Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Back Stretches for Relieving Back Pain

If you suffer chronic back pain, stretching is an excellent pain management strategy. Not only does stretching feel good, it also increases your range of motion, enhances flexibility and reduces the likelihood of further injury.

There are several stretches that target the back specifically. Garard Malanga, the Director of Pain Management at New Jersey’s Overlook Hospital, suggests starting with gentle neck stretches. If you loosen up the neck muscles, you will also reduce the tension in your upper back. Always stretch slowly, to the point of tension rather than pain. Hold the stretch for approximately 10 to 20 seconds, and do not bounce. If you feel to urge to bounce, you are probably stretching too far. And don’t forget to breathe deeply when you stretch!

The following five stretches will help alleviate pain and feel great.

Stretch #1
  1. Sit in a chair with feet flat on the ground

  2. Curl /arch your back and neck slowly forward until you chest meets your thighs

  3. Reach to the ground (touching it if you can)

  4. Hold for 10 seconds

  5. Return to neutral seated position and repeat 10 times

Stretch #2
  1. Kneel on all fours

  2. Arch your back towards the ceiling like a cat

  3. Hold for 5 seconds

  4. Return to the neutral position

  5. Now push your stomach towards the floor (mirror to the cat stretch)

  6. Hold for 5 seconds

  7. Return to neutral position and repeat this stretch 10 times

Stretch #3
  1. Lie on your back, feet flat on the floor

  2. Grab the back on your thighs and pull them towards your chest until a comfortable stretch is felt

  3. Hold for 15 seconds

  4. Repeat 10 times

Stretch #4
  1. Continue lying on your back, knees bent, feet resting flat on the ground

  2. Rotate your hips to the left until you feel the stretch, keeping your entire back flat to the floor

  3. Hold for 10 seconds, then rotate slowly, smoothly to the other side

  4. Repeat 10 times

Stretch #5
  1. Last stretch – continue lying on your back, feet flat on the floor

  2. Push down, through the feet, and slowly, smoothly lift your gluts towards the ceiling

  3. Hold for ten seconds

  4. Repeat 10 times

Couple a solid stretching routine, with a quality back brace, and you should feel tremendous relief from your chronic back pain.

Note: This information is not intended to supplement or replace advice from a medical professional, or to diagnose or treat any condition.

About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of braces and supports. To find a quality back brace, including a high quality lumbar brace, please visit www.mmarmedical.com.

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