Top Tips to Relieve Back Pain: 18 Short Stretches in Under 20 Minutes

Stretches For Lower Back Pain

One of the severe consequences of leading a sedentary lifestyle is back pain. On the contrary, even highly active people also suffer from back pain. Reports from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, for the year 2011–12, National Health Survey have shown that approximately 13.6% of the Australian population, which sums up to 3 million Australians, suffer from back ache. Furthermore, almost 70% to 90% of the people would have experienced back pain at one point or the other in their lives.

Whether you are suffering from back aches, recurring pains or even stiffness, practicing some back-pain exercises is one of the most efficient way to get some relief for your back and boost your overall wellbeing. Here are the top back-ache relief exercises, which can be tried in just 18 minutes! 

1) Spinal Stretch

Lie on your back with your hand stretched outwards and the palm facing down. Slowly bend your leg to one side of your body when you are facing the opposite direction. Place your knee such that, the opposite hand is on top of the bent knee. Stay for 20 seconds and then repeat the same with the other leg.

2) Knee to Chest Stretch

Lie on the back with your legs bent at 90 degrees. Now pull one leg back and hold it close to your chest to make a 60 degree angle, using both your hands. Hold your leg in this position for 20 seconds and then repeat the same with the other leg.

3) Hamstring Floor Stretch

Lie on your back with the legs bent at 90 degrees, one leg at a time. Slowly straighten and grab the back of your leg with your hands. Pull your leg towards your body and hold it for 30 seconds. Pull your leg only till your body allows, not until it pains. However, a slight discomfort is normal.

4) The Hip Flexors Stretch

Assume kneeling position and raise the right leg, placing your foot on the floor. Now shift your weight to your right leg and move forward. Lean front in this angled-forward position until you feel a mild stretch. Stay for 30 seconds and later repeat this with the other leg.

5) Piriformis Stretch

Lie down and lift your right leg to rotate it externally, away from the midline, placing your right ankle on your left knee. Now slowly bring the left knee near your chest. Next, clasp your hands around the left hamstring muscles. Now pull your right ankle and left knee using your hand, until you feel stretched. Stay for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.

6) Complete Back Stretch

Start by standing one-arm’s length away from a sturdy object, such as table. Lean forward, slightly bending the knees and hold the edge of the object with both hands fully extended and head in line with the shoulders. Stay for 10 seconds.

7) Quadriceps Lying Down Stretch

Lie down on your side keeping the hips, knees and shoulders in a straight line. Bring one of the heels towards buttocks by holding your ankle, until you feel stretched in your front thigh. Stay for 30 seconds. Relax and then repeat by turning over to the other side.

8) Standing Hamstring Stretch

Stand in front of a sturdy object and place one foot on top of that object. Keep the trunk and knee straight, while leaning forward and then bend near the hips. Stay for 20 seconds before getting back to the starting position.

9) Pelvic Tilt

Lie on the back and keep the knees bent. Keep your arms at the sides with palms flat. Take a deep breath and exhale as you flatten the back, until neck, back of the head and spine get pressed against the floor. Lift the pelvic area as you exhale. Repeat this 30 times.

10) Cat and Camel

Kneel down with your hands flat on the floor. Take deep breath and inhale as you lift the lower rib. Relax your neck by rounding your back. Maintaining firm abdomen, exhale and then lower the chest. Repeat this a few times by look up slightly.

11) Quadrupled Arm/leg Raise

Kneel down with your hands flat on the floor and raise one arm, without rising or twisting your shoulders. Then slowly straighten and raise your leg to opposite side. Keep your hips and neck motionless. Repeat it with the opposite leg and the other arm.

12) Extension Exercise

Lie down facing the floor. If this gets uncomfortable, then use a pillow under your stomach. Stay for 1 minute and then prop up on your elbows. Stay for 1 second and then lower the back. Repeat this 10 times.

13) Partial Curl

Lie down with knees bent and feet flat. Tighten stomach muscles and tuck the chin to the chest. Now curl the upper body forward by placing hands on the chest. Stay for 3 seconds. Breathe while doing this. Repeat 10 times in a set.

14) Gluteal Stretch

Lie down and bend the knees. Keep the hands straight and place right ankle on top of the left knee. Stay until you feel a slight discomfort, but not pain. Stretch each leg for 20 seconds three times.

15) Side Plank

Lie on the side and prop the upper body up using your elbow. Keep the legs straight and begin by lifting the hips away from the floor. Stay for 6 seconds and rest for 30 seconds. Repeat this 3 to 5 times.

16) Bridge Pose

Lie down with knees bent. Extend the arms while keeping the palms flat. Lift your hips towards the ceiling while keeping your palms straight on the floor. Draw your tailbone and stay in this position with buttocks away from the floor. Never flex your buttocks or squeeze the gluteal muscles. Stay for 1 minute.

17) Prone Spine Stretches

Lie down on your stomach. Place the palms below shoulders with the top of your feet flat on the ground. Engage the abdominal muscles, while slowly lifting the head up. Continue till the upper body and chest are away from the floor with arms straightened. Stay for 15 seconds and repeat this 5 times.

18) Relaxation

This completes stretching, so take a moment to relax. Use a pillow under the legs and lie flat on a blanket with hands out and breathe. This completes your stretch exercise. 

Be sure to check out the illustrations on some of these amazing stretches in this featured infographic.