Low back pain is one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, and can have a significant impact on your quality of life and work productivity. Low back pain can stem from poor posture, muscle imbalances, herniated discs, underlying medical conditions, and overuse. Stretching is a great way to alleviate tension and discomfort in the lower back, and can be done on your own time at home, without the help of a healthcare provider. Here are some great low back stretches our physicians at Garden State Pain and Orthopedics recommend that you incorporate into your daily routine:
Low Back Stretches
Lie on your back with your legs extended.
Bend one knee and hug it to your chest.
Hold for 20-30 seconds.
Switch to the other leg and repeat.
Kneel on the floor with your big toes touching.
Sit back on your heels and reach your arms forward.
Rest your forehead on the ground.
Hold for 20-30 seconds.
Get on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
Inhale as you arch your back (cow pose).
Exhale as you round your back (cat pose).
Repeat this flow for 30 seconds.
Seated Forward Bend:
Sit with your legs extended in front of you.
Hinge at your hips and reach toward your toes.
Hold for 20-30 seconds while keeping your back straight.
Sit with one leg extended and the other foot placed on the opposite side of the extended leg.
Gently pull the knee of the bent leg toward your chest.
Hold for 20-30 seconds and switch to the other leg.
Lumbar Rotation Stretch:
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Gently rotate your knees to one side while keeping your shoulders on the ground.
Hold for 20-30 seconds and switch to the other side.
Supine Spinal Twist:
Lie on your back with your arms out to the sides.
Bring one knee toward your chest and then across your body, twisting your spine.
Hold for 20-30 seconds and switch to the other side.
Remember to breathe deeply and gently during these stretches, and never force your body into a position that causes pain. If you have chronic or severe lower back issues, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or physical therapist before attempting any new stretches or exercises to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your specific condition. Our pain management physicians at Garden State Pain and Orthopedics are happy to assist with any lower back pain you are experiencing.
When is the best time to stretch?
Before and after working out: Stretching before and after your workout is important to minimize the risk of injury, and maximize sports performance. Dynamic Stretches are suggested before exercise. Dynamic stretching involves active movements that mimic the activity you're about to perform. It helps increase blood flow, loosen up the muscles, and improve joint mobility. Static Stretches are typically performed post-workout. Static stretching involves holding a stretch for a specific duration while stationary. The exercises above are considered static stretches. These stretches can help improve flexibility and range of motion, reduce muscle tightness, and promote relaxation.
In the Morning: Some people find it beneficial to do a brief stretching routine in the morning. This can help wake up the body, relieve stiffness, and promote a sense of well-being to start the day. Gentle static stretches and yoga poses can be particularly useful in the morning.
Before Bed: Stretching before bed can help relax your body and relieve tension, which may lead to better sleep. Focus on gentle, relaxing stretches to unwind after a long day.
When you feel tightness or discomfort: You can incorporate light stretching throughout the day to reduce muscle tension and improve posture. Short, frequent stretching breaks can be especially helpful for people with desk jobs or those who spend a lot of time in one position.
Why does stretching help alleviate pain?
Stretching can help alleviate pain by allowing your muscles to relax, increasing blood flow to your muscles, improving flexibility, decompressing your nerves, and releasing endorphins. When you stretch, your muscles relax and release tightness and tension that can be caused by lack of movement, overuse, exercise, or a traumatic injury. Stretching also increases blood flow to your muscles increasing circulation which promotes healing.
If you are experiencing low back pain from sitting or standing for an extended period of time, stretching can help reduce compression on nerves that may be causing you pain. Stretching can help improve your posture by addressing weak or tired muscles in your back.
Stretching also stimulates your body releasing endorphins, which are your body's natural painkillers. Endorphins are natural opioid neurotransmitters central to pain relief that create a
“Feel good” sensation that helps reduce pain perception.
It's important to note that while stretching can be very effective in alleviating certain types of pain, it may not be a standalone solution for all types of pain. If you have chronic or severe pain, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment. Additionally, it's crucial to perform stretching exercises correctly to avoid the risk of injury, and individualized stretching routines may be more effective for specific types of pain or conditions.
If you are looking for a specialist to help manage and treat your chronic pain, Garden State Pain and Orthopedics has 6 pain management physicians that can create a personalized treatment plan for you. You can read more about them below, or select “Book Now” to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Deepan Patel, MD - Orthopedic Specialist
Dr. Patel practices in Garden State Pain and Orthopedics’ Jersey City, Clifton, West Orange, and Edison locations and specializes in sports injuries, tendon repairs, joint replacements, arthroscopic surgery, and tends to all injuries related to the shoulder, knee, hip, elbow, wrist, and ankle. He offers innovative treatment options for common sports-related injuries, including ACL tears, meniscus tears, and labral tears.
Dr. Scott Hanauer, MD - Foot and Ankle Specialist
Dr. Hanauer is located in Clifton, Jersey City, Edison, and West Orange, and provides treatments for all injuries related to the foot and ankle. Achilles ruptures, bunions, bunionettes, hammertoes, fractures, and ligament reconstruction are commonly treated by Dr. Hanauer. He also specializes in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, including ankle replacement, flat foot and cavus foot reconstruction, and ankle and midfoot fusions.
Matt Jensen, PA - Orthopedic Physician Assistant
Physician Assistant Matt Jenses helps patients with injuries related to the shoulder, knee, hip, elbow, wrist, and ankle, and works out of Jersey City, Clifton, Edison, and West Orange.
Pain Management Providers:
Dr. Dev Sinha, MD - Pain Medicine Physician
Dr. Dev Sinha specializes in pain medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation at Garden State Pain & Orthopedics integrating physical and behavioral therapies, medications, and the most innovative, minimally-invasive procedures. He is available in Clifton, Jersey City, and Edison.
Dr. Neil Sinha, MD - Pain Medicine Physician
Dr. Sinha is especially interested in treating cervical and lumbar pain, sciatica, spinal stenosis, and post-laminectomy syndrome. He also specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of complex regional pain syndrome, facial pain, and headaches. Dr. Neil Sinha is available in Edison, Clifton, Hazlet, and Jersey City, New Jersey.
Dr. Jahnna Levy, DO - Pain Medicine Physician
As an osteopathic physiatrist, Dr. Levy believes in a multifaceted and holistic approach to pain management. She treats each person as an individual, formulating a systematic treatment plan to restore function, reduce pain, and improve their quality of life. Along with neck, back, and joint pain, Dr. Levy also treats vein conditions such as varicose veins and spider veins at Garden State Pain and Orthopedics’ locations in West Orange, Clifton, Jersey City, and Edison.
Dr. Saurabh Dang, MD, MBA - Pain Medicine Physician
Dr Dang offers multiple therapies for the treatment of chronic pain including: Intrathecal drug delivery system implantation, Dorsal Column Spinal Cord Stimulation implantation, Dorsal Root Spinal Cord Stimulation implantation, Insertion of interspinous spacer for spinal stenosis, SI joint arthrodesis, kyphoplasty, minimally invasive lumbar decompression (mild procedure) for spinal stenosis, and percutaneous tenotomy among others to treat chronic pain.
Dr. Dipan Patel, MD - Pain Medicine Physician
Dr. Dipan Patel specializes in Botox® for chronic pain disorders, trigeminal neuralgia, temporomandibular joint disorders, and headache and chronic migraine. He also specializes in complex regional pain syndrome, joint pain, and post-laminectomy syndrome at four of our office locations in Edison, Clifton, Hazlet, and Jersey City, New Jersey.
Dr. Andrew So - Pain Medicine Physician
Dr. So specializes in neck pain, back pain, spine pain, post-laminectomy syndrome, headache pain, migraine pain, joint pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, neuropathy, acute, and post-surgical pain syndromes, and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), amongst others in Clifton, Jersey City, Edison, and West Orange.
Tyler Duggan, PA - Pain Medicine Physician Assistant
Tyler Duggan is a nationally certified physician assistant who specializes in pain management. He believes in a multimodal, evidence-based strategy for the treatment of both acute and chronic pain utilizing the most advanced, minimally invasive techniques when necessary. Tyler is located in Clifton, Jersey City, and Edison, New Jersey.
Address: 1117 Route 46 East, Suite 301, Clifton, NJ 07013
Address: 25 South Main Street, Suite 12, Edison, NJ 08837
Address: 631 Grand Street, Suite 2-100, Jersey City, NJ 07304
Address: 226 Middle Road, Suite 4, Hazlet, NJ 07730
Address: 443 Northfield Ave West Orange, NJ 07052