Stretching May Help Improve Back Pain
We often associate stretching with exercise, but it has the potential to relieve pain and discomfort if it’s made a regular part of your day. If you suffer from back pain in particular, stretching may help improve back pain by increasing blood flow to the muscles and tendons that support your spine.
Your spine is a very complex and essential part of your body. It also takes a beating each day, no matter your sport, job, or hobbies. It carries most of the weight of your body, as well as anything you carry or pick up.
It is also built to move in a variety of different directions, so it is surrounded by a complicated assortment of muscles, ligaments, and tendons. These muscles, ligaments, and tendons can become stiff, tense, and sore after a long day’s work, causing you back pain ranging from nagging to severe.
Stretching can undoubtedly help alleviate back pain, however.
It is important to note that you should consult with a medical professional before beginning a stretching routine, especially if you have had back problems in the past or if you have experienced/are experiencing chronic pain.
Once you’re given the go-ahead to start stretching regularly, consider creating a daily stretching routine to complete either upon waking in the morning, before bed, before exercise, or a combination of these three options.
A few stretches are particularly helpful for reducing pain and tension in the back:
- Neck flexion: Simply bring your chin to your chest—slowly—and you’ll feel a stretch behind your neck.
- Back extension: Lying face down on the floor, push yourself up with your hands until your arms are straightened; hold for several seconds.
- Knees to Chest: Lay on the floor; bend your knees and keep them together. Slowly pull them up, towards your chest.
- Kneeling Lunge: Kneel on the ground, and place one leg forward as if doing a lunge. Lean forward, moving your hips forward rather than just your shoulders. This will stretch your hip flexors and psoas, which will address lower back pain.
These are just a few key stretches that will help alleviate a sore back. Again, be sure to check with a medical professional before starting any routine exercise or stretching; but as long as you are physically able, stretching can be easily incorporated into your daily schedule and a lifesaver when it comes to reducing back pain.