Five Stretches to Relieve Back Pain

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Back pain can hinder almost every daily activity from driving to even walking. Thankfully there are many stretches you can do to help ease the pain.

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#1: Knee to Chest
This stretch can help to realign your pelvis as well as stretch your lower back.

How you do it: Lie on the floor, or an exercise mat if you have one, with your legs stretched out and your toes pointed towards the ceiling. Bend one knee towards your chest, keeping your arms wrapped around the thigh, knee or shin, whatever is comfortable for you. Hold for 4-5 breaths and then release. Repeat on the other side.

#2: Reclined Spinal Twist
A pose often used as a final stretch in a yoga practice, this stretch relaxes the back and hip muscles as well as lengthens the spine.

How you do it: Lie on the floor with your legs stretched out and your arms stretched out as well. Bring one knee to your chest and over to the opposite side. Make sure you do your best to keep both shoulder blades on the floor throughout the twist. If your knee is having a hard time staying down, use your hand to help press it to the floor. Your gaze should either be up at the ceiling or to the side opposite where your knee is. Hold for 2-3 breaths and then slowly release back the starting position of both legs stretched out. Repeat on the other side.

#3: Child’s Pose
Another yoga pose used to rest the body after a flow sequence.

How you do it: Begin on all fours. Widen your legs to slightly further than hips width apart. Sit back onto your heels, pressing your forehead into your mat. Lengthen your arms overhead to really open up your lower back. Take 5-6 deep breaths and slowly release.

#4: Cat/Cow
This stretch is great for both upper and lower back pain.

How you do it: Begin on all fours. On an inhale sink your torso towards the floor, inverting your back. Bring your gaze up to the ceiling if possible. On your exhale do the opposite, arch your back fully and bring your gaze down between your arms. Repeat this sequence following your breaths for 30 seconds.

#5: Bridge
This stretch is great to relieve tension throughout your whole back as well as tone your thighs at the same time.

How you do it: Lie on the floor or mat with your legs bent, knees pointing up to the ceiling, fit hips width apart. Your arms should be down by your sides. Bring your heels back so they are just barely grazing the tips of your middle fingers. On and inhale lift your pelvis up towards the sky, arching your back. Interlace your hands underneath your back and shimmy your shoulders underneath you. Hold for 3-4 breaths, on each inhale try to lift higher.

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