4 Easy Stretches To Relieve Back Pain

Did you know that you can improve your general flexibility and therefore increase range of movement in your joints by performing regular simple stretches?

Stretching has had some hard press lately but there’s no better proof than actually trying it for yourself.

Muscles and muscle fascia are designed for movement. So what happens if you don’t move as much as you should? The muscles and their surrounding fascia become dehydrated and stuck. They adhere to each other and themselves and this reduces the freedom of movement in your body.

For example, you may be suffering from upper back and/or neck pain and find that stretching your neck or shoulder area doesn’t bring any relief at all. This could be because your chest area (pectoral muscles) are tight and pulling your shoulders forwards, creating a tightening up of the muscles in your upper back and neck. The upper back and neck muscles will then tighten up as they try to counter balance this pull. What happens is that you feel the discomfort in your upper back but the cause of the problem isn’t there. Try these simple stretches to help relieve back pain:

1. Pectoral Stretch

This stretch can relieve upper back and neck tension. The stretch should feel comfortable and you shouldn’t push so far that it becomes painful. (This rule applies to all stretches).
Picture1

  • Stand side on to a door frame or corner of a wall
  • Place hand nearest to wall palm down against it as shown
  • Keep your elbow as level to your shoulder as you can
  • Take a small step forward with leg nearest wall
  • Turn your body away from the wall
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds
  • Repeat on the other side

The following 3 stretches can help relieve lower back discomfort.

2. Quadriceps Stretch

For an extra stretch, gently squeeze gluteals (buttocks) as you perform the stretch.
Picture2

  • Stand with feet and knees together, side on to a chair or something you can hold on to.
  • Bend knee and hold ankle on leg furthest away from chair.
  • Gently pull foot towards buttock on same side.
  • Keep knees level.
  • Maintain upright posture.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on other side.

3. Hamstrings Stretch

Remember to keep your back straight and head up with this one. Don’t be tempted to bend further forward by rounding through your spine, it won’t increase the stretch effectively.
Picture3

  • Stand in front of a stair or support which is at knee height or below.
  • Keep your raised foot in a vertical but relaxed position.
  • Hinge forward from your hips until you feel the stretch in your hamstrings.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

4. Gluteals stretch

Keep the back flat and in contact with the floor. Relax shoulders.
Picture4

  • Lie on a mat on the floor.
  • Place outside of right ankle on top of left knee.
  • Clasp hands through and behind left knee.
  • Gently pull left knee towards chest.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on other side.

All of the above stretches can be performed two or three times on each side for increased release of the tight muscles.

*Please note: as with any exercise programme, it is recommended that these stretches should only be performed in the absence of any form of injury or medical condition. If in doubt please consult your GP.

Clinic Staff

Welcome to The Clinic at Borde Hill. We bring together expert practitioners in all aspects of body therapy under one roof. Feel free to call us on 01444 616797 or email us [email protected]

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