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Simple Stretches to Relieve Back Pain
by Kimberly Bergeron, PA-C, MPAS
There are many methods to help with eliminating back pain. One of the most basic and beneficial is through simple stretching. The benefits of stretching include not only pain relief but also increased flexibility and strengthening. And, stretching can be a contributing factor toward improved posture. It is important to note that pain relief may not be immediate and it may take some time for noticeable improvement.
All individuals can benefit from back-related stretches. First, consider these important guidelines. Start by wearing comfortable clothes. Next, while doing any type of stretch it is crucial not to stretch through pain. Move slowly through a stretch and to avoid bouncing. During the stretches, each position should be held for approximately 20 to 30 seconds. It is recommended to repeat the stretch approximately 5 to 10 times.
It is most helpful to focus on specific areas for stretches. These include the back, hip/gluteus and hamstrings. Two effective stretches for the back muscles are back flexion and knee-to-chest. For the hip and gluteus stretches, these are piriformis stretch and hip flexor stretch. One of the most important muscles to stretch is the hamstring. While stretching the hamstring one can lie on their back and place a towel under the ball of the foot. This will keep your back supported during the entire stretch. Another way to stretch this hamstring muscle is in the standing position. Refer to our illustrations for the stretches mentioned.
By simply performing these stretches once a day, you can help reduce your back pain and improve overall flexibility.
LOW BACK EXERCISES