What stretches help relieve lower back pain?

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Stretching can greatly reduce low back pain. Try some of these stretches a few times a day if you have a tight, sore back. Many of these are based on yoga poses.

  • Cat/cow stretch - Get on your hands and knees on the floor. Arch your back up and tuck your chin under (cat stretch). Then, while exhaling, arch your back down and bring your chin up. Repeat several times.
  • Child's pose - This is one of the most relaxing poses in yoga. Get on your knees on the floor with your arms outstretched in front of you. Move your hips back so your butt is resting on your heels. This is great for releasing tension in the low back.
  • Knees to chest - Lie on the floor and bring both knees to your chest, hugging them. Alternate with each knee as well.
  • Back rotation - Lie on the floor with your knees up and feet on the ground. Keeping both knees together, rotate your legs to the right on the ground. Look over your left shoulder to feel the twist. Repeat on other side.

To prevent back pain, avoid lifting heavy items. If you must, make sure to bend your knees when you lift. Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. If you work at a desk job, walk around every hour or so to give your back a break.
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