so your body is positioned as if you’re sitting in a
- Fully extend your arms out to the sides,
with your palms face-down on the floor.
- Keeping your knees together and hands
on the floor, gently roll both bent knees over to your right side and hold for
- Return to the starting position and
repeat step 3 on your left side, again holding for 15–20 seconds.
- Repeat 5–10 times on each side.
Summary Perform the trunk
rotation stretch by keeping your knees together up toward your chest, gently
rolling your knees to each side, and holding the position.
The cat-cow stretch is a useful exercise to help increase flexibility and ease tension in your lower back and core muscles and this is my favourite stretch, which I incorporate into all my yoga and breathwork classes
To perform the cat-cow stretch:
- Get onto your hands and knees with
your knees hip-width apart. This is the starting position.
- Arch your back by pulling your belly
button up toward your spine, letting your head drop forward. This is the cat
portion of the stretch.
- Hold for 5–10 seconds. You should
feel a gentle stretch in your lower back.
- Return to the starting position.
- Raise your head up and let your
pelvis fall forward, curving your back down toward the floor. This is the cow
portion of the stretch.
- Hold for 5–10 seconds, then return to
the starting position.
- Repeat the cat-cow stretch 15–20
You can also perform this exercise in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your hands on your knees, making it perfect for sneaking in a few stretches at work.
Summary Perform the cat-cow
stretch by arching your back for the cat pose, then letting your pelvis fall
forward for the cow pose.
The pelvic tilt exercise is a simple yet effective way to release tight back muscles and maintain their flexibility.
To perform the pelvic tilt:
- Lie on your back with knees bent,
feet flat, and arms by your sides. The natural curvature of your spine will
lift your lower back slightly off the floor.
- Gently arch your lower back and push
your stomach out, stabilizing your core.
- Hold for 5–10 seconds, then relax.
- Push your pelvis slightly up toward
the ceiling (your pelvis should not leave the floor) while tightening your
abdominal and buttock muscles. In doing so, you should feel your lower back
pressing into the floor.
- Hold for 5–10 seconds, then
- Start with 10–15 repetitions daily,
building up to 25–30.
Summary Flatten your back
against the floor by tightening your abdominal muscles and tilting your pelvis
toward the ceiling.
There are always modifications to all of the above.
The month of April is a lovely diverse month of classes. If you would like to try one of Yoga classes, please see poster below for my schedule.
I am also taking bookings for schools as your wellness facilitator. I am deeply passionate about sharing mindfulness and compassion practices with students and teachers and have introduced this along with yoga to primary schools around Co Galway, both in person and online to these practices. I believe wholeheartedly that mindfulness and compassion practices have the potential to transform people’s individual lives and society for the better. I am also very passionate in the believes that all children should have the opportunity to learn mindfulness and compassion based practices and feel this will help them lead happier and healthier lives.