Key Takeaways:

  • Child's pose, knee-to-chest stretch, and the seated spinal twist can help relieve your back pain.
  • Each stretch has its own modifications if needed.
  • Stretching helps alleviate muscular tension, pain, and prevent future aches from forming.

hen you're in pain, it can be hard to think about stretching, but it's an important part of recovering from back pain.

Here are 3 gentle stretches that can help relieve your back pain and make you feel better.

1. Child's pose

The Child's Pose is a great way to stretch your shoulders and back. This pose gently stretches the gluteus maximus, thigh muscles, and spinal extensors. It can relieve pain and tension in your neck, shoulders, and spine.

It also helps relieve tension in tight muscles of the lower back, improving flexibility and blood flow to that region.

To do Child’s Pose, follow these steps:
  1. With your hands and knees on the ground, sink back through your hips to rest them on your heels.
  2. Hinge at your hips as you fold forward, walking your hands out in front of you.
  3. Rest your belly on your thighs.
  4. Extend your arms in front of or alongside your body with your palms facing up.
  5. Focus on breathing deeply and relaxing any areas of tension or tightness.
  6. Hold this pose for up to 1 minute (Source: Healthline).

You can incorporate this pose whenever you are doing your stretching routine—feel free to do it between other stretches.


If you feel a strain in your lower back, place a rolled-up towel under or around your thighs.

If you prefer, place a cushion under your forehead and widen your knees.

2. Knee-to-chest stretch

This posture stretches and relaxes your hips, thighs, and glutes while promoting overall relaxation.

To do a knee-to-chest stretch, follow these steps:

  1. Lie on your back with both knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Keep your left knee bent or extend it straight out along the floor.
  3. Draw your right knee into your chest, clasping your hands behind your thigh or at the top of your shinbone.
  4. Lengthen your spine all the way down to your tailbone, and avoid lifting your hips.
  5. Breathe deeply, releasing any tension.
  6. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  7. Repeat with the other leg (Source: Healthline).


To provide extra padding, place a pillow under your head. You can also wrap a towel around your leg if it’s hard for your arms to reach.

To increase the stretch in this pose, gently tuck your chin into your chest as you lift your head toward your knee.

3. Seated spinal twist

This classic pose increases mobility in your spine and stretches your abs as well as shoulders & neck—priming you for a powerful day!

To do a seated spinal twist, follow these steps:

  1. Sit on the floor with both legs extended out in front.
  2. Bend your left knee and place your foot to the outside of your right thigh.
  3. Place your right arm on the outside of your left thigh.
  4. Place your left hand behind you for support.
  5. Starting at the base of your spine, twist to the left side.
  6. Hold this pose for up to 1 minute.
  7. Repeat on the other side (Source: Healthline).


To make this pose more comfortable, keep both legs straight.

For a deeper stretch, do neck rotations during this pose. On the inhale look forward; on the exhale turn your gaze back. Do 5 to 10 of these each side.

Try these stretches for back pain relief.

Stretching isn't just important for flexibility and preventing injury. Stretching also helps to alleviate muscular tension, pain, and prevent future aches from forming.

The biggest challenge for most people will be finding the motivation to do their stretching exercises. If you want to stretch on a consistent basis, one of the best ways is to make it part of your routine, like you would with anything else that has become a part of your lifestyle.

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