If you have ever incurred a back injury, then the effects can certainly be almost unbearable. The road back to full health might seem difficult to overcome, but that does not mean it’s impossible. One of the first things you should start doing are stretches that help loosen up the muscles. Of course, these stretches won’t be intensive right off the bat, and you may not be able to do many of them, but it’s important to work yourself and your body back to full strength. If you work at a job that requires the frequent use of your back muscles, then stretches might be your best bet. You should start your back-stretching regimen only a few days after you incurred your injury. Although it might be difficult, it’s important to get yourself back into working condition as soon as possible. Of course, you should also consult a doctor before performing any exercises. Your doctor will understand the severity of your back issue, and, if it’s particularly bad, the best medicine might just be rest and relaxation while the back heals. If that’s not the case and you can still move around, then stretching your back muscles is important. One easy stretch is referred to as the “one-leg hamstring stretch.” With this stretch, you have to start off lying flat on your back with your knees bent. Then, lift one leg off the ground and try to point it straight up. Obviously, you will have a little bit of a bend in the knee. Use both hands to clasp around the thigh and then bring the thigh as close to you as you can manage. Keep your leg in that position for 10 seconds and then slowly and carefully let your leg go back into position with the knee up. Do the same thing for your other leg. Another stretch you can employ is the “knee to chest stretch.” Again, the starting position is with you flat on your back and your knees bent. The stretch in this case is a little easier. Your goal is merely to bring one knee toward your chest by clasping your hands around the knee. Pull toward you as much as you can for about 10 seconds and then repeat the process with the other knee up to three times. This will help stretch out your hamstring muscle and reduce pain in your lower back. Finally, one last stretch that you can try is just a “slight twist.” Of course, this is not a dance move, and it’s a stretch that should be tried with a bit of caution. You start off with you back flat against the ground and your knees up (again). While keeping your back and upper body straight on the ground, let your knees gently fall to one side. Stay in this position for between 10 and 30 seconds for best results. Do this stretch three times for both directions. Do not try this exercise if you have disc problems as it can make things worse. Featured images: License: Creative Commons image source Thomas Gracie is a former physical therapist turned adjunct professor. He is currently charged with teaching students physical therapy techniques in order to obtain their certifications as such.