Lower Back Pain Stretches: More Than Just Your Tight Lower Back

Feb 5, 2024 | Stretches

Lower back pain affects millions of individuals worldwide, often causing discomfort, stiffness, and reduced mobility. Whether it be discomfort and tightness in the lower back, stiffness, or even to the level of low back pain, simply stretching just your lower back is not enough. This is because low back issues for many people are not because of only low back muscles being tight, this is simply the end result. As someone who has battled with degenerative disc disease for over 14 years, and has had to recover from back surgery, I am no stranger to low back pain and tightness. The challenge I found was that just stretching my back was never enough. Staying persistent with consistently stretching every day and making adjustments to chairs and cars where I sat for prolonged times, and even to what shoes I wore during the day, I finally started making progress. (If you would like to learn more about the other changes I made, please send us a message on the Contact Us page and we can set a time for a personal consultation.)

The stretches (also available on our PDF handout) are the simplest ones that I have found to make the most impact for both myself and many of my clients who come in with low back pain or tightness. Many muscles in the leg, hip, and butt areas are the main culprits to lower back pain. These other muscles either share their tightness into the lower back through fascial connections (Fascia is an external layer of the muscle system that connects them all together) or cause anatomical shifts in the pelvis creating more pressure in the lower back than what it is meant to take during the day.

Effective Stretches for Lower Back Relief

To address lower back pain effectively, it is essential to target not only the lower back muscles but also the surrounding muscles that contribute to tension and discomfort. The provided stretches in the PDF have proven to be highly effective in relieving lower back pain and tightness, while being relatively easy for most individuals to begin.

These stretches are best to be done before and/or after a workout, in the morning and at night. Doing it throughout the day can also assist with pain and tension and help relieve muscle imbalances

Hamstring stretch← Hamstring stretch: Use an elevated flat surface that is at a comfortable height. Place heal on the surface with your hips squarely facing. Point the toe of the stretching foot toward you. Push your butt back as if you were going to sit. Hold position for 30-60 seconds repeat for both legs.

Hip Flexor Stretch

→ Hip Flexor Stretch: With one knee on the ground and the other leg forward. Lean forward into the front leg, while contracting your ab muscles and squeezing the glute (butt muscle) of the back leg. Hold position for 30-60 seconds repeat for both legs.

Hip Flexor Stretch Deep Stretch← For a deeper stretch, raise your arm on the side of the back leg up above your head. Then place the elbow of the arm on the side of the forward leg inside of the knee of the forward leg. While doing this turn toward your back leg and continue to contract your abs and glutes.


Calf Stretch

→ Calf Stretch: Find a step or object 1-3 inches in height that you can comfortably place the ball of your foot on. Start with the other foot next to the stretching foot. If more of a stretch is needed step forward with the outside foot until a stretch is achieved. Hold position for 30-60 seconds repeat for both legs.

Glute Stretch← Glute Stretch:  While seated, cross one leg over the other by placing the ankle of the crossing leg past the knee of the supporting leg. From this position work to get the crossing leg level with the ground. If more stretch is needed, bend forward from the hip keeping the spine straight. Be sure not to bend at the waist or collapse your shoulders as this will reduce the effectiveness of the stretch.

LifeStyle Fitness QR code

For a video tutorial of these stretches scan the QR code to access the step-by-step video instructions on our YouTube channel.

Incorporating these stretches into your daily routine can help release tension in the lower back and surrounding muscles, allowing your body to redistribute load and pressure more effectively.

Managing Lower Back Pain

Managing lower back pain requires a multifaceted approach that addresses the underlying causes and incorporates targeted stretches and techniques. By understanding the interconnectedness of muscles in the pelvic region and implementing a consistent stretching routine, individuals can experience relief from discomfort and improve overall mobility and well-being. If these stretches prove difficult for you to do on your own, please contact us so we can help you with a corrective exercise and stretching program customized to your needs and abilities. Also, if these stretches begin to prove to be too easy, then we can also help with more advanced stretching instructions. Contact us for a more custom and individually guided program built just for you. Remember, consistency and persistence are key to overcoming lower back pain and reclaiming your quality of life.