How Can Stretching Help Prevent Back Pain?

Posted by Andy Thomas ● May 9, 2019

Experts have estimated that up to 80% of us will experience back pain over the course of our lives. Because the issue is so common, it's no wonder that many of us are searching for ways to help combat back pain.Stretching has actually been proven to be extremely beneficial in the prevention and treatment of back pain. This easy (and cost-effective) avenue for relief is often a beacon of light to those who suffer from back pain. It's something that you can do at home regardless of whether or not you're seeing a chiropractor or other specialist.

How Does Stretching Help With Back Pain?

If your abdominal or back muscles are weak, they may struggle to properly support your body and spine-- in many cases, this is a cause for lower back pain. Taking the time to gently stretch and gradually strengthen these muscles can help prevent lower back pain from developing or increasing.

The proper stretching regimen can help your body become stronger. Stretching creates stronger, more flexible muscles that are better-equipped to support your body throughout the day. Some patients experience immediate relief of pain during stretching and other forms of light exercise, as well.

Research has indicated that those who suffer from chronic pain tend to see a decrease in pain, fatigue, and other symptoms from light exercise such as stretching. If your back pain troubles have been plaguing you for weeks, months, or years, stretching could prove immensely beneficial in your efforts to reclaim your life.

Keep in mind that these results may take time and aren't guaranteed. Stretching isn't an immediate cure to pain. Chronic back pain may require weeks or months of regular stretching before discomfort is reduced.

Common Stretches for Reducing Back Pain

Ideally, you should book an appointment with a chiropractic team to help determine the cause of your pain. Once you've found the answer to that question, there are a number of stretches that tend to comprise the basic back pain stretching "tool kit." Keep in mind that you should stop stretching immediately if you experience sharp pain. Stretches include:

  • The knee-to-chest stretch
    • knee to chestRestores flexibility in the muscles of the lower back
    • Lying on your back on a hard surface, draw the knee of one leg to your chest and grasp it in place once it stretches as far as it can comfortably reach
    • Hold this position for five seconds, tightening your abdominal muscles and pressing your spine into the floor
    • Repeat with the other leg
  • Back flexion and extension on all fours (child's pose)childs pose
    • Stretches the muscles of the low back and inner thighs
    • Beginning on your hands and knees on the floor.
    • Rock back and sit your buttocks near your heels with your arms extended straight ahead; hold this position for five seconds
  • The cat stretch
    • cat poseHelps with spine extension, promotes mobility, relieves lower back tension
    • Position yourself on the floor on your hands and knees
    • Pull your belly in and take the time to slowly round your spine, lower back, shoulders, and neck; allow your head to drop

The McKenzie Method

The McKenzie Method is a set of specific stretches specifically for back and neck pain. They are designed to help patients relieve lower back pain and strengthen their core muscles. This helps to stabilize the core and ultimately can reduce back pain.

Massage Therapy and Stretching for Back Pain Relief

Massage therapy focuses on the soft tissue of the body which includes your muscles. It works to decrease stiffness, increase flexibility, and promote general relaxation. Combining massage therapy with a set of stretches you regularly perform at home can help to further reduce back pain.  To learn more about the benefits of combining massage with your chiropractic care in our blog How Massage and Chiropractic Care Work Together.

Contact us to schedule an appointment, if you're suffering from back pain. Our staff can get you set up with an appointment to get you started on the path towards relief. With the help of our team and Dr. Thomas (and use of the proper techniques), you may be pain-free far sooner than you would've ever hoped.

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Topics: back pain, muscle pain, pain prevention