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6 Stretches to Relieve Back Pain

Stretching the muscles, tendons and ligaments that support the spine helps to relieve neck and back pain. Stretching also reduces tension in muscles supporting the spine, improves range of motion, and reduces the risk of disability caused by back pain. Below are examples of 6 stretches targeted for the neck, upper back, and lower back.

General Tips Before You Start Stretching

Before you start to stretch your muscles, make sure to follow these general guidelines so you can avoid injury:

  • Take your time, and do not force your body into awkward or painful positions
  • Dress comfortably, and avoid clothing constricts movement
  • Move in and out of stretches slowly
  • Use a clean, flat and open space that provides enough room to move freely
  • Make sure to stretch both sides of the body, for equal amounts of time

General Tips Before You Start Stretching Houston, TX

1. Child’s Pose

  • Start on your hands and knees, in a tabletop position
  • Keep your hands shoulder width apart
  • Place your knees just wider than hip-distance apart
  • Turn your toes in and push your hips backwards, bending at the knee until you reach a comfortable seated position
  • Extend your arms and allow your head to fall forward into a relaxation position
  • Hold for 30 seconds, and then repeat slowly 4 – 5 times

2. Knee to Chest Stretch

  • Start by lying flat on your back, with both legs extended
  • Lift one leg, bending at the knee, and bring it toward your chest
  • Wrap your arms around your knee and hold for 20 seconds
  • Repeat with your opposite leg
3. Elevated Leg Stretch
  • Start by lying flat on your back on a bed or other elevated structure
  • Move one leg to the outer edge of your bed or structure, and hang it off the edge without flexing
  • Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, and then repeat with your opposite leg
4. Lumbar Rotation With Flexed Knees
  • Start by lying flat on your back
  • With both knees together and your feet flat on the floor, bend both legs bent at a 90-degree angle
  • Slowly rotate both knees in the same direction towards to ground until you reach a point of tension. Note that you don’t have to touch your knees to the ground.
  • Avoid lifting your back or feet off the ground
  • Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, and then slowly return to the starting position
  • Repeat the stretch on by moving your knees to the opposite side
5. Modified Cobra
  • Start by lying on your stomach with your legs extended
  • Bend your elbows and place your hands flat on the surface, even with your chest
  • Slowly extend your arms, gently press down on the floor to raise your head and upper body off the floor
  • Squeeze your glutes and keep your pelvis flat on the floor
  • When your arms are fully extended, hold the position for 10 seconds
  • Slowly lower back down to the surface and then repeat 4 or 5 times
6. Piriformis Muscle Stretch
  • Start by lying on your back
  • Bend both your knees and keep your feet flat on the surface
  • Move one ankle over, and rest on your opposite knee
  • Rest your ankle over your knee, and grab the thigh of the leg that your ankle is resting on
  • Pull your thigh towards your chest and hold for 20 seconds
  • Slowly return to your original position and repeat on the other side

Stretching should become a daily habit if you’re looking for long-term health benefits. Following these stretches can help your mind relax, improve your mobility, and help you avoid further pain and complications in the future.

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