Back Pain Stretches for Pain Relief
Back Pain Stretches
There are any number of problems that cause back pain. These include slipped discs, arthritis, muscle strain, and arthritis. Whatever the cause, though, back pain can be excruciating and severely limit our ability to perform simple tasks that others take for granted. Small wonder, then, that many people assume such a painful, debilitating condition can only be addressed through surgery or the use of medication.
Sometimes such interventions are indeed an essential part of pain management. But for many people, a regular exercise program aimed at keeping the back strong and flexible can be of tremendous help in reducing pain, reducing reliance on pain medication, and improving overall functioning.
Why Back Pain Stretches Work
Regular stretching produces several key benefits to the back:
- It strengthens the back and makes it less vulnerable to injury and less prone to pain.
- It makes the back more flexible and thus better able to do the bending required to perform routine tasks without undue stress.
- It improves circulation that nourishes the spine.
- It relieves back pain by making muscles relax.
How to Make Back Pain Stretches Work for You
The catch with back pain stretches is the same as with other exercise routines and good health habits. To really get the benefit, you have to do them regularly. In the case of stretching to relieve back pain, you’ll want to do it every day.
To that end, consider stretching first thing in the morning before other matters start distracting you. One benefit of this will be to increase blood flow to your muscles and thus your energy level.
It can also be useful to stretch every night just before bed. This will help get rid of any lingering tension from the day, help you relax, and make it easier to fall asleep.
Finally, to really derive the utmost in back pain prevention and relief, take small stretch breaks during the day, perhaps every two hours. You can set alarms on your phone to remind you or rely on an app like StretchClock.
Five Effective Stretches for Fighting Back Pain
Clearly, it’s not enough just to know in the abstract that stretching can help with back pain. You need to know what particular stretches to do and how to do them. Here, then, are five stretches that should serve a back pain sufferer well.
Back Pain Stretches: The Child’s Pose
This one works by improving mobility while also relaxing the muscles of the lower back. Get on all fours, sit your hips backward, and reach forward with your arms. You should feel a mild stretch in your back. Hold the child’s pose for five seconds and do ten repetitions.
Back Pain Stretches: The Cat-Camel Back Stretch
The cat-camel back stretch fights back pain by strengthening back and abdominal muscles while also promoting spinal mobility. Starting on all fours, arch your back toward the ceiling and hold that pose for five seconds. Do ten repetitions
Back Pain Stretches: Trunk Rotation Stretch
The trunk rotation stretch combats back pain by relaxing the muscles on the sides of the spine while also promoting spinal mobility. Start this one by lying on a mat with your knees bent. Keeping your upper back flat on the mat, rotate your legs toward the floor until you feel a stretch. Hold the stretch for five seconds and do ten repetitions.
Back Pain Stretches: Hip Flexor Stretch
The hip flexor stretch is especially good for people who spend a lot of time sitting and therefore have their hips get tight. When this is the case, the hip muscles pull the lower back forward when you’re standing, which in turn increases stress on the lower back. The stretch addresses this by increasing flexibility in the hip flexors, which helps relieve back pain in upright activities.
To do the stretch, kneel on a mat and lean toward the bent front knee until you feel a stretch in the opposite thigh. Hold the pose for ten seconds and do five repetitions.
Back Pain Stretches: Hamstring Stretch
The hamstring stretch is also particularly useful for people who spend a lot of time sitting. This can result in the backs of the legs getting tight, and that produces a pull on the back when a person bends forward. This stretch makes the hamstrings more flexible with the result that you experience less stress when bending or lifting.
To perform the hamstring stretch, sit on the floor with one leg straightened and the other one bent. Keep a flat back and bend forward from the hip until you feel a stretch behind the thigh. Hold the stretch for ten seconds and do five repetitions on each side.
If you need guidance learning or undertaking back pain stretches, our physical therapy experts at the Pain Relief Institute would be happy to help you. We invite you to call for a consultation to work with them or to avail yourself of any of our non-invasive pain management therapies including Zilretta, PalinGen, stem cell recruitment, and laser therapy.