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Lower Back Stretches in Bed: How To, Morning vs. Night, Examples

man doing lower back stretches in bed


As a family provider with a passion and focus on sports and athletic health, I often encounter individuals seeking effective remedies for lower back discomfort. Performing gentle bed stretches in the morning can remarkably change the way your day unfolds.  

Alternatively, nighttime stretches present a unique opportunity to address lower back tightness through a series of relaxing movements that prepare the body for sleep. In this article, we will delve into a range of approaches to help ease a tight lower back and alleviate pain while lying in bed.

Lower Back Stretches in Bed:  How can I loosen a tight lower back?

When dealing with a tight lower back, gentle stretches in bed are incredibly beneficial. Utilizing the comfort of your bed as a stretching platform can significantly aid in loosening these muscles and alleviating tension. 

One effective stretch to loosen a tight lower back involves bringing your knee to your chest while lying down. Alternate legs to provide a gentle stretch to the lower back and ease tightness.

Lower Back Stretches in Bed:  How do you stretch out your lower back in bed?

Stretching your lower back in bed can be an effective way to promote flexibility and reduce discomfort. An easy beginner bed stretch is the pelvic tilt exercise.  Start by lying on your back with knees bent. Slowly rock your pelvis forward and backward, engaging your core muscles. This movement helps one ease into bed stretching by relaxing the lower back muscles.


Lower Back Stretches in Bed:  Should I stretch when my lower back hurts?

Indeed, stretching can be beneficial when experiencing lower back pain, but it's essential to approach it gently and mindfully. Engaging in light stretching exercises, particularly in the morning or before bedtime, can gradually reduce discomfort. However, it is crucial to listen to your body and avoid overexertion to prevent exacerbating the pain.


Lower Back Stretches in Bed:  Morning Specific Back Stretches 

Morning back stretches in bed can be a game-changer for alleviating lower back pain. Incorporate a series of stretches such as the knee-to-chest stretch, pelvic tilts, child's pose, or a gentle spinal twist. 

These stretches work wonders in reducing muscle tension, enhancing flexibility, and relieving lower back pain, making your morning wake-up more comfortable. The following is a modified variation of the Williams Back Exercises (lumbar flexion exercises). These stretches were amongst the very first used in medicine for chronic lower back pain.

  1. Knee-to-Chest Stretch: Bring one knee towards the chest, holding for about 20-30 seconds on each side.
  2. Child's Pose:   Kneel on the bed, extending arms forward and lowering the chest toward the mattress to stretch the lower back.
  3. Gentle Spinal Twist: While lying on your back, lower both knees to one side, alternating sides to release tension.
  4. Pelvic Tilts:  Lie on your back with knees bent, gently rocking the pelvis backward and forward to relax the lower back muscles.


Lower Back Stretches in Bed:  Why does my lower back hurt so bad in bed?

Lower back pain during sleep can stem from various factors such as poor sleeping positions, muscle tension, or underlying issues. Incorporating stretches before bedtime can significantly improve sleep quality by relaxing muscles, reducing tension, and addressing discomfort, thereby promoting a more restful night.


Lower Back Stretches in Bed: Bedtime Routine Stretching for Increased Relaxation 

Incorporating the following stretches into your bedtime routine can contribute to a more relaxed, pain-free lower back, allowing for a more rejuvenating sleep experience and improved overall well-being.


Lower Back Stretches in Bed: Supine (face-up) Bed Stretches

  • Supine Figure-Four Stretch:¬† Lie on your back and cross one ankle over the opposite knee, gently pushing the crossed knee away for a hip and lower back stretch.¬†¬†¬†
  • Reclining Bound Angle Pose with Support:¬† Lie on your back, place pillows under your knees, and allow your legs to fall open for a butterfly stretch.¬†¬†¬†
  • Supported Bridge Pose:¬† Lift your hips while lying on your back, using a pillow under the sacrum to support and stretch the lower back.¬†¬†¬†
  • Legs Up the Wall Pose:¬† Extend legs up against the wall while lying on your back to relax and gently stretch the lower back and hamstrings.¬†
  • Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose:¬† Lie on your back and extend one leg upward with a strap or towel for a hamstring and lower back stretch.¬†¬†
  • Reclining Twist with Extended Leg:¬† Lie on your back, extend one leg, and bring the opposite knee towards your chest while gently twisting.
  • Reclining Knee Hug:¬† Hug both knees towards your chest while lying on your back, rocking gently to massage the lower back.¬†¬†¬†
  • Reclining Pigeon Pose:¬† Lie on your back, cross one ankle over the opposite knee, and draw the bottom knee toward your chest for a hip and lower back stretch.


Lower Back Stretches in Bed:  Seated Bed Stretches

  • Seated Forward Bend with Pillow Support:¬† Sit on the edge of the bed, bend forward, resting your head and arms on a pillow for a gentle lower back and hamstring stretch.
  • Spinal Twist with Pillow Support:¬† Sit cross-legged, hug a pillow, and gently twist your torso for a spinal stretch and lower back relief.
  • Half Spinal Twist:¬† Cross one leg over the other, placing the opposite elbow outside the crossed knee, and twist gently for a stretch in the lower back.¬†¬†¬†
  • Side Bend:¬† Sit on the bed, extend one arm overhead, and bend sideways for a side body and lower back stretch.¬†¬†¬†
  • Cat-Cow Stretch:¬† Sit on the edge of the bed, arch your back while inhaling (cow), and round your back while exhaling (cat) for a seated spinal stretch.¬†¬†¬†
  • Wide-Legged Forward Fold:¬† Sit with legs wide apart, fold forward to the center, and reach toward each leg for an inner thigh and lower back stretch.¬†¬†¬†
  • Figure-Four Stretch:¬† Cross one ankle over the opposite knee and gently press the crossed knee down for a hip and lower back stretch.¬†¬†¬†
  • Hip Flexor Stretch:¬† Sit on the edge of the bed, extend one leg back, and lean forward for a hip flexor and lower back stretch.¬†¬†¬†
  • Half Moon Pose:¬† Extend one leg to the side, lean toward the extended leg, and reach overhead for a side body and lower back stretch
  • Forward Bend with Side Reach:¬† Sit on the bed, reach one arm overhead to the opposite side while bending forward for a side stretch and lower back relief.


Lower Back Stretches in Bed:  Side-Lying Bed Stretches 

  • ¬†Side-Lying Quadratus Lumborum Stretch:¬† Lie on one side, bring your top knee toward your chest while keeping the bottom leg straight for a side stretch and lower back relief.¬†¬†¬†
  • ¬†Thread the Needle Pose:¬† Lie on your back with knees bent, cross one ankle over the opposite knee, and reach through the space between your legs for a hip and lower back stretch.
  • ¬†Modified Windshield Wipers: Lie on your back, let both knees fall to one side, then switch sides for a gentle lower back and hip stretch.
  • Lower Back Stretches in Bed:¬† Prone (Face-Down) Stretches:

    Sphinx Pose Variation:  Lie on your stomach, prop yourself on your forearms, and slide your arms backward for a lower back stretch and spinal extension.

    man doing lower back stretches in bed


    Combination Stretches: 

    • Half Happy Baby Pose: Lie on your back, hug one knee toward your chest, grab the inner arch of your foot, and guide it toward the ceiling for a hip and lower back stretch.
    • Reclining Twist with Both Knees: Lie on your back, bring both knees towards your chest, and gently twist them to one side for a lower back stretch.
    • Legs Crossed Forward Fold: Sit cross-legged on the bed, hinge forward at the hips, and reach for your feet or the floor for a lower back and hip stretch.

    These exercises provide various stretches targeting different areas of the body, aiding in flexibility, relaxation, and relief from lower back tension and discomfort. Adjust them according to your comfort level and consult a healthcare professional before starting any new stretching routine.

    Bonus Rounds for Champions:

    Feeling adventurous? This bonus stretch is your ultimate pre-sleep cooldown:

    Piriformis Stretch:  Lie down with one knee bent and the other leg crossed over.  Gently pull the crossed knee towards your chest until you feel a stretch in your buttocks.  Hold for 10 Seconds, switch sides, and repeat. 

    Adjust these stretches according to your comfort level and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns about starting a new stretching routine.

    Lower Back Stretches in Bed: Alternative Treatments and Holistic Approaches

    In addition to traditional stretches, alternative treatments and holistic approaches can complement efforts to alleviate lower back discomfort.

    Consider incorporating CBD-infused topical treatments, such as creams or lotions, known for their anti-inflammatory properties, to help reduce muscle soreness and tension.

    use CBD along with lower back stretches in bed


    Furthermore, holistic practices like yoga or meditation can promote relaxation and release built-up stress contributing to lower back pain. 

    Specific yoga poses, such as the child's pose or cat-cow stretch, can aid in stretching and strengthening the lower back muscles.


    woman receiving massage along with lower back stretches in bed


    Incorporating holistic practices alongside your lower back stretches can significantly enhance your overall well-being and support your body's natural healing processes. 

    Consider integrating these holistic approaches into your routine to optimize the benefits of your stretching regimen:

    Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques:

    Mind-body practices such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or guided imagery can help reduce stress, ease muscle tension, and promote relaxation. 

    By calming the mind and body, these techniques may complement your stretching routine, contributing to a more profound sense of relief for your lower back.

    proper nutrition can help with lower back stretches in bed

    Proper Nutrition and Hydration:

    Maintaining a balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods and staying hydrated are vital components of holistic health. 

    Nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and omega-3 fatty acids can potentially aid in reducing inflammation and supporting overall musculoskeletal health, which can positively impact your lower back.

    Lower Back Stretches in Bed:  The Importance of Quality Sleep and Rest

    Adequate sleep plays a pivotal role in supporting the body's healing processes. Prioritize quality sleep by ensuring a comfortable sleep environment, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, and integrating relaxation techniques before bedtime. 

    prioritize sleep quality along with lower back stretches in bed


    Quality rest allows your body to recuperate and promotes better muscle recovery, benefiting your lower back health.

    Stress Management Strategies

    Chronic stress can exacerbate muscle tension and contribute to lower back discomfort. Explore stress-relieving activities such as yoga, tai chi, progressive muscle relaxation, or spending time in nature. 

    spending time in nature in combination with lower back stretches in bed


    These practices can help manage stress levels, potentially reducing the strain on your lower back muscles.

    Professional Consultation and Alternative Therapies:

    Consider seeking guidance from holistic healthcare practitioners, such as chiropractors, acupuncturists, or physical therapists, who specialize in alternative therapies. Modalities like acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, or herbal remedies may complement your stretching routine and provide additional relief for lower back issues.

    Mind-Body Exercises and Practices:

    Activities like yoga, Pilates, or qigong emphasize the connection between the mind and body while improving flexibility, core strength, and posture. Engaging in these mind-body exercises can complement your stretching regimen, enhancing lower back mobility, and promoting better alignment.

    woman meditating before doing lower back stretches in bed


    By integrating these holistic approaches into your daily routine, you can create a comprehensive wellness plan that not only supports the benefits of your lower back stretches but also fosters a more balanced and holistic approach to overall health and well-being. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating new practices or therapies, particularly if you have specific health concerns or medical conditions.

    In conclusion, incorporating a routine of lower back stretches in bed can serve as an invaluable tool in promoting flexibility, reducing tension, and fostering overall lower back health. These diverse stretches, categorized by position and specific benefits, offer a holistic approach to addressing discomfort and enhancing well-being. In addition to the above, incorporating tools like the QL claw into your daily routine can further alleviate lower back pain and contribute to further relaxation in the lower back. 

    Moreover, complementing these stretches with holistic practices like mindfulness, proper nutrition, stress management, and alternative therapies can further support your lower back wellness journey. Remember, consistency is key when integrating these stretches and holistic approaches into your daily routine.

    proper nutrition is a good addition to lower back stretches in bed


    However, it is essential to listen to your body and consult a healthcare professional before initiating any new exercise regimen, especially if you have existing health conditions or concerns.

    By nurturing your lower back through these gentle stretches and holistic practices, you are not only investing in immediate relief but also contributing to the long-term health and mobility of your lower back. 

    Embrace these techniques as part of a comprehensive approach to holistic well-being and relish in the benefits of a more flexible, pain-free, and healthier back for years to come.


    Now that you've read about lower back stretches in bed, check out our page on upper back pain after sleeping, trapezius stretches and internal hip rotation stretch!

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