A good stretching routine keeps your back flexible and balanced. When muscles are tight, they can’t contract as strongly, which can lead to strain and injury in the supporting muscles. Spending a few minutes stretching is not only a soothing way to leave behind the stresses of the day, but it’s a great way to keep your back healthy and strong. We recommend these four stretches for back pain, with each stretch repeated 3-4 times. Also, remember to be gentle and don’t ever force a stretch!
Shoulder Blade Press
One of the best stretches for your back is to sit up straight on the edge of a sturdy chair, with your hands on your knees. Pull your shoulders back and press your shoulder blades together. Hold for 5 seconds, then relax. This can help combat the forward-stooping posture so common in our world of keyboards and smartphones.
Knee to Chest
Lay on your back on the floor, knees bent, and feet flat on the ground. Pull one knee gently toward your chest with both hands. Hold it there for 5-10 seconds while you press your spine toward the floor. Lower your knee and repeat on the other side. Finally, repeat the stretch with both knees.
Laying Rotation Stretch
While you’re down there on the floor, slide your feet toward you. Reach your arms straight out from your sides, then drop both knees toward the floor on one side. Hold for 5 seconds, then slowly bring your knees back up to center. Repeat on the other side.
Sitting Forward Bend
Another one of the best stretches, not only for your back but also for your legs, is to sit on the floor with your legs straight out. Wrap a towel or strap around your feet and lay the ends down next to your legs. Reach your arms up toward the ceiling, then bend forward, keeping your back straight. When you can’t comfortably bend any further, grasp the ends of the towel and gently pull, keeping your back straight and your neck in line with your spine. Hold for 3-5 seconds, then gently release and move back up slowly.
These stretches for back pain relief and prevention are easy ways to shift to a healthier lifestyle, and there are so many more that you can try in the comfort of your home. A healthy spine is the foundation of a happy, healthy body. Keep yours in its best shape with regular adjustments and gentle stretching. For more information, contact your local chiropractor today.