About Stretching Exercises for Back Pain Relief
If you are one of the many people who suffer from back pain, you know how difficult it can be to find relief.
You have likely tried many different treatment options and medications to help ease the pain, and you may or may not have found much relief.
If you have been treated by a medical doctor for your back pain, then you have probably been told that you need to move around and exercise more to help keep your muscles pliant. But what type of exercises will help ease the pain without causing you more discomfort?
Stretching exercises can be great for back pain relief, and they are also helpful in getting you up and moving before trying any home equipment or hitting the gym.
We all know that it is best for your body for you to stretch before you begin any type of exercise, whether it is running, aerobics, or weight lifting.
But stretching by itself can be very beneficial for your back on its own. Stretching allows the inflamed muscles around the problem areas in your back to become more pliant and flexible.
This alone will give you great relief, and used every day it can help to keep your muscles relaxed and keep you free of pain.
But just like any other exercise routine, you should always consult with your medical doctor to make sure that you do not have any underlying condition that will prevent you from doing certain stretches.
There are five stretching exercises that are specifically meant for your back and helping to relieve that back pain.
We will take a look at all of these stretches below, give each of them a try, and see which one works best for you.
Lumbar Extension: Prone Press Up
This is a great stretch for anyone who is suffering from a herniated disc or pain along the spine.
If you have any type of spinal issues, you will need to consult with your doctor to make sure that this exercise will not negatively impact your spine. Once you are given the green light, you will begin this stretch lying flat on your stomach.
Place your arms in front of you and bending your elbows as if you are going to do a push-up. Making sure to keep your torso, hips, and legs against the flat surface, use your arms to push yourself upwards.
Lift yourself up as high as you are comfortable with. You should never feel pain or discomfort while stretching.
Hold the position for about 30 seconds. If you are not comfortable with a steady 30 seconds, try starting out with smaller repetitions at lower amounts of time and build up to holding for 30 seconds.
Lumbar Flexion: Single Knee to Chest
If you have ever taken a gym class in school, you should be familiar with this stretch. During this stretch, you will start out on your back lying flat on the ground.
You can also use a pillow or rolled up towel to help support your head and neck. Once you have reached a comfortable position, choose one knee and bring it up to your chest.
Hold this position for 15-20 seconds, remembering to keep your back relaxed. If you find that this position is uncomfortable for you, you can pull up both knees at the same time. This will give you the stretch you need, but will be a little easier on you.
Lumbar Flexion: Child’s Pose
Similar to our other Flexion stretches, the Child’s Pose should look fairly familiar if you have ever taken a yoga or Pilates class.
Sitting up on your knees, stretch your arms out in front of you and keep your palms flat against the surface underneath you.
Then you will sit back on the heels of your feet, keeping your arms stretched forward, making sure that your back is as flat as it can be in this position.
You will want to hold the position for at least 20 seconds to make sure that you are getting a good stretch throughout your back. You can kick this stretch up on notch by reaching your hands to the opposite side and alternating between the two.
Lumbar Flexion and Extension: Angry Cat
While your cat may not be any help to you with this stretch, you have no doubt seen at least one cat performing it before.
While most cats do it after napping, they do seem angry in this pose. Get down on your hands and knees, making sure to keep your back as straight as possible.
Use a towel to help prevent any injuries to your knees. Once in this position, you can choose one of two stretches.
For the Lumbar Extension, push your back towards your stomach. This will create a dip in your back. For Lumbar Flexion, move your back towards the ceiling.
This will create a hump in your back and you will have the appearance of a stretching cat. Hold each of these poses for 15-20 seconds.
If you are doing them for the first time and experience any discomfort, try holding them for a shorter amount of time.
Nerve Stretch: Sciatic Nerve
If you suffer from Sciatic Nerve pain, this is the stretch for you. Lying flat on your back, lay with both of your knees bent and facing up towards the ceiling.
You can use a pillow or folded towel under your bottom if it will make you more comfortable. Once you have achieved this position, bring one knee up almost to your chest and place your hands behind that knee.
With your knee straight up and your leg slightly bent, begin rotating your ankle. Repeat on the other leg in rotation.
This will stretch the sciatic nerve and allow you to achieve some pain relief. Use this stretch as often as needed or as suggested by your doctor.
With all of these stretches, the most important step is to consult with your doctor. They will be able to inform you of any underlying causes for the back pain that may prevent you from being able to perform these exercises.
Always remember that during stretches, you should feel no pain or severe discomfort. If you do, stop the stretches immediately and inform your doctor.