Back Stretching Exercises To Help Reduce Back Pain
If you suffer from back pain, doing a few back stretching exercises when lying on your back or on your hands and knees in a non-weight-bearing position (decompression mobilization) when done carefully is great!
Our backs need a break from gravity. Gravity is constantly pulling and compressing our vertebrae together. Add to that carrying a child or groceries or tools and by the end of the day you have a reason to hurt.
So, take quick breaks, lie down just for 2-3 minutes a few times a day, especially at night instead of sitting on a couch. As simple as it sounds, it really works.
Think about how much time you spend sitting, compressing your back all day and consider that sitting increases the pressure in the low back up to eleven times normal and running down hill increases low back pressure up to four times your body weight. It only makes sense to give your back a break a few times a day with some back stretching exercises.
Start each morning by gently pulling one knee toward your chest and relax your back muscles as you pull. Hold for 15 - 20 seconds and pull the opposite knee toward the chest and hold for 15 - 20 seconds. Then clasp your hands at the top of both shins and gently pull your knees toward your chest. Hold for 15 - 20 seconds.
As simple as it sounds, this technique has helped hundreds of patients who have suffered for years with recurring back pain.
Try some of the techniques that top athletes use first thing in the morning and several times during the day to prevent injury and unnecessary pain.
Knee to Chest Back Stretching Exercises
These stretches specifically stretch the muscles of the low and mid back, buttocks and hamstrings.
The key to knee to chest stretching exercises is to relax before beginning to pull. Gently, clasp your hands just below your knees and pull with your arms, relaxing your low back. Hold for three to five seconds then release.
Remember, start and end this stretch with your knees bent to take the stress off the low back.
Hamstring and Back Stretching Exercises
Hamstring stretching exercises are extremely important in reducing low back pain. The hamstrings (muscles in the back of the legs) connect to the bottom of the pelvis.
If they are tight it will inhibit your ability to flex or bend forward and puts most of the load of bending on the low back rather than distributing the load as it should be among the hamstrings, glutes, hips, and low back.
Stand facing a table or staircase and place your right foot on the table or on the 3rd or 4th step with your leg straight out.
With your back held straight, not hunching, slowly bend forward bringing your head toward your knee (hunching may stretch your lower back but reduces the effectiveness of the hamstring stretch).
You will feel the resistance in the back of your leg - don't push till it hurts, just until you know you are stretching a little beyond the norm. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds and straighten up.
Repeat with the left leg.
Hamstring and Lower Back Stretching Exercises
Stand with your feet about a foot apart or a little wider for balance and bend forward slowly as if to touch your toes.
As you bend forward keeping your legs locked straight and hinging at the hips, put your hands on your knees for support and slowly let your torso bend further toward the floor. As you feel the stretch in your lower back, let yourself go lower.
Then let your arms hang, totally relaxing your back for 15 - 20 seconds. You will notice that as the stretch becomes complete, your hands get closer and closer to your toes.
NOTE: I have found a unique and effective approach to reducing back pain in the form of an instuctional video by personal trainer and author Jesse Cannone. If you have suffered from back pain for some time without relief, you should have a look at the
Lose the Back Pain Video
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