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5 Easy Stretches for Seniors with Back Pain


One of the most prevalent medical conditions in the US is back pain. It’s also one of the most expensive, costing Americans more than $100 billion a year in medical bills and lost productivity. According to a report from the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), back pain is the second most common reason for doctor’s office visits, accounting for more than 28 million visits in 2010. 

Here are five easy stretches to reduce back pain in seniors. 


The seated cat-cow is a simple yoga pose for the elderly that can help improve flexibility and range of motion in the spine. It can also help relieve tension in the back and neck.

To do the seated cat-cow: 

  1. Start by sitting on a chair in a comfortable position with your spine straight.
  2. Inhale and gently arch your back like a cat.
  3. Hold for a few seconds, then exhale and round your back like a cow.
  4. Hold for a few seconds.
  5. Repeat 10-15 times.

Gentle twist

Gently twisting your spine is one of the best stretches for lower back pain and has many advantages, such as improving digestion and circulation and toning your abs. Additionally, a gentle twist a few times per day can help maintain spinal flexibility and prevent future lower back pain.

Sitting in a chair, twist your upper body to the right, then to the left. Don't slouch and maintain a straight back. This is a gentle way to stretch and work your waist muscles.

Reach back

Reaching back is one of the best exercises for seniors to improve flexibility and relieve tension in the spine. To do this exercise:

  1. Sit with your spine straight; feet planted firmly on the ground. Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, reach behind you and interlace your fingers.
  2. Keep your shoulders down and your head facing forward. Hold for 10-15 seconds, then release.
  3. Repeat 3-5 times.

Neck and chest stretches 

When it comes to neck and chest stretches, there’s no need to get down on the floor. You can do this stretch while sitting on your chair.

  1. Put your feet flat on the ground and lean back in your chair.
  2. Take a deep breath, and as you exhale, gently lean forward from your waist until you feel a comfortable stretch in your neck and chest.
  3. Release and then repeat after holding for a few seconds.
  4. For an added stretch, clasp your hands behind your back and gently pull them towards the floor.
  5. Release and then repeat after holding for a few seconds. 

Seated backbend 

Do you find that the elderly can’t seem to stretch enough to feel better? This gentle seated backbend may be just what they need. This exercise is great for seniors and those experiencing back pain.

To do this exercise: 

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with your hands on your lower back, fingers facing down, and thumbs around your hips toward you.
  2. Gently arch your back, feeling the stretch through your spine. Hold for 5-10 seconds. 
  3. Release and repeat 2-3 times. 


Back pain is a common problem many people experience at some point in their lives. While there are many potential causes of back pain, arthritis is one of the most common. Arthritis is a condition resulting from inflammation of the joints, which can cause pain and stiffness in the back. 

In addition to arthritis, back pain can also be caused by carrying around extra weight, poor posture, and even physiological factors such as age and sex. While exercise can help, it’s still important to see your doctor determine the root cause and get appropriate treatment. 

Back Pain, Stretches, Senior, What can I do to help my back pain? Cat-cow, Gentle Twist, Reach back, Neck and chest stretches, Seated Backbend


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