The 3 Top Stretches That Relieve Back Pain:
Stretching of the muscles, nerves and joints are very crucial to ensure that there are no imbalances throughout the entire musculoskeletal system. A slight decrease in the flexibility of any of these areas might lead to back pain. At this point, it’s important to understand that not all of these stretches may be appropriate for everyone. Also, a stretch should not at all induce pain. Here are the 5 top stretches that relieve back pain:
Lumbar Extension Stretches:
If you are dealing with a disc herniation then this might be the best stretches for you. However, this should be performed cautiously for anyone with spinal stenosis or any other known vertebral fractures. Lie of your stomach and bend your elbows underneath you. Place your palms flat on the surface and keep moving your pelvis and hips in contact with the surface. Raise your upper torso off the ground with your arms, relaxing your back muscles. Only go as high as you can for about 30 seconds.
Lumbar Flexion Stretches:
These stretches are ideal for people with spinal stenosis or feel tightness through their lower lumbar musculature. Perform 2 or 3 repetitions while holding each one for about 15-30 seconds. Note the stretch feeling along the buttocks or lower back area. Alternatively, you may perform this with both of lifted up in the direction of your chest if it feels comfortable.
Child’s Pose or Prayer Stretch:
This stretch focuses on the lower back muscles along the spine and is a very popular yoga pose. On your knees and hands, sit back so that your buttocks rest on your heels. Stretch your hands forward to feel a stretch in your middle back and lengthen your spine. Additionally, you can reach your hands to either side so as to focus the stretch on the opposite side of your spine. Perform 2 or 3 repetitions of 10-30 seconds holds.
Prayer Stretch or Child’s Pose:
This is a stretch that incorporates both a flexion component and an extension. You may perform this stretch one way or either way, whichever works best for you. On your knees and hands, allow your belly to sag towards the table in order to boost extension through your spine (lumbar extension picture). To boost flexion through the spine, arch the back upwards, bringing your spine away from the table (lumbar flexion picture). Perform these stretches several times, holding each position for about 10-30 seconds.
Yes, just like muscles, nerves can also be stretched. In fact, nerve stretches are very essential to perform especially if you have any back pain radiating into your legs or buttocks. After lumbar surgery, nerve stretches are very important to perform to make sure that there isn’t any scar tissue affecting the nerve to any internal structure.
Sciatic Nerve Stretch:
This stretch should be performed if the radiating pain into the legs is felt in the back of the leg, buttocks and/or the foot and calf. Ideally, this is the pathway of the sciatic nerve. By stretching your nerves, you desensitize it so that it doesn’t cause much pain. Lie on your back and place your hands behind one knee, particularly the leg with the sciatic pain. Try to straighten your knee while alternate flexing your ankle back and forth. Perform this for a few seconds with at least 10 repetitions on each side.
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