Are you one of the 16 million adults dealing with chronic back pain? If so, you know just how much this issue can impact your ability to enjoy your day-to-day life.

You might have difficulty sleeping, a loss of appetite, and even mood swings. Luckily, you don’t have to suffer!

Our Lexington chiropractic specialists have created this simple guide to spine stretches that will help you develop flexible muscles and good posture. Practice this simple stretching routine regularly and you’ll feel better in no time!

Knees to Chest

Lower back pain relief doesn’t have to be complicated. One of the most effective back pain stretches is also the simplest.

Start by lying on the floor on your back with your feet flat on the floor.

  1. Place your hands on your shins just below your knees and gently pull your legs towards your chest
  2. When you feel a gentle stretch, stop and hold that position for 15 seconds
  3. Slowly lower your feet back to the floor
  4. Repeat 9 more times

Cat-Cow

A classic yoga move, the cat-cow stretch will make both your upper and lower back feel better. It’s easy to do and will likely become one of your favorite stretches.

Start on the floor on your hands and knees. Make sure your knees are under your hips, your hands are directly under your shoulders, and your back is flat.

  1. Tighten in your abdomen and curl your back up towards the ceiling, like an angry cat
  2. Hold this position for five seconds
  3. Return to the starting position
  4. Push your stomach out towards the floor, arching and hollowing out your back
  5. Hold this position for five seconds
  6. Return to the starting position
  7. Repeat 9 more times, moving with your breath

If your back pain isn’t serious and you enjoy this stretch, you may want to look into taking full yoga classes that are designed to relieve back pain. Just make sure to take some simple precautions, like taking it slow and listening to your body. This will help you avoid further injury.

Seated Spinal Rotation

Feeling back pain while in the office? You might feel a little weird stepping away from your desk and doing cat-cow, but you can do a seated spinal rotation and no one will even notice.

Start by sitting in a chair with your back straight. Then, turn to one side as far as you can comfortably go. You can use the chair for support, which will help you get a deeper muscle stretch. Hold for 20 seconds, then return to the starting position before repeating on the other side.

You’ll feel your muscles pull and gently stretch from your lower back and up into the middle of your back. Sometimes, it might also crack. Don’t worry. This is just a harmless sound that’s created when your joints start to open up.

This is a very effective stretch that will bring almost instant relief. Just be careful not to push the twist beyond your comfort level. Otherwise, you could make the problem worse.

Spinal Twist

A different version of the seated spinal rotation, this stretch goes even deeper. Start by lying on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat.

  1. Keeping your back flat on the floor, rotate your knees and hips in one direction, lowering your legs down towards the floor. Stop when you start to feel a gentle stretch.
  2. If your knees are on the floor and you feel like you can stretch some more, straighten out the opposite arm. If not, hold the position you’re in for 15 seconds.
  3. Return to the starting position
  4. Repeat on the opposite side

Butt Lift

Butt lifts help relieve back pain by strengthening the muscles in the lower back. To do this stretch, start by lying on the floor with your back flat and your knees bent.

  1. Tighten your lower abdominal muscles and raise your glutes off the floor
  2. Hold this position for 10 seconds
  3. Return to the starting position
  4. Repeat 9 more times

Side Stretch

If the idea of getting on and off the floor doesn’t sound appealing to you, then a side stretch is a great idea. To do this, start by standing up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides.

  1. Bend over towards the right, sliding your right hand down your thigh and reaching your left arm over your head. You should feel the stretch all up and down the side of your torso
  2. Hold this position for 10 seconds
  3. Return to the starting position
  4. Repeat on the other side, doing the entire sequence a total of 10 times.

Seated Forward Bend

The last stretch on our list is one you’re probably familiar with, but if you’re like most adults, you haven’t done it in some time.

Start by sitting on the floor with your back straight and your legs stretched out in front of you. Your feet should be wider than your hips.

  1. Keeping your back flat and hinging at the hips, stretch out towards your feet as far as you can comfortably go
  2. Once you can go any further forward, begin to press your chest downward, reaching towards the arches of your feet
  3. When you start to feel a stretch in your back, hold for a count of three, then slowly return to the starting position

Repeat this stretch several times a day. You may feel the stretch in your calf muscles, hamstrings, and the bottoms of your feet as well. The more frequently you do this stretch, the easier it will be.

Your Lexington Chiropractic Professionals

Hopefully, these stretches help you find relief so you can get on with your daily life. However, if you have a back injury or you’re still in pain after practicing this for a few days, you might need professional help.

Our Lexington chiropractic specialists are experts at spine correction, pain relief, and preventative care. Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment.