Stretches for Low Back Pain

by Onward Physical Therapy | September 15, 2020 |
 Low Back
Stretches for Low Back Pain

It happened again. That sudden sharp pain in your low back. Maybe you were picking something up off the floor and felt a twinge. On the other hand, maybe it was an awkward movement during your workout. Whatever the reason, we’ve laid out our favorite stretches for low back pain to help fast track your recovery and get you back to the things you love as quick as possible.

Years ago when someone had a flare up of low back pain, the recommendation was to completely rest and avoid activity as you allowed your back to heal. On the contrary, we now know that’s not the best option. Further, complete rest can actually slow down the healing process.

When a patient comes to us with an acute flare of low back pain, certainly our number one goal is to keep that person moving. To clarify, gentle, active movements will encourage two things: Reducing the muscle guarding that’s currently limiting your motion, and pumping fresh blood and fluid to the area to reduce pain and irritation.

Here are our favorite stretches for low back pain to keep you moving and start to ease your low back pain. Obviously full recovery is more complicated than just this, but these moves will get you on the right track.

Cat / Cow

First, start on your hands and knees. Press through your arms and slowly round your spine. Imagine starting at the top of your spine and rounding all the way down. Next, we are going to reverse that movement. To clarify, now start to extend your back as your head begins to look up. Focus on slow deep breaths throughout the movement.

Prone Press Ups

First, start in a push up position. Next slowly press through your arms while keeping your lower body in contact with the floor. This will create a deep stretch through your low back. Then at the top of the movement, when your arms are extended, blow out your air for an even deeper stretch. For many, this is one of the best stretches for low back pain.

Lumbar Rotations

First, start by lying on your side with your bottom leg straight and top leg bent. Your arms should be straight and stacked on each other. Next, slowly lift your top arm and try to rotate towards the opposite side of your body. Likewise, at the end of the motion, take a deep breath and then exhale for an increased stretch.

Bird Dogs

First, start on your hands and knees. Next, extend your right arm and left leg, holding for 3 seconds, and then repeat on the opposite side. Make sure you are keeping tension throughout the movement. For example, magine punching your arm forward and kicking your leg back.

Often times, acute low back pain will quickly resolve on its own. However, if your back pain is sticking around after a few days, we recommend seeing a physical therapist who specializes in managing back pain. At Onward Charlotte, we use a combination of hands-on techniques, as well as progressive exercises in order to rapidly reduce your pain and prevent it from happening in the future. Above all, we aim to help you find your long term solution.

In conclusion, if you would like more information or want to schedule an evaluation, email or CLICK HERE to schedule online! Our physical therapy team in Charlotte, NC specializes in helping active individuals get back to the activities they love without back pain.

back pain stretch