Lower back pain Exercises and Stretch Pictures
Be aware of the way stretching helps your back muscles. The soft tissues surrounding your joints (shoulder joint, hip joint, sacro-iliac joint or low back) are not, by definition, flexible. However continuous range of motion exercises and daily activities can contribute to smoother movement in and around the joints.
- Stretching to relieve lower back pain is done by increasing the flexibility of the muscular structures surrounding your lower back as well as increasing the range of motion of the joints found in your lower back (including the spine and lower extremities).
- According to studies, there is an estimated 15-20% of the population with chronic LBP (cLBP) who develop protracted (longer lasting) pain and that CLBP is cited as the most common cause of disability amongst Americans younger than 45 years old.
- It is the second most common reason for wellness visits and fifth most common cause for hospitalization and the 3rd for surgery.
- Your lower spine, which is composed of the vertebrae L1 to L5, contains the largest vertebrae in your spinal column and is an area where a lot of movement takes place.
- The lower spine also bears the weight of the torso. This is the reason why, over time, your lower back receives undue stress and strain and physiologic degradation takes place.
Part 2Learning the Basics
- Understand that stretching is a long-term process. Patients with current and recurring lower back pain must realize that it takes months of stretching along with other back muscle exercises to achieve meaningful and prolonged relief.
- However long it may take, it must be remembered that the goal of treatment and exercise is not just to achieve pain relief.
- The goals are to sustain the pain relief and to further improve the condition of your lower back through continued physical movement and proper exercise.
- Always do a warm up stretch. Warm up prior to a stretching routine by walking and gently moving your arms in a circular motion, as this helps to warm up your muscles. Stretching without warming up your muscles can cause undue strain to your soft tissues.
- Wear exercise clothes. Wear an exercise outfit that won’t hinder movement and that you feel comfortable in.
- Never force your body to achieve a stretching position that is painful to you. One person’s range of motion is not the same as the next person's. Therefore you should, together with an expert or exercise coach, determine which range of motion is appropriate for you, and you alone.
- Stretching should be pain-free. The old adage “no pain, no gain” does not apply in modern therapeutic and exercise regimens.
- Move carefully when going into a stretch. Avoid “bouncing” movements. Instead, move into the stretch gently until your reach your end range of motion.
- Bouncing involves small, repetitive, abrupt, high impact movements to reach the end range of motion. This is not beneficial because abrupt movements in your body cause undue stress and strain on your soft tissues.
- Think of your muscles and soft tissues as a rubber band. If you stretch it hard and fast, there’s a tendency to break, but if you move it gently and slowly, there’s no danger of disrupting its flexibility.
- Pick out a flat, even surface to perform your stretches on. Perform your stretching routines on a flat even surface, or a spacious environment where you can move freely.
- Hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds. Stretching regimens call for holding the position for more than 30 seconds for flexibility development. This is how you will develop and improve your range of motion.
- You must hold the stretched position for at least 15 seconds (for beginners) and a maximum of 30-45 seconds.
- Know how to return to a neutral position. After holding the position for 45 seconds, slowly return to a neutral position (repetition 1) then slowly stretch back and hold the position for another 45 seconds before slowly returning to the neutral position again (repetition 2, and so on).
- Do the stretching routine at least 5 times for beginners and as much as 10-15 times.
- Remember to breathe. Always remember to breathe freely. There shouldn’t be any point in your stretching regimen where you are short of breath or breathing heavily because this signifies that you are performing the stretch incorrectly.