Back Stretches For Lower Back Pain Relief

back stretches for back pain relief Once you have your doctor’s ok, you may be advised or even prescribed to do back stretches for lower back pain relief. When hit with back pain, the first thing you may want to do it just curl up in your bed since the last thing you want to do is lower back pain stretches. But, you will need to realize that inactivity is perhaps the worst thing for you. In fact, the less you do, the worse you will get in terms of back pain.  Whether you want to believe it or not, the best thing for you is doing back stretches for lower back pain relief.

Back Strains, Sprains and Spasms

To understand the benefit of doing back stretches for lower back pain relief, first understand the common cause of back pain and how it involves the muscles and ligaments of the back. Back pain is most commonly caused by a strain, which is an injury to the muscle or a sprain, which is injury to the ligaments.

The reason behind the sprain or strain is likely one of the following:

  • Poor posture
  • Excess weight, especially that ‘spare tire’ weight
  • Improper lifting
  • Carrying heavy loads, including backpacks and purses
  • Sleeping in the wrong position

Muscle strains usually hit the lower back area because this location, being a pivot point for turning, is especially vulnerable to injury. So, if you experienced sudden low back pain when bending or lifting, this is the reason why.

However, while a sprain or strain can cause pain right away, sometimes the soreness and stiffness hits later. That is because the muscle, when injured, tends to knot up in a spasm. A spasm is a way that your body immobilizes and protects the area from further injury.

Benefits of Back Stretches for Lower Back Pain Relief

If you have been diagnosed with a back strain, sprain or spasm, back exercises and stretches may be your prescription for pain relief. There are multiple benefits of performing back stretches for back pain relief. Stretching helps to ease pain by:

  • Improving blood flow to the muscles and the supporting tissues in the area
  • Elongating the muscles that shortened as a result of the injury
  • Increasing the blood flow to the injured muscles and ligaments
  • Removing the build-up of lactic acid and other waste products of the lymph system
  • Increasing the joint mobility of the spine

Before Doing Back Stretches for Lower Back Pain Relief

Before you do any back pain exercises and stretches, you need to loosen up. Always plan on loosening up for no less than five minutes by walking, marching in place or slowly riding an exercise bike. This warms up the area to prevent further tearing and injury to the area or, worse yet, new back injuries.

The process of loosening up increases the blood flow to the area. This actually ‘warms’ the area and helps to carry the waste products produced by exercising away from the area and out of the system.

Proper Technique For Back Stretches For Lower Back Pain Relief

One of the major differences between and exercise and a stretch is that the stretch is a pause or holding of a position of your body. Exercises are done to strengthen the muscles compared to stretches to help lower back pain.

If you are just starting out in stretching, hold the stretch position for about 5 to 10 seconds. As you get accustomed to the stretches over the days, work to increase your hold time to 60 to 90 seconds.

You will be repeating the stretch for, in the beginning, three times and eventually work up to 15 repetitions. For example, if you are holding the stretch for about 30 seconds, then you will do 3 to 5 reps of the stretch. Increase your stretch hold time and the number of repetitions gradually.

Never hold your breath when doing low back stretches. Effective breathing will help keep your muscles loosened up, making the stretch even more effective.

Always wear comfortable clothing that won’t constrict or bind during lower back pain relief stretches

Never force your body into difficult or painful positions. Stretches for low back pain should be gentle and pain free.

Move into each stretch fluidly, slowly, avoiding bouncing. Bouncing in stretches to relieve lower back pain can actually tear the muscles.

Once again, always get the o.k. from your doctor or health care practitioner before attempting any back stretches for lower back pain relief.