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Back Pain Exercises & Stretches

March 11, 2015

Lower Back Pain Blue ShirtWhether you have strained your back exercising, gardening, lifting a loved one or sleeping the wrong way bak pain typically will go away on its own in a few weeks. But, during those weeks when your pain is not severe enough to visit a doctor, but would like some simple stretches and exercises to bring you back relief. has compiled an expert reviewed list of stretches and exercises to keep your back "strong, mobile, and flexible": 



Pelvic Tilt Stretch

The pelvic tilt stretch strengthens your lower abdominal muscles and stretches your lower back. 

Begin on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor 

While exhaling, flex your abdominal muscles, pushing your belly button down towards the floor and flattening your lower back

Hold the position for 5 seconds

Repeat the pelvic tilt 10 times

Knee to Chest Stretch

This stretch can be used to stretch your lower back and hip muscles. This stretch should help reduce pressure on spinal nerves by creating more space for those nerves as they leave the spine. 

Start the stretch on your back

Slowly pull one of your knees towards your chest, use your hands to your leg in the stretch

Hold the position for 10 seconds. You should feel a stretch in your low back and hip. 

Change legs and pull the other knee to your chest, holding for 10 seconds again

Repeat 3 to 5 times with your right and left leg

Lower Trunk Rotation

The lower trunk rotation stretch will increase flexibility in your lower back and hips. The increased flexibility will lead to greater rotation and mobility for your spine. 

Start the lower trunk rotation on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor

Put your knees together and bring them both to one side. While your feet should stay on the floor. 

Hold the Lower Trunk Rotation for 3 to 5 seconds

Contract your abdominal muscles while bringing your legs to the opposite side, hold for 3 to 5 seconds

Repeat the stretch 5 to 10 times on either side

Hamstring Stretch

Tight hamstrings can lead to lower back pain. The hamstring stretch will decrease tension in your lower back and back of your leg. 

Start the hamstring stretch on your back

Keep your legs as straight as your can, pull them up until you feel a comfortable stretch. Using a towel now will help you pull. 

Hold the stretch for 10 to 20 seconds

Alternate the stretch to your other leg, hold the stretch for 10 to seconds

Repeat the stretch 3 times on each side

Bridge Stretch

The bridge stretch strengthens your hip muscles and low back, helping to stabilize your spine. 

Start the bridge stretch laying on your back with your arms at your side. Bend your knees and lay your feel flat on the floor. 

Slowly raise your hips off of the floor. Stretch and contract your hamstrings and your glutes.

Hold the stretch for 3 to 5 seconds

Repeat the bridge 10 times

For more health and caregiver resources be sure to visit Live Oak's Caregiver Resources Section 

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