Having constant back pain causes such as spasms, muscle strains, or disk issues can put a damper on your life. It can be hard to focus on anything else when you have debilitating back pain. The pain can be so debilitating that it causes people to turn to surgery or painkillers. But all you really need to resolve your back pain is a good stretch and some regular exercises to keep muscles that support your spine strong and flexible. Stretching works as an effective back pain treatment and offers a more natural pain relief solution than other pain interventions, like prescription pain killers or surgery.

How Does Stretching Work on Back Pain?

Regular movement and stretching can help alleviate back pain by relaxing tight muscles and improving circulation to help nourish the spine. It can also help get rid of existing back pain, strengthen your back, and lower your chances of dealing with back pain in the future. Stretching of the back and legs can help maintain or improve movement for everyday functions.  Incorporating regular stretching into your fitness routine can be the solution to improving your back pain now and in the future.

Back Pain Stretches

Below are five stretches to incorporate into your daily routine to alleviate back pain and maximize performance:

Trunk Rotation Stretch

Start by lying on the mat with knees bent. While maintaining back flat on the ground, rotate legs towards the floor until a stretch is felt. Repeat the stretch on the opposite side. Hold each stretch for 5 seconds. This stretch helps improve mobility of the spine while relaxing the muscles on the sides of the trunk.

Child’s Pose

Start on all fours. Sit your hips back while reaching out your arms forward until a mild stretch is felt in the back. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds, repeat 5 times. This stretch helps improve mobility of the spine while relaxing the muscles of the lower back.

Cat-Camel Back Stretch

Start on all fours. Arch your back towards the ceiling and hold. Then arch your back towards the ground and hold. Hold each stretch for 5 seconds, repeat 10 times. This stretch helps maintain mobility of the spine while strengthening the back and abdominal muscles.

Hamstring Stretch

Start by sitting on the floor with one leg straight, and the other bent. While maintaining a flat back, lean forward by hinging from the hip until a stretch is felt behind the thigh. Repeat on the other leg. Hold each stretch for 10 seconds, repeat 5 times. Having flexible hamstrings allows for decreased stress in the back with bending and lifting activities.

Hip Flexor Stretch

Start by kneeling on a mat. Lean forward towards the bent front knee until a stretch in front of the opposite thigh is felt. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds, repeat 5 times. Increased flexibility in hip flexors will help with decreased back pain in upright activities.

Stretching in the Morning and at Night

Stretching is one of the most effective ways to relieve back pain, but in order for it to work you must be consistent. You need to stretch every day – make it a part of your daily routine. You should stretch first thing in the morning, before anything else gets in the way. Not only will it make it easier to get into a regular stretching habit, but it will also increase blood flow to your muscles which will deliver the boost of energy you need to get your day started.  You can also stretch right before you go to sleep – it will help alleviate tension from the day and help relax your body making it easier to fall asleep.

Planning your Stretches throughout the Day

You should do the full stretching routine in the AM and PM, but in order to maximize the pain-relieving benefits, you should also plan to take small stretch breaks throughout the day. Set an alarm or reminder on your phone to get up and stretch every two hours.