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5 Stretches for Degenerative Disc Disease

I’m not a doctor and this is not medical advice. If you’ve had a back accident, see a doctor.

Are you suffering from degenerative disc disease and looking for ways to alleviate the pain? Look no further! Here we will discuss four easy-to-follow stretches that can help you find relief from back pain and improve your overall quality of life.

What is Degenerative Disc Disease?

Let me be perfectly clear, degenerative disc disease is not a disease. If a doctor notices a disc in your spine has less fluid than normal, they’ll label you with this disease. This is like someone with a broken leg saying they have broken leg disease - it’s a symptom of something else, not a cause. What it actually means is one or more of your discs is compressed. The question is why would a spinal disc be compressed? Nobody knows, but I believe it’s a result of sedentary living and tight muscles.

I received this diagnosis at 21 years old and it felt like my life was over. In this post I’m going to share the stretches that helped me to recover.

Stretch 1: Stomach Lying

For example, if you spend a lot of time sitting, the psoas muscles that connect directly from the spine to your inner thigh will tighten and create spinal disc compression. The same is true for overly tight abdominal muscles.

The simplest stretch for hip flexors and abs is to lie on your stomach.

  • Start by resting your chin on your hands. If you feel pain in this position, try to adjust by placing a pillow under your stomach or by actively squeezing your glutes to reduce the amount of lumbar extension.

  • If it feels good, you can progress to raising onto your elbows or your hands. Imagine lengthening your spine and the muscles on the front of your body. Hold for 1-2 minutes and make this a regular resting position throughout the day.

Stretch 2: Couch Stretch

The couch stretch opens the hip flexors, quadriceps, and abdominals. I call this the anti-sitting stretch because it’s my go-to stretch after extended periods of sitting.

  • Place your back knee into a corner and your front foot flat on the ground in front of you.

  • Start by leaning forward and stay here if it’s intense.

  • For a greater stretch, come to an upright position and squeeze your back glute.

  • You can add a reach or a rotation if it feels good. Hold for 1-2 minutes per side.

Stretch 3: Hang from a Bar

Hanging from a bar decompresses your spine and stretches every muscle of your torso. If you make hanging part of your daily routine, you’ll actually get taller!

  • Find a sturdy pull-up bar or door frame.

  • Start with your feet on the ground and reach up to grab the bar with palms facing forward and hands shoulder-width apart. If this is a stretch for you, there’s no need to lift your feet off the ground, spend 1-2 minutes in this position.

  • If you want a greater stretch, lift your feet off the ground and hold until your grip starts to fatigue. Take short rests to allow your grip to recover and repeat for 1-2 minutes.

Stretch 4: Frog Stretch

The frog stretch targets the muscles of your inner thighs, which can become tight from excess sitting.

  • Start by kneeling on a soft surface, such as a yoga mat or a folded towel.

  • Slowly widen your knees, keeping your feet together and a slight arch in your back.

  • Push your hips back and spread your feet until you feel a comfortable stretch in your groin and inner thighs.

  • Hold this position for 1-2 minutes.

Stretch 5: Pullover

The dumbbell pullover will stretch and strengthen the muscles around your shoulders. This is especially helpful if you have tension in your mid or upper back.

  • Start by lying on a bench with a dumbbell.

  • Slowly reach back overhead until you feel a stretch and then squeeze the muscles of your armpits to return to the starting position.

  • Perform 12 repetitions.

These 5 stretches will help to lengthen the muscles that become habitually tightened from sedentary living. Incorporating these stretches into your daily routine can help alleviate back pain and improve your quality of life.

I’ve shared these stretches with you in the hopes that I save you time on your journey. I know what it’s like to be in pain 24 hours a day and I’m on a mission to help others overcome chronic pain.

If you have any questions, please comment below or send me a message. If you want help on your journey, schedule a fitness consultation at

Hope this helps! Until next time, Peace! - Tom


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