When you’re dealing with the aches and oftentimes debilitating soreness of lower-back pain, there’s a good chance all you want to do is stay in bed. Yet research published in JAMA found that any kind of exercise—whether it’s core strengthening, aerobic exercise, or stretching—is the best way to ease pain and reduce the risk of another back pain attack. The nice thing about gentle stretching is that it’s feasible to do when you’re in pain—and often provides the fastest relief, says Jamie Costello, fitness director at the Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa, who recommends these five stretches for the next time back pain strikes.
A few tips to keep in mind before you get started
- Try to hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds and preferably 30 seconds or longer. The pain-relieving benefits will increase the longer you hold these stretches.
- Rather than rush through the moves, Costello recommends turning on soothing music and using this stretching time as a chance to relax and renew.
- Don’t forget to breathe! It may sound silly, but it will help with any feelings of discomfort.