Stretching for Low Back Discomfort

  • By admin
  • 14 April, 2020
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Low back discomfort plagues many people each and every day. There are many things that we may be doing each day that we don’t realize which can cause low back pain. Sometimes it can be as simple as to adjust or tweak our daily activities and routines that can give much needed relief. To address the root cause of low back pain, you can ask yourself a few questions such as: What do I do for work? Am I sitting at a computer for many hours a day? Do I have a long commute to and from work each and every day? These are just some of the simple questions that we can ask ourselves to try and find a root cause of what we may be experiencing. If we are sitting for a  prolonged amount of time it’s good to set an alarm on your phone or your smartwatch that reminds you to get up, take a walk around the office, and maybe get a drink of water (because what good massage therapist doesn’t remind you to stay hydrated every day!). Most times the discomfort is coming from being locked into the same position for too long. Often after 15 minutes remaining in the same position we start to show signs of poor posture which in turn can increase the discomfort we feel in our trouble areas. Doing some stretches at the end of a work day, or even in short breaks between long periods of inactivity during the work day, can help reduce tension in chronically tight muscles. Another thing that massage therapists recommend is to strengthen your abdominal muscles. This can help out with some symptoms of low back discomfort as well. It’s always best to take it easy when starting a new workout program and if you have any medical issues we always recommend speaking with your primary care doctor before starting any type of workout program.

hamstring stretch

  1. Hamstring stretch


  1. Lie on your back with one leg bent.
  2. Grab behind your right knee and pull your right leg up into the stretch position. Your knee can be bent a little as you pull your leg back.
  3. Stretch it as much as it’s comfortable but keep your tailbone on the floor and stretch your knees to feel the strain on the muscles.
  4. With an ideal pose, you should feel the stretch on the back of your thighs and your calves if you pull your toes back.
  5. Hold it for 10 seconds and repeat it twice with both legs.
  6. If you have tight hamstring muscles, you’re likely to be more prone to injuries in daily life. Tight hamstrings can affect the movement of your pelvis, which increases the strain on your lower back. Hamstring stretches will give you strong, flexible, limber thighs which support the rest of your muscle groups too.



Double leg knee to chest

  1. Double leg knee to chest


  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Bend both the legs and hold your one hand with another behind your knees.
  3. Now, pull it closer to your chest using both hands. The more you stretch, the more you can feel the strain on the lower back and thighs.
  4. Hold the position for 20 seconds and repeat it twice.
  5. This exercise, in particular, increases the range of motion of your lower back muscle. Muscles with a bad range of movement are prone to spinal cord arthritis and spinal cord stenosis. The exercise also ensures that the blood supply is healthy and assists the nutrients in that particular area.


Alternative knee to chest


  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Bend one leg and then bend the other just below the knee of the first leg as shown in the illustration.
  3. Hold your hands together behind your knees.
  4. Now, pull it closer to your chest using both hands.
  5. This exercise will affect only one side of the body depending on the leg, so hold the position for 20 seconds and repeat it twice with both legs.

Knee stretch to chest

  1. Knee stretch to the chest


  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Bend your right leg and hold it with your hands.
  3. Now, pull it closer to your chest to feel the stretch on the hips and thighs. 
  4. Hold the position for 20 seconds and repeat it twice with both legs.
  5. It has the same effects on the body as the double-knee to chest stretch. This one, however, uses the partial weight of the body to relax the thigh muscles while correcting the backbone and related muscles.


Alternative single knee to chest

Steps for the alternative version are the same, but in case you are not able to keep your other leg straight, this one could be used as an alternative.

Psoas stretch


4. Psoas stretch


  1. Stand straight.
  2. Move your right leg forward while keeping your left leg back. Bend your right knee and keep the upper body straight.
  3. Hold on to this position for a few seconds and then lower the left knee close to the floor.
  4. Keep both hands on your right knee for support and move the upper body forward. This exercise will affect the psoas.
  5. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat it twice with both legs.
  6. The psoas is the most important and biggest muscle in the hip flexor muscle group. They ensure the movement of the thigh and torso in coordination. This helps in daily activities like bicycling, weight training, running, etc.

Spinal stretch

  1. Spinal stretch


  1. Lay on your back and stretch your arms perpendicular to your head.
  2. Raise your right leg up and use your left hand to pull it over your left leg to the ground on the left side.
  3. Turn your head slowly toward the right side while feeling the stretch on your back and thigh respective to your leg, all while keeping your hands perpendicular to your head.
  4. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat it twice with both legs.
  5. If you sit in the office or classroom for hours, sit behind the wheel of a car or simply stand with poor posture, the spinal cord suffers, causing bad back pain. A spinal stretch or spinal twist stretch ensures the mobility of your spinal muscles, helping you to maintain good posture.


Quads stretch

  1. Quadriceps stretch


  1. Stand straight.
  2. Stand on your right leg and hold the left foot with your right hand. You can use both hands if one isn’t sufficient.
  3. Try to touch your heel to your butt in order to stretch the hips, quadriceps, and back.
  4. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat it twice with both legs.
  5. The quadriceps stretch increases blood circulation in that particular area. As a back to knee connecting muscle, a poor or stiff pair of quadriceps can lead to back or knee pain.

Downward dog stretch with chair or wall

  1. Downward facing dog against a wall or chair


  1. Stand straight and make sure you have something to support you.
  2. Put both of your hands on the support while keeping a sufficient distance between you and the support.
  3. Bend your upper body between your arms and make sure your head goes down between them as well. The more the head goes down the more it strains the back and thigh muscles.
  4. Keep your lower body straight and try to bend in a comfortable position.
  5. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat it twice or even 3 times.
  6. This stretch releases any stress in the shoulders, neck, thighs or back. It increases the spaciousness in your torso by creating movement in the quadriceps. Pressing the upper thighs results in more space and puts less stress on the lower back and waist muscles. 


Did the first round relieve any pain? Try these exercises and stretches for your back pain and tell us how you feel in the comments. Don’t forget to share this article with other back pain sufferers in need!