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Stretches for Pinched Nerve in Lower Back

Stretches for pinched nerve in lower back


Having a pinched nerve in your lower back can literally be a pain in your back. It’s during these times that we become more grateful for being mobile and pain-free. Even though pinched nerves can occur at any area along your spine, lumbar radiculopathy (which it’s AKA) is no walk in the park and can have many root causes. 

First, let’s review some useful stretches for pinched nerves in your lower back and then investigate the etiology behind this condition! Let’s keep reading…


The Best Stretches for Pinched Nerve in Your Lower Back

Stretching can be a helpful and easy tool in easing the discomfort of pinched nerves. Here are some you can try out…

Child’s Pose

  1. Start on your hands and knees
  2. Sit back on your heels with your arms extended in front of you
  3. Lower your chest towards the ground until the stretch is felt in your lower back    
Stretches for Pinched Nerve in Lower back


Cat-Cow Stretch

  1. Start on your hands and knees
  2. Arch your back upward (like a cat)
  3. Then stretch downward, focusing on smooth, controlled movements

Piriformis Stretch

  1. Sit on a surface where your thigh is parallel to the ground and with a straight spine (think 90-degree angle)
  2. Cross your leg, placing your ankle over the knee of your other leg
  3. Lean forward slightly placing gentle pressure and maintaining your spine straight. 
  4. Check out our page on Seated Piriformis Stretch for awesome visuals!

Pro tips for stretching

  • Listen to your body and don’t overstretch
  • Stop if you feel any discomfort
  • Stretching is all about consistency over time, don’t experience long-term results from one session 

Signs That You NEED These Stretches for Pinched Nerve in Lower Back

Not sure if this is you? Here are the symptoms (in the lower back or even leg) you might have…

  • Pain that radiates down the legs - noted as electric, burning, or sharp [1]
  • Pins and needles
  • Changes in sensation
  • Weakness and numbness
  • Reduction in reflexes
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Sciatica (if the pinched nerve affects the sciatic nerve)

Let’s not forget to mention that everyone’s experience is unique and severity of symptoms can vary. If you have a pinched nerve that won’t go away, consult your healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and a create proper treatment plan moving forward! 


Having a pinched nerve can show up as pain that travels and radiates along the path of that nerve. If your sciatic nerve is affected, you will likely feel pain in your hips, buttocks, and even down your leg (typically on one side only). With your research and continuous effort from our site, read more to see if you’re experiencing Signs of Sciatica Improving.


Some Exercises for Pinched Nerve in Lower Back

As we begin to focus on stretching lower back muscles, strengthening them is also a key factor in better supporting the spine, reducing pressure/compression, and preventing compensation from surrounding muscles (therefore reducing the risk of injury). 

Some examples of exercises you can try include:

  • Bridges
  • Planks
  • Leg raises

Also, check out this informative video about 3 Great Sciatica Exercises Sitting in a Chair! The Seated Piriformis Stretch (mentioned earlier on this page), Standing Adductor Stretch and Glute Massage with Ball will be reviewed… 

Stretches for Pinched Nerve in Lower Back: Causes and Risk Factors That Got You Here

As noted in a published study regarding lumbar radiculopathy in Cureus, “Age is a primary risk factor, as it occurs secondary to the degenerative process within the spinal column. Symptoms typically begin in midlife, with men often affected in the 40s while women are affected in the 50’s and 60’s.” [1] 

Other risk factors include:

  • Being female (certain populations)
  • Physically demanding careers (i.e. military)
  • Spinal disc bulging or herniation
  • Arthritis
  • Being overweight

To confirm this condition, your doctor would need to perform a complete physical exam in combination with diagnostic imaging (MRI, X-ray, spinal CT scan). 

Treatment Beyond Doing Stretches for Pinched Nerve in Lower Back

Doing stretches is a great (and conservative) start for managing a pinched nerve. The reason stretches are an awesome go-to intervention is because it’s free and can be done almost anytime and anywhere. Talk about convenience

In addition to this, other nonsurgical treatments may help (although some options are via your healthcare provider) if you need them. 

Some examples of other treatments include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Medications (NSAIDs or corticosteroids)
  • Surgery

Stretches for Pinched Nerve in Lower Back FAQ

How do you stretch out a pinched nerve in your lower back?

Check out the first section above for the best stretches you can try out. This list is not in any way all-inclusive. 

What is the fastest way to heal a pinched nerve in your lower back?

Aside from seeing your healthcare provider, some ways to help heal/treat your pinched nerve include: 

  • Regularly doing stretches and exercises targeting your lower back muscles
  • Resting for proper recovery
  • Being mindful of your posture - using ergonomic chairs/cushions if possible
  • Apply hot or cold packs
  • Avoid sitting for long periods
  • Some medications (over-the-counter meds for inflammation, muscle relaxants, steroid injections, etc.)
  • Seeing a chiropractor
prolonged sitting vs stretches for pinched nerve in lower back

How do you compress a pinched nerve in your lower back?

Ideally, you’d want to decompress a pinched nerve in your lower back to relieve any discomfort. The compression of the nerve itself is what got you here! 

First order of business is to stop doing what makes the pain worse, whether that means physical activity or certain movements. Aside from the stretches and interventions already mentioned, you can strengthen your core muscles for success in the long run. You may need variations of activities so you don’t cause further pinching - which is something a physical therapist can help you with! 

How do you release a pinched nerve?

Releasing a pinched nerve in your lower back would involve numerous self-care measures and other interventions as time goes on. Most of these steps have been reviewed in this article already. Incorporating a stretching and exercise routine is a great place to start!


Stretches for Pinched Nerve in Lower Back: Key Points

Managing pinched nerves requires a personalized approach - and since you stumbled upon this page you can try out stretches and exercises that fit your needs and preferences. Don’t forget to lean into the lifestyle changes that may be necessary for you to become pain-free, whether it be adjusting your posture, breaking the habit of prolonged sitting or even reaching your goal weight.

Now that you’ve read about stretches for pinched nerves in your lower back, you can also check out our pages such as Sciatica Relief in 8 Minutes or Less or How to Cure Sciatica Permanently.


[1] Berry, J., Elia, C., Saini, H., Miulli, D. Review of lumbar radical-path, diagnosis, and treatment. Cureus, 2019. 

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