Lower Back Stretches To Reduce Stiffness And Pain
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Lower Back Stretches To Reduce Stiffness And Pain

Low Back Pain

Do you wake up with an achy, stiff low back in the morning? Or maybe you find that your back tightens up after you haven sitting or standing for a long period of time?

You find yourself asking – should I be doing lower back stretches?

The quick answer is – YES! Movement Is Life and adding gentle, pain free movement actually helps every tissue in your body to heal. Let’s break that down a little bit.

  • GENTLE – move slowly to feel how your body is responding to the movement. If your body is fighting the movement then it is not safe right now.
  • PAIN FREE – there should never be any pain when you are trying to stretch. Pain means the muscles will tighten up which only increases the symptoms.
  • MOVEMENT – can occur in whatever direction is pain free. For low back, we have the best success starting with rotation.
  • EVERY TISSUE – from bone to joint to ligament to disc to tendon to cartilage to muscle to fascia – every tissue in your body requires movement to heal. If it stays tight then blood flow is limited. This stops the natural healing ability of your body.

What Lower Back Stretches Are Most Effective?

Active stretches are most effective for decreasing low back pain and improving the motion of the tissues.

Initially these include small movements in a limited range of motion but as you stretch more frequently you are able to increase the range of pain free motion. Over time, this will reduce tightness, stiffness and pain in the lower back.

The goal with stretching is to get the muscles moving in order to increase blood flow. This allows the body to heal naturally and pump out all the stiffness in your lower back muscles.

What Stretches Should I Avoid To Protect My Lower Back?

When stretching, it's important that you don’t hold the stretch for more than 10 seconds. Beyond this, you may get into a danger zone where you are actually starting to create microtrauma.

This microtrauma will actually delay the healing process and is a reason your back pain may not be going away - you're not stretching in the right way.

Another important thing to do when stretching is to avoid pain. Stretches and exercises should always be pain free. Always.

Finally, always avoid extreme ranges of motion when you have stiffness or pain. Although that stretch may feel good initially it will lead to microtrauma which delays healing. If you are bending all the way forward or rotating all the way to each side you are probably going too far. Stay in the middle for now to decrease stress to the joints.

My Two Favorite Stretches For Low Back Pain

  1. 1
    Supine Caudal Rotation – that name may sound crazy but it accurately describes this exercise. You are going to lie on your back on a stable surfaces such as a yoga mat on the floor. You are then going to bend your knees up so your feet are resting flat on the floor. Very slowly and gently you are going to move your knees side to side which causes a rotation through your low back. When you are starting, only move your knees 1 inch to each side. As you progress this exercise you can move your knees up to 3 inches but NEVER more than that.
  2. 2
    Seated Pelvic Tilts – This exercise is performed sitting on a flat chair such as a dining room table chair. Do not use an office chair that has a deep seat that naturally leans you back. While you are sitting you are going to bend your spine all the way forward until you are rounded forward from your head down through your tailbone. Then you are going to sit up tall. Next you will bend backwards by lifting your chest towards the ceiling while keeping your head in a neutral position. Keeps your eyes looking forward to make sure you don’t put too much stress through your neck.

Often these simple lower back stretches can help to unlock pain and stiffness in your low back. Please remember to stay in the PAIN FREE range of motion. Exercises and stretches should not cause pain and certainly should not increase your pain.

The whole point of exercising and stretching is to help your body move more naturally with less low back stiffness – and pain!

What else can I do to Get My Low Back Moving?

Once your low back is moving better it’s time to take the next step - literally. Go for a walk. You can walk outside and enjoy the fresh air or you can walk on a treadmill (and avoid the weather!).

Walking allows the body to perform rotation naturally which helps to get the joints moving, loosens up the ligaments, and brings blood flow to the muscles.

Is This A Proven Way To Stop Lower Back Pain And Stiffness?

YES! This slow and steady approach has helped hundreds of our patients start their journey towards eliminating low back pain.

A special story comes from our friend, Erika. She had low back pain while she was pregnant but thought it would go away after delivery. Only it got worse!

Erika was unable to bend forward and pick up her daughter from her crib without having pain that literally made her knees buckle. Erika was frustrated to the point of tears by the time she found our office.

Within a few weeks we figured out the root cause of Erika’s low back pain and implemented some easy to do for a new mom exercises. Erika was not only able to pick up her baby – she even returned to working out a few days a week. Her life was transformed from feeling helpless to having a plan on how to get her body back after baby.

Are you looking for more specific Answers To Your Low Back Pain?

Then I encourage you to sign up for a Free Back Pain Assessment. During this consultation session our team will listen to your story and hear more about your low back pain journey.

Together we can decide if we are a good fit for your low back pain needs.

Complete our simple webform to arrange your Free Back Pain Assessment or call us on (425) 658-4944.

Or, if you are looking for a solution that you can use right now, then download our Free Guide “7 Incredibly Easy Ways to Get Rid of Back Pain…Without Medication or Surgery”.

This report is packed with tips you can start using right now – no equipment required.

We love helping people find permanent solutions to their low back pain. If you are looking for a Low Back Pain Specialist in Maple Valley then contact us at (425) 658-4944. We look forward to helping you eliminate your low back pain and stiffness.

Other Resources To Help Your Stiff Lower Back And Reduce Pain?

Read Our Blog - What’s the Best Way to Sit With Low Back Pain?

Read Our Blog - 3 Things That Cause Back Pain That You Didn’t Know Until Now!

Get Instant Access To Our Free Online Low Back Workshops

Follow Us On Social Media - Facebook, YouTube or LinkedIn


Dr. Amy Konvalin

Dr. Amy Konvalin

Struggling with pain and dysfunction can impact every part of our lives — it drains our energy, distracts us from our goals, and keeps us from the people and activities we love. As an Orthopedic Clinical Specialist, Dr. Amy Konvalin understands how frustrating those limitations can be — and she knows how to help get you back to the life you want to live! Beginning with a focused evaluation, Dr. Amy works to determine the root causes of your pain, as well as understanding how it affects the way you move through your world. Dysfunctional patterns of movement often grow worse with time and cause further damage if left untreated — so it’s important to address these issues as soon as possible. Dr. Amy knows there is no one-size-fits-all plan for success, and she partners with patients to identify their unique treatment goals and personal values. Using these goals as a guide, Amy uses her doctorate training in manual (hands-on) therapy and exercise prescription to treat patients with a wide variety of medical challenges and histories throughout the Maple Valley, Black Diamond and Covington areas. Dr. Amy is also a wife to a Boeing superstar/former C-130 navigator. While they lived in Germany, Dr. Amy was able to volunteer with the US Army to treat military personnel and civilians on base. She has two beautiful teenage ballerinas who keep her on her toes and educate her on all things ballet! Bailey, the princess pup, is her running partner and her napping partner. In the spare moments in between, Amy enjoys reading, yoga, wine with friends, Pilates, and walking on the beach.
Dr. Amy Konvalin

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