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Five Movements for Pain Relief

Relieve lower back pain with these easy stretches

A Veteran working out at home, practicing back stretches

Chronic pain is more common in Veterans than in the general population. Pain is hard to ignore. You feel it each time you bend over or stand up. It's that ache that shoots through your lower back and never seems to go away.

Exercise can help relieve back pain, but only with the right kind of movements. It’s also important to discuss this with your doctor before you start exercising.

Below, we have five exercises that can strengthen your lower back and help manage pain:

  1. Back Release: Do this exercise on your hands and knees. Keep your knees under your hips and hands under your shoulders. Relax your stomach and buttocks muscles, lift your head, and let your back sag. When doing a back release, try holding for five seconds and repeating five times.

  2. Leg Pull: To start this movement, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. You should feel comfortable and relaxed. Then, pull one knee to your chest and hold for 30 to 60 seconds. You should repeat this two times and then switch legs.

  3. Lower Back Stretch: To start this movement, sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. You'll slowly bend forward and touch the floor with the backs of your hands. Let your body drop and hold for 20 seconds. Return to starting position and repeat two times.

  4. Arm Reach: Do this exercise on your hands and knees. Your knees should be under your hips and hands under your shoulders. During an arm reach, you'll stretch one arm straight out in front of you and hold for five seconds. Do this five times and then switch arms.

  5. Leg Reach: Do this exercise on your hands and knees. Keep your knees under your hips and hands under your shoulders. Don't arch or sag your back. To do the leg reach, you'll extend one leg straight back. Hold for five seconds, repeat five times, and then switch legs.

Remember: Stretching your muscles is a great way to avoid injuries and pain. When you start these exercises, be careful not to push yourself too hard. Only you know what your limits are. If you can, try to do all five stretches.


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