Can stretching relieve back pain?
The answer is Yes! Stretching can help to release some of the tense muscles and tendons that surround your spine and help relieve some of the back pain that may be caused from strain and tension of the muscles. Along with stretching it is always important to keep our bodies moving throughout the day especially when working at a desk. Getting up to walk and or stretch for 5-10 min every hour can help to keep the blood flowing and may also relieve stress in the back and relieve some back pain.
Stretching is great for relieving back pain and it is even better because it is so convenient and it is something you can do at home to help treat and prevent back pain. On our page for prenatal chiropractic we talk about stretches you can do while you are pregnant to help prevent back pain.
The first one is stretching your entire back and reliving the tension that is built up in your back, shoulders and neck. In a door jam or on a pole of some sort grab each side with your palms facing each other. With your feet just wider than the width of your shoulders, with your knees slightly bent. You should be far enough back that you need to lean into the wall but your back should be slanted into the wall at an angle, not vertical nor horizontal. Find the lean in that you are comfortable with. In this position take deep breath in as you extend your back, arms and shoulders with each breath try to stretch out a bit more. Return to the starting position after 5 breaths and repeat!
This second pregnancy stretch is also great if you can utilize a door jam or pool again as well so if you just did the first stretch then you are already in position for this next one. Now start standing sideways next to the wall or door jam. With your left side next to the wall take your right leg and step it in front of and across your body so that you are standing cross-legged. Now lift your right or outside arm up and over your head to tough the wall. You should feel this stretch in your side and lower back, maybe even a bit in your leg and belly.
As much as it may be needed to stretch out the hamstrings it is not very easy to always bend over and touch your tows to get that deep stretch in your hamstrings. This may even sound more simple than you think it is going to be. Now I always recommend finding a seat on the floor next to something you can use to help yourself up or you can do this stretch on the bed or on a couch. Wherever you decided to sit you will want to start by touching your thumbs together and reach up up up as far and you can to extend the back straight up, then slowly lean forward dropping your arms towards your feet but keeping the same form of a straight back. This will help to keep from adding strain to your back while doing this stretch. You should feel the back of your thighs being stretched. You can now isolate each led and get a bit of a deeper stretch. Sit back up and bend one leg in and out so that you are doing half of a butterfly sit. Then with the same motion thumbs together and stretch up up, up and then bend towards your toe. You can relax your elbows on the ground if you are able to get that low, but keep your back straight! If y ou need help to get a deeper stretch you can use a towel or something similar to place around the foot of the straight leg or the feet if both legs are straight. Grabbing the end of each side of the towel you can pull yourself into a deeper stretch. Stretching out the hamstrings can help to eliminate the lover back pain you may be feeling along with the tightness in your legs from the extra weight.
Stretching your calves is another bid part of making sure you are stretching out your whole body. You may not think that you calves are get much of the brunt of the weight and tension from your body bit they are. The best way to stretch out your calves is going to be on a step or a curb. This stretch is preferably done where you have something you can hold onto for balance. This one is very simple however there are three parts to it to make sure you are getting all parts of your calve muscle stretched out. Place your toes on the step with your heal hanging over the edge and allow your heals to drop until you feel a good stretch in your calves. Repeat this three times for at least ten seconds in three directions. Toes forward, toes pointed in and toes pointed out.
And the finally the stretch to finish out the stretching for your entire body is the chest stretch. This one again is best if you can use a door way or two walls if they are close enough, but I promise the doorway will be your best option. Stand right in the doorway and with your arms out and elbows bent please your hands on the wall of each side then lean forward or take a step forward this will stretch out your chest. The cool part about stretching out your chest is it will relieve your upper back and neck strain. When your chest is stretched out your back and neck muscles no longer need to pull or fight against the tight chest muscles. This allows those muscles to be able to relax a bit.
Some other basic stretches that will help relieve back pain are ....
Touching your toes. While in the standing position bend over and touch your toes. while you are hanging take a deep breath and allow your body to sink with each and every deep breath you take. When it is time to come up make sure you come up slowly keeping your head down and once your body is upright roll your shoulders up and back and slowly loft your head. this will help prevent any head rush and fainting.
Lay on your back and bend your left knee so your left foot is next to your right knee. then with your arms straight out for balance. palms down lift your left knee across your body so that your left hip is off the ground and your back is twisting. Twist as far as your body will comfortable allow, and relax. Take deep breaths and with each breath allow your body to sink further and further into the stretch. when you are ready to come out of this back stretch come out slowly and allow your body to relax laying flat on your back legs straight. When ready do the same steps with the other side. this is a great stretch for the entire back but specifically the lower back.
This is preferred to so on a firm yet soft area like padded carpet. while sitting down bring your knees to your chest and wrap your arms around your shins and knees. Softly roll back ensuring there is nothing behind you. rolling on your back may help to relieve stress and loosen up some tight muscles that are hard to reach.
We hope that these stretches will help you relieve the stress and tension in your muscles and your body between massages and chiropractic adjustments here at the Ogden Chiropractic office. Remember if there is any sharp ar shooting pains please call and we will get you in as soon as possible even if we need to get you in on our lunch. If you have never been in before please check out our special chiropractic coupon and get your full exam and adjustment for only $20.