Stretches for Back Pain

Lower back pain can often be treated without the need for medication or surgery. If you are suffering from lower back pain you should speak to your doctor or physiotherapist about the types of exercise that might help you to treat your condition. The following exercises can all help to ease lower back pain and reduce the likelihood of the pain reoccurring.

Knee Rolls

Knee rolls are designed to help you to stretch and mobilise you spine. Start by laying flat on your back on an exercise mat with a small pillow underneath your head. Bend your knees slight and bring your feet partially up towards your bottom. Your knees should be together and your feet should be flat on the floor at this stage.

Whilst keeping your shoulders flat on the floor, you should start to roll your knees over towards the floor to the left of your body. Your pelvis should twist slightly as you do this. Only roll your knees as far down as you feel comfortable. Hold the stretch at the further point for a few seconds and then roll your knees back up to the centre. Repeat the knee roll to the right of your body. Hold the stretch and then bring your knees back up to the centre. Repeat this cycle about 8 – 10 times per exercise session.

Pelvic Tilts

Pelvic tilt exercises help to stretch and strengthen the back. Maintain the basic starting position that you adopted for your knee roll exercises. Open your legs slightly so that your feet are hip width apart. Place your hands lightly onto your hips, but make sure that you do not use your hands and arms to force your hips into position.

Gently flatten the lower back so that it starts to touch the mat. Contract your stomach muscles as you do this to help to strengthen this core group. You should then tilt your pelvis back towards your heels so that your lower back forms a gentle arch. You will be able to feel your back muscles contracting whilst you are doing this. Return to the start of the stretch. You should not need to press down with your neck, shoulder or feet during the exercise. Repeat the exercise set around 15 times during your lower back pain exercise session.

Deep Ab Work

Deep ab strengthening work is designed to strengthen the core muscles which support the spine. Lower back pain is more likely to occur when these muscles are weakened.
Maintain the basic starting position that you used whilst you were doing your pelvic tilt exercises. Whilst you are breathing out, contract the muscles in your pelvis and lower abdominals. The aim is to gently contract the muscles in a slow and controlled way.

Avoid tensing the muscles in the legs, shoulder and neck area, especially if you have whiplash. The level of control is more important than the strength of the contraction. Hold the deep ab contractions for around 5 to 10 breaths and then relax your muscles. Repeat this exercise around 10 times.

Bottom to Heel Stretch

This stretch may not be suitable for those who have existing knee problems. Adopt a starting position on all fours on your exercise mat. Your knees should be directly under your hips and your hands should be directly underneath your shoulders. Your back should remain relatively relaxed whilst your neck should be kept long.

Whilst maintaining the natural curve of your spine, pull your bottom backwards towards your heels, so that your arms become stretched out in front of you. Hold this stretch for a couple of seconds and the return to the starting pose. Repeat the bottom to heel stretch about 8 – 10 times during the exercise session.

Back Extensions

Back extensions stretch the spine out and improve backwards mobility. Lie down on your stomach so that your body is flat to floor. Prop yourself up slightly with your arms and elbows in a V shape, so that your elbows are roughly in line with your belly button and your hands are in line with your face.

Arch your back gently backwards by pushing down on your hands. You will feel light stretching up your back and through your stomach muscles. Hold the pose for 10 seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat 8 – 10 times per session.