Stretches for Back Pain Relief

Drug-Free pain relief for upper and lower back

Drug-Free Pain Relief for Upper and Lower Back

Photo by Jesper Aggergaard on Unsplash

Why do you have Back Pain?

Have you been dealing with chronic back pain for years? Do you roll over in the morning and are instantly reminded of that pain you have to carry around with you every single day? Have you tried many cures but haven’t been able to find one yet, and are willing to do anything to finally feel relief? The good news is that there’s a simple solution, one that won’t require a doctor to prescribe you pain medication, but rather some simple stretches you can implement into your daily routine to help those tight muscles. 

Back pain typically occurs from sitting long hours during the day, exercising incorrectly, poor posture, sleeping in certain ways, and many other lifestyle choices that build up over the years to cause this chronic pain or stiffness in your back muscles. The good news is that implementing regular stretches and back exercises into your everyday life can solve this pain once and for all. Below are some stretches for lower and upper back pain relief that you can do to improve your life overall and start to feel like yourself again. 

What is Lower Back Pain?

Lower back pain is the most common chronic pain felt by adults, as many different aspects of life cause a lot of wear and tear on this area. The lower back tends to get very compressed, as gravity pulls you down and puts pressure on your lower back muscles. If the rest of your body is tight, it can also put a strain on the muscles and ligaments in your lower back, as it pulls you either forward or back depending on where you are tight. It is very important to do lower back stretches every day, either to relieve pain or to prevent it. Doing even one or two stretches focused on this area can help to decompress it and that chronic low back pain. 

Stretches for Lower Back Pain

Child’s Pose

This position is a great recovery pose, to relieve the stress and tension placed on your back. This stretch is perfect for any person, as long as you do not have any knee injuries. For this stretch you will just need a mat or towel to stretch on, to protect your knees and head. This stretch can be done at any time of day and is great to help you relax before bed.

Step 1. Begin by sitting on your knees, sitting straight up in the starting position. 

Step 2. Slowly slide your hands forward along the floor, while keeping your hips as close to your feet as possible.

Step 3. Allow your muscles to relax, feeling your hip flexors release and creating space in the lower back. 

Step 4. Remain in this position for the desired length of time.

Lying Spinal Twist

This stretch exercise is the best way to release, stretch, and relieve pain along the side of the back and spine. These muscles are most likely tight on everyone, as they are affected by everyday activities.

This is a more advanced stretch, as it can feel intense for those with tight back muscles or lack of mobility. If you deal with chronic back pain, you may need to work your way through some of the other back stretches before progressing to this one. For this stretch, you will need the space to lie down and extend your arms on a flat surface, once a day on each side. 

Step 1. Begin by lying on your back, with both legs extended straight out, and your arms out in a T for the starting position. 

Step 2. Pick your right leg up to a ninety degree angle, parallel to the ceiling and place your left hand on your right knee. 

Step 3. Slowly twist your right leg to the left side of your body, while turning your head to the right. 

Step 4. Make sure to stop when you feel a light stretch, and ease slowly into a deeper stretch.

Step 5. Allow gravity to pull your knee towards the floor, while keeping your right arm and both shoulders on the floor. 

Step 6. Hold until the spine has released and repeat on the opposite side.

What is Upper Back Pain?

Upper back pain is just as common as lower back pain, due to most of society being hunched over their electronic devices all day long. You may feel this pain in your neck, shoulders, or in between your shoulder blades. Upper back pain can make you feel like you can’t breathe, sit, or even stand comfortably at times, and it is definitely worth doing a couple of stretches a day to relieve. If you have been feeling a lot of stress or tension in your life lately, it may have found its way to your upper back and manifested there. Stretching out your upper body will make your body feel better and it will ease your mind as well. 

Stretches for Upper Back Pain

Yoga Ball Shoulder Opener

Yoga Ball Shoulder Opener stretch demonstration

This stretch exercise is good for those with tight pec and chest muscles, from slouching or hunching forward. Many people hold tension in their chest without realizing it, and this stretch will release that tightness. For this exercise you will need a yoga ball, and space on the floor to sit.

Step 1. Begin by sitting straight up, with the yoga ball resting behind your back and your legs extended straight out along the ground.

Step 2. Place your arms behind your head, interlacing your fingers and reaching your elbows out.

Step 3. Slowly lean back onto the ball, until your head and upper back are resting against it.

Step 4. Allow your elbows to fall open until you feel the stretch across your chest.

Step 5. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.