Sitting at a desk all day sounds fun, right? Yeah, my back aches just thinking about it. Usually, back pain is seen as something that is a bit of a life-long curse. This can be the case if you horrifically injured your lower back, but more often than not you can do things to improve your back health and even get a better sleep.

back pain sciatica reliefAs a somewhat athletic guy who likes to exercise I was shocked when I began to get back pain. I found out what the problem was: I was sitting too much for work. One thing that a lot of people miss out on when designing their healthcare regimen is stretching. It’s so easy to forget about stretching considering how minor it seems, but for lower back pain there are many benefits that come from daily stretching. What if I told you that back stretches can help treat your alleviate lower back pain? Here are some basic stretching tips to help you with lower back pain. Also, remember none of this is meant to be painful so please do not stretch into pain.

Disclaimer: We are not doctors and this is not meant to stand in place of a doctor or qualified physician’s recommendations. we would always recommend that you see a doctor before trying anything if you have any pain.

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1. Planks

Yes, I know planks technically aren’t a stretch, but I think they’re really good because they reinforce your abs and your glutes which helps take the pressure off of your lower back. The secret to doing a good plank that takes the pressure off of your back is to squeeze your glutes. Your glutes are the muscles on your butt that you probably aren’t too aware of. Most people aren’t used to squeezing and using these muscles but when you squeeze your glutes during a plank it activates your abs and keeps you stable. I’ve noticed that doing planks for up to a minute in a half has done a lot for my posture and my back health.

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2. The Lunge Stretch

stretches for lower back pain sciatica exercisesThis is a good stretch but when you do it you want to make sure that you are driving your hips downward as you stretch. This isn’t meant to be painful. We wouldn’t suggest holding this for anything more than 30 seconds on each side. You can do the stretch for multiple sets but you shouldn’t go crazy with it.

When you stand up you should feel a pretty good stretch on the front of your hips.

Related: 4 Best Ways a Massage can Improve your Health

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3. Butterfly Stretch

lower back pain sciatica stretchesThis is a pretty simple stretch. Sit down and you want to draw your legs inward, push your knees out and make your feet touch. You want to gently apply pressure until you feel a stretch in your hips.

4. Squat Stretch

squat stretches back pain relief

This one is super simple. Get down in a squat position with your feet on the floor and stay down for 30 seconds. Ultimately you want to work up to being able to hold this position for 2 minutes. This’ll help build a lot of your lower body muscles that support your back.

The reason we’re targeting the legs so much is that if the front of your legs is too tight it’ll pull your body out of alignment. When your body is pulled forward at the waist it puts a ton of pressure on your lower back and this leads to lower back pain. For a more complete stretch, you can touch your feet as shown in the figure above.

Related: The Beginners Guide to Stress Management

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5. Child’s Pose

child pose back stretching pain relief

The Child’s Pose is another easy yoga pose that will help you stretch your back and get relief from the pain. Start it with your hands and knees on the floor: hands under ther shoulders and knees under the hips. Try to reach out straight in front of you, extending your arms and placing your palms flat on the floor, pointing in front of you. Sit your hips back toward your heels, while dropping your head and chest downward while trying to further extend your arms. If you feel like you can’t take it, try placing a pillow under your belly to prop yourself up a bit and lessen the stretch of the low back muscles. Hold the position for at least 30 seconds.

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Ultimately, there are so many different ways to alleviate lower back pain, of course, it all starts with seeing your doctor and explaining the problem, but if he does suggest an exercise routine you may want to consider the exercises detailed above. Between my Naipo Massage Pillow and the stretches above, I was pleasantly surprised when my back was no longer killing me.

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Well, if you still think that this might not be enough, then check out this video on Fast and Effective Lower Back Pain Relief with Stretches (Yoga).