stretch for lower back pain

Stretches For Lower Back Pain

When you hurt your back, the typical reaction is to take it slow either by at least avoiding strenuous exercises or staying in bed. While there is merit in taking rest, recommended even for short periods of time, this can actually prevent your back from healing completely when done for too long – more than a couple of days. Instead, it would be better if you stretch for lower back pain coupled with other active forms of exercise to rehabilitate the spine.

Safe Stretching

But did you know that you don’t actually have to hurt yourself to do a stretch for low back pain?

Everyone benefits from stretching the soft tissues, the ligaments, muscles, and tendons around your spine, the butt, legs, and back since they are all made to move. Stretching essentially activates muscles, making them move, so they are always in good working condition. If the muscles are limited in their motion it often aggravates back pain, which is never a good thing.

Those with chronic back pain will find that it may take weeks or months of doing a stretch for lower back pain and other exercises for the back in order to mobilize the soft tissues and the spine. However, once increased motion is attained, sustained back pain relief is reported that’s why it really is important to stretch as much as possible. Remember not to over stretch or try to stretch too far or too hard though, and if it causes a sharp increase in pain, STOP immediately!

Stretch For Lower Back Pain

Getting started on doing a stretch for lower back pain? Keep in mind the following:

  • Wear comfortable clothes that will not constrict your movement;
  • Stretching should not be painful so don’t force yourself to do difficult positions;
  • Move into each position slowly and don’t bounce because bouncing causes muscle tears;
  • Do your stretches on a flat surface that is big enough for you to move around in;
  • Hold a stretch for lower back pain for about 20 to 30 seconds to loosen muscles and joints; and
  • Repeat stretches around five to 10 times each.

Hamstring Stretches & Back Pain

The hamstrings are located at the back of each of your thighs. When the hamstrings are tight, this cuts down on pelvic motion which increases pressure on the lower back and corrupts proper posture. Keeping the hamstrings stretched then is one of the ways by which you can alleviate back pain.

It’s a good thing there are different kinds of stretches you can take advantage of, letting you do the stretch for lower back pain that you can easily handle.

Some of the hamstring stretches you can take advantage of include:

  • Standing hamstring stretch – This is a very common technique, but many people with back pain SHOULD NOT DO THIS STRETCH. This is the stretch where you simply bend forward while standing with your arms hanging down and legs straight. Try to reach your toes but don’t strain. Stop when you feel a stretch in your hamstrings. This stretch can cause problems for people with disc problems so I recommend that you use one of the other stretches for hamstrings below.
  • Chair hamstring stretch – This is less straining than the standing hamstring stretch. This stretch will have you sitting on a chair and then placing your legs straight in front on top of another chair. Reach for your toes. You may also choose to do one leg at a time, which is recommended for people with back pain or spinal disc injuries.
  • Towel hamstring stretch – As one of the mildest stretch for lower back pain you can take advantage of, you can start things off by lying on the floor. Get a towel and then pull up a leg and straighten it out by wrapping the towel behind your foot. Like the chair hamstring stretch, you can also do one leg at a time.

Just make sure you follow all instructions for whatever stretch you may be interested in and you will be just fine. You are doing a stretch after all to address lower back pain. Doing a stretch improperly puts you at risk of hurting yourself, which could potentially cause you more harm than the initial back pain you had.

If you want to learn how to do these and other stretches safely, I highly recommend the Safe Stretching DVD from the Stretching Institute.

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