6 Stretches To Minimize Back Pain

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Back pain can be debilitating and extremely frustrating. Stretching your body through active movements and static stretches can be the key to keeping a well-balanced musculoskeletal system. Back pain can be caused by countless different reasons but decreased flexibility has been shown to lead to lower back pain. Stretching takes time and repetition and should not cause pain or injury.

Stretching can be a great tool to increase blood flow, range of motion, and decrease risk of injury if done safely and with proper technique. Use caution with stretching injuries and consult therapist or MD.

Tips for Safe Stretching:

  • Maintain a static position and don’t bounce.
  • It’s not a starter or warm up. Stretch after you have warmed by running or moving.
  • Hold stretches from 35-55 seconds.
  • If it hurts or causes pain, pull back to a more comfortable position. Tension = good / pain = bad.
  • Stretch on a schedule. By stretching regularly you can improve range of motion and blood flow.

1. Prayer Stretch

  • Kneel on all fours, making sure your hands are directly under your shoulders and your knees are directly under your hips.
  • Slowly move your hips backward, reaching the buttocks to your heels. Let your tailbone be heavy and drop down to the floor. Reach your hands in front of you to increase the stretch.
  • Relax and hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

Prayer Stretch Prayer Stretch

2. Quadratus Lumborum Stretch

  • Kneel on all fours, making sure your hands are directly under your shoulders and your knees are directly under your hips.
  • Slowly move your hips backward, reaching the buttocks to your heels. Let your tailbone be heavy and drop down to the floor.
  • Reach your hands to the right. Relax and hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
  • Reach your hands to the left. Relax and hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

Quadratus Lumborum Stretch Quadratus Lumborum Stretch

3. Double knee to chest

  • Lay on your back.
  • Hold your knees with your hands and draw the knees towards your chest until a comfortable stretch is felt in the lower back.
  • Relax and hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times

Double Knee to Chest

 4. Cat and Camel

  • Start on all fours with hands underneath the shoulders and knees underneath the hips.
  • Push down through your hands to let your back round. Relax your head down and point your tailbone to the floor.
  • Then reach your head and tailbone towards the ceiling, letting your back arch. Make sure you draw your belly button to your spine to support the core.
  • Repeat 10 times. Do 2 sets.

Cat and Camel Cat and Camel

 5. Knee Drops

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Make sure your feet and knees are separated and hip width apart. Slowly let the right knee relax towards the ground and then let the left knee follow. Keep the twist throughout your torso, and don’t over extend your lower back. Draw the belly button down as your left knee returns to the starting position, followed by your right knee. Repeat to the other side.
  • Repeat 10 times. Do 2 sets.

Knee Drops Knee Drops

6. Trunk Rotations

  • Lay on your side with your hips and knees bent, head supported and arms reaching out in front of you with your hands together.
  • Draw the shoulder blade of the top arm back and start to unfold your arm towards the floor behind you. Let your fingers trail along your arm and chest as the arm opens. Also, follow your fingers with your gaze during the movement. Let the spine rotate and chest open, but keep the knees together as much as possible. Relax and breathe for a moment, feeling the spiral of your spine.
  • To return to the starting position, bend at the wrist and let your fingers start to trace back along your chest. Follow your fingers with your gaze. As your hand crosses your chest, start to rotate your spine back so the shoulders are stacked. Reach the fingers of your top arm slightly past the hand of the bottom arm.
  • Repeat 10 times and repeat on both sides.

Trunk Rotations

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