The Single Best Stretch for Lower Back Pain

The other day we talked about how muscle imbalances are the cause of multiple sources of back pain, whether it’s sciatica, herniated disc, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis. We talked about working at a root cause level to address the issue at a root cause.

Today, I want to go over one simple stretch for lower back pain. It’s one stretch that addresses a lot of different muscles.

If you cannot do this stretch, I suggest you continue to work on it slowly until you’re able.

If you can’t do it over time, I would suggest that you take a more in depth approach to address the root cause of your back pain, no matter what condition is causing it. Let’s take a look at this stretch.

NOTE: If you have a total hip replacement, you shouldn’t do this. If you’re going to try this, make sure that there is plenty of open space behind you because the likelihood is that if you can’t do it, you’re going to fall back.

How to perform the deep squat

Put your feet shoulder width apart, toes slightly towed outward.

Come into a deep squat. The trick to this is making sure that your heels stay flat.

In the video, you can see that my heels and feet are flat, and my butt is all the way down.

If you can get into this position, then we most likely know that some of your imbalances are stemming from weaker muscles, not necessarily tighter muscles. So there’s an imbalance in your strength, not necessarily an imbalance in the muscle tightness.

If you cannot get into this position, there are some adaptive approaches you can take. Widen your stance to come down. As you get better, you can narrow your stance.

One other way is to take a counterweight and put it out front of you. The tendency is that if you can’t do it and you go too far, you’re going to end up falling backwards.

If you don’t have a weight for counterbalance, there’s a few extra things you can try.

Go to the wall and stand just a foot apart from the wall.

Come down so that your butt is just barely touching. That way, if you do fall back, you fall back right on the wall.

If you can’t get up, just come to the side and come up. But again, the approach is that if you’re here do, do to you slowly get down, then then it’s a much safer approach.

If you can only get partially down: One of the things you can do with your counterweight is just hold at chest height in the squat. Even a kettlebell will work.

Hold it there and rotate with just a little bit of side-to-side and rotation. This is a great way to open up the hips.

Keep the spine at the base of our spine in a neutral position. Stretches out your calves, your quads, your glutes, your lower back.

Other tips

I cannot tell you how how often to do this stretch for or how long to hold it. You have to do it inside of your tolerance.

That means how do you feel while you’re doing it? How do you feel that night had to feel that morning? If you feel like you’re okay at night and the next morning, then you can do it a little bit longer or, or a few more repetitions during the day.

If you feel like you’re too sore, give a days rest and then do less when you come back to it again. Muscle imbalances are strength versus flexibility. If you can get into this stretch, then you need to focus on strengthening your weaker muscle groups.

Learn how you can find and fix your muscle imbalances at home 

Now dive into these other great videos…

Glute Exercises That Relieve Back Pain

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These Vital Enzymes Fight Pain and Inflammation

Filed Under: Back Pain
Written By:
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Steven Hefferon, CMT, PTA

Steve Hefferon is the co-founder of the Healthy Back Institute. He is a nationally recognized sports massage therapist and post-rehab specialist. Steve has helped numerous world-class athletes return to the field or track and continue to excel after an injury. He also developed the innovative Lose the Back Pain System, which has helped thousands find lasting back pain relief.

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3 thoughts on “The Single Best Stretch for Lower Back Pain”

  1. Avatar Beth says:

    I have muscular pain and stiffness in my lower back. I also have lost 2 inches in height from osteoporosis. My right knee also gets stiff and hard to bend. I would appreciate stretching exercises I can do for my back. I dont want to hurt my knee while doing it though.
    I would also Luke to know what to take to break down scar tissue. Thank you for your time and help.

  2. Avatar Steven Hefferon says:

    May I suggest our best selling book The 7 Day Back Pain Cure, there are some stretches and exercise as well as more info on the Enzymes that Break down scar tissue:
    https://losethebackpain.com/products/7-day-back-pain-cure-book

    Here is the direct link to the enzymes formula that Breaks down scar tissue
    https://losethebackpain.com/products/heal-n-soothe

    Thanks

  3. Avatar benny thomas says:

    Amazing write-up loved all that you shared great tips! off to share..

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