5 Simple Stretches to Relieve Back Pain and Improve Posture

Posted on: May 21st, 2023 by adminva | Categories: Sports Medicine & Nutrition

Stretch and Move to relieve back pain and Improve your posture.


Our world was given a little shake up and everything that was once familiar has now adapted. This has meant more people working from home and constantly sitting in unfamiliar ergonomic setups (straining your neck to look down while sitting) which can cause tightness in the front of the ribs and put stress on your back muscles.

Back pain is a common ailment that affects people of all ages and can significantly impact daily life. Whether it is caused by poor posture, muscle strain, or underlying conditions, finding relief from back pain is essential for improving overall well-being. In this blog post, we will explore 5 simple stretches that can help alleviate back pain and promote a healthier back.

 Stretching those often forgotten little muscles in between the ribs – called the intercostal muscles – can relieve tightness in the torso and bring the ribs back into proper postural alignment.

As a general rule of thumb aside from those suffering an acute back injury (slipping and falling onto your back, landing on something, lifting or twisting with trauma etc) it is recommended to keep active and know your active flare-up strategies.


5  Stretches to Release Back Pain


Thread the needle ~ 4 Reps per side

Thread the Needle Pose is a stretch that opens the shoulders and

  1. Start in a neutral position on all fours, keeping your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Open up your chest to the right as you extend your right arm toward the ceiling.
  3. Begin to move your right arm under your chest toward the mat. Your torso should naturally shift to face downward.
  4. Continue to slide your right arm onto the mat, allowing your right shoulder to rest on the mat. Extend your left arm overhead so your fingertips touch the mat, and rest the right side of your head on the mat. Continue shifting your right fingertips to the left until you feel a stretch.

Shoulder Stretch ~ 5 Breaths

For this Shoulder Stretch exercise we have used a resistance band, but you could use a towel, theraband, or scarf. The aim here is to draw the shoulder blades together and open up the chest.

  1. Kneel hip-width distance apart with your strap clasped behind your back.
  2. Turn your biceps, inner elbows, and palms away from the body coming into an external rotation.
  3. Gently pull the strap apart to create a gentle arch in the upper back.
  4. Hold the stretch for 5 deep breaths, then release.


Cat Cow Stretch ~ 5 Repeats

  1. Start on all fours with your neck neutral.
  2. Your palms should be directly under your shoulders, and your knees should be directly under your hips.
  3. On your next inhale, tuck your pelvis and round out your mid back. Draw your navel toward your spine and drop your head to relax your neck.
  4. After 3-5 seconds, exhale, and return to a neutral spine position.
  5. Then turn your face toward the sky, allowing your back to sink toward the floor. Hold for 3-5 seconds.


Sphinx Pose ~ 5 Breaths

This gentle pose can help relieve tightness and move the ribs back into a neutral position.

  1. Lie on your stomach with your legs hip-width distance apart.
  2. Place your forearms underneath your shoulders.
  3. Inhale to press down into your forearms, reaching your chest forward.
  4. Stay for 5 deep breaths.


Childs Pose Side Stretch ~ 5 Breaths

  1. Start in tabletop position on your hands and knees and bring your toes to touch and hips back and down onto your heels.
  2. Bring your knees wide and stretch your arms out in front of you.
  3. Walk your hands over to the right, far enough to feel a stretch on the left side of the body and rest here for 5 slow and deep breaths.
  4. Walk your hands back to center and over to the left side. Hold for another 5 breaths.


Back pain can be debilitating, but with the right strategies, and implementing the above stretches, it is possible to find relief and improve your quality of life. By maintaining good posture, engaging in regular exercise, practicing proper lifting techniques, maintaining a healthy weight, and incorporating heat or cold therapy, you can effectively manage and reduce back pain.

Remember ~ If you continue to witness pain or discomfort whilst completing these gentle exercise, we advise seeking professional assistance. You can call TPM during office hours on 1300 876 348  or book online anytime here.


Physiotherapy Townsville - The Physio Movement


     517 Flinders Street
Townsville City Qld 4810
     1300 TPM FIT or 4740 4516
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