Health

6 Stretches To Relieve Back Pain That You Can Do In Bed

Back pain can be extremely debilitating. Waking up in the morning and not being able to stand, walk, or sit comfortably means you're in for a day of misery. The thing is, sometimes back pain sneaks up on you with no warning.

I can't count the number of times I'll be sitting in my car, and when I go to get out, I feel a sharp pain in my lower back.

From then on, I'm dealing with a dull, constant pain for at least two days. I hate having to take medications, like Tylenol or Advil, on a weekly basis because I know that both can be harmful to your body.

Back pain can be caused by something simple, like your sleeping position, or something more chronic, like sciatica. But just because you've got back issues, doesn't mean you have to struggle on a daily basis.

Not everyone can go get a massage on a weekly basis, but we can all take a few minutes every morning before we get out of bed to stretch out our back muscles.

This will help relieve your back pain, and hopefully help prevent it in the future.

Gives these stretches a try before you start your day and see how good you'll feel!

1. Knees to Chest

The knees-to-chest stretch helps not only your lower back muscles, but also increases your range of motion. This means you can improve your joint flexibility, and reduce stiffness associated with spinal arthritis.

"This type of exercise helps make positive changes in the joint, along with increasing blood supply and assisting nutrients to flow into the area," says physical therapist Hagit Rajter.

HOW TO DO IT:

Lie on your back with your legs extended, then slowly lift one or both knees into your chest. Clasp your fingers around your knee (or knees) and pull down gently to stretch further. If you do one at a time, keep your other leg relaxed while stretching.

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Hold it for 15-30 seconds before releasing it and repeating it on the other side.

2. Hamstring

Tight hamstrings are something every has experienced. Have you ever tried to bend over and pick up something off the ground and thought "wow, my body really doesn't bend that way?"

That is usually caused by tight hamstrings, which are the muscles which run down the back of your leg.

Tight hamstrings can cause your hips and pelvis to rotate differently than usual, which in turn can cause back pain. Don't worry, though. Stretching your hamstrings is extremely easy!

HOW TO DO IT:

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While on your back raise one leg as high as you can while keeping your pelvis on the bed. Use your hands to pull your leg slowly towards your head. Switch sides after 30 seconds.

3. Figure 4

By a show of hands, how many of you have heard of the piriformis muscle? I know I hadn't. But this muscle runs from your pelvic bone to the top of your hip bone.

Its purpose is to help rotate your hip when walking, but if it gets too tight, the piriformis can lead to lower back, hip, and buttock pain.

Often times, this can feel like sciatica or a hamstring strain.

Thankfully, there's an easy stretch to help keep your piriformis muscle loose, and hopefully help avoid any pain!

HOW TO DO IT:

Lay on your bed and bring one leg up to your chest.

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Bring your other leg up underneath, creating the shape of the number four.

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Hold for 30 seconds before releasing and switch sides.

4. Spinal Twist

This is my absolute favorite stretch, and I do it every morning regardless of how my back feels! The twist not only stretches out your muscles, but it also increases spinal mobility, so when you move around it's less likely that you'll strain something or experience back pain.

It also helps stretch the hips, glutes, abs, obliques, chest, shoulders and neck...not just your back!

HOW TO DO IT:

Bend your knees into your chest while you lay on your back.

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Extend your arms out straight to the side and then let your legs drop to one side.

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Lift your knees and switch to the other side, holding each side for around 30 seconds.

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5. Cobra Pose

This stretch is the epitome of the full-body experience. Cobra pose is a staple in most yoga classes, because it has an insane amount of benefits, such as:

  • Relieves stress and fatigue
  • Increases flexibility
  • Stimulates the kidneys
  • Improves digestion
  • Improves circulation
  • Opens the chest to clear the passages of the heart and lungs
  • Elevates Mood
  • Strengthens the arms and shoulders

It also helps loosen up the muscles in your lower back, which helps relieve back pain. Be careful not to stretch farther than your body is comfortable.

You may have limited range at the beginning, but that will change over time.

If you push it too far, you could end up doing more harm than good.

HOW TO DO IT:

Roll onto your stomach and reach out your arms.

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Press down and lift your torso off the bed, keeping a little bit of a bend in your elbows.

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Keep your shoulders down and lengthen your neck, stretching it back if it is comfortable to do so. Hold your torso up for 30 seconds.

6. Child's Pose

Child's pose may look silly, but it's an extremely beneficial stretch for your latissimus dorsi. This muscle helps your shoulders, upper back, and lower back function.

It's a large muscle that should be taken care of regularly, because a sore latissimus dorsi can lead to a lot of trouble.

When you do the child's pose stretch, it opens up the muscles in your lower back and torso, allowing for a deep and impactful stretch.  

HOW TO DO IT:

Sit back onto your legs but keep your hands on the bed.

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You will be facing down towards the bed while you stretch your arms forward as far as you can while remaining seated back on your feet.

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There are many natural ways to relieve back pain, and these stretches can all be done from the warmth of your own bed!