It happens to all of us at some point or another. Whether because of injury, sleeping on the wrong type of mattress, or an intense workout, we all find ourselves wondering at some point why our backs hurt.
This article will address ways to alleviate the back pain that can come on spontaneously or that has been plaguing you for a while. Regardless of how the pain starts, having back pain can negatively disrupt a person’s life. Stretching can help to get your life back on track.
Continue reading to learn more about the four back stretches you can perform for back pain relief.
Why Does My Back Hurt? Guidelines for Stretching
As we all know, it is critical to stretch before a workout to prevent injuries. However, did you know that it is equally important to stretch out your muscles after a workout?
By stretching after a workout, you help your muscles to cool down and relax after exertion. When skipping this vital step, you can find yourself in additional pain that you might have been able to prevent with a few simple stretching exercises.
Why Does My Lower Back Hurt?
Injuries that are incurred as a result of poor exercise habits or otherwise can often benefit from stretching. However, it is essential to follow strict safety guidelines for appropriate stretching.
Before stretching, it is crucial to assess whether an injury has taken place that warrants medical treatment. While many seek ways to stretch out lower back pain or upper back issues, it is critical to consult with a physician if the pain is severe.
Before stretching, it is necessary to pay attention to safety. Not only performing the moves correctly but also within a safe area. As you get ready to perform these movements, take the time to clear the area to avoid injury.
For those who live with others, make sure that items placed on the floor by household members are put away or placed in an area that won’t cause them to fall on you. Additionally, you want to be sure that there are no tripping concerns if you happen to be standing for the stretches.
Lastly, if you find yourself in more pain after stretching, take it as a sign to pause the activity. While this may be due to muscle inflammation, it could also signify more serious issues. Moreover, you could be overstretching, which can cause problems in and of itself.
You may think that this doesn’t have much of an impact on back pain. However, neck rolls effectively reduce tension in the upper back. Therefore, if you are wondering how to stretch your upper back, this is a simple stretch you can do from anywhere that will help with upper back pain.
How to Stretch Upper Back
Performing neck rolls routinely will help you stretch out your spine and neck. Additionally, the exercise will help you to reduce tension on your upper back and shoulders. To perform a neck roll appropriately, follow these simple steps:
- Stand straight up or sit with your back straight.
- Take one ear and bend your neck so that your ear is close to the corresponding shoulder. For example, take your left ear and move your neck to allow your ear to rest near your left shoulder.
- Slowly roll your head in a circle, starting at your shoulder and gently moving down towards your chest. Then move over to the opposite ear, above your back, and return to your left ear.
- Perform this stretch several times for the maximum benefit
The key to a successful neck roll is proper posture. You will not get the full benefit of a neck roll if you are slouched over or your spine isn’t straight.
When you complete this stretch, you will be increasing your spinal mobility. Since your spine is central to many functions of the back and body, increased mobility will help back pain in several different ways.
Seated Spinal Twist
One of the most common areas for back pain is in the lower back. While many people suffer from generalized pain in this area, you may still find yourself faced with it unexpectedly.
How to Relieve Lower Back Pain
The Seated Spinal Twist is one of the most pain-relieving stretches that you can do while figuring out how to relieve lower back pain. This stretch is not only beneficial to the lower back area, but it also helps to stretch your abs, shoulders, and neck.
You wouldn’t know that this simple stretch would impact so many different body areas, but the positioning and twisting motion provides benefits that extend beyond the immediate scope. In addition to the sites listed above, the Seated Spinal Twist also has the ability to stimulate your internal organs.
How do you perform a Seated Spinal Twist? Just follow these instructions:
- Find a clear area on the floor.
- Sit down with your legs extended in front of you.
- Take one leg and place it over the opposite leg with the knee bent.
- Take the arm on the same side as the straightened leg and place it over the bent leg.
- Place your other hand behind you for support.
- Gently twist your body towards your support hand.
- Perform the same movements on the opposite side, switching your legs and arms to stretch the muscles on the other side of your body.
Be careful not to exert too much pressure when twisting your body. While it is important to stretch these sets of muscles, too much at one time can cause damage. Therefore, it is essential to be gentle and only do a few at a time. You could also try a medical lumbar brace for added alignment support.
As one of the most uncomplicated stretches that you can perform to alleviate lower back pain, the Child’s Pose is perfect for people of all ages and even those with limited flexibility and mobility. While this specific stretch won’t show you how to fix lower back pain, it will provide a bit of relief for those suffering.
How to Fix Lower Back Pain
While you may think that this stretch is only appropriate for your lower back, it has many additional benefits. Whenever you perform the Child’s Pose, a traditional yoga pose, you help areas throughout your back and upper body.
For example, when you take the time to stretch in Child’s Pose, you stretch out your gluteus maximus, your spine, and your thighs through the motions that you take. However, you also extend that stretch up. As a result, you experience relief from neck tension, as well as spine and shoulder tightness.
To perform a proper Child’s Pose, you do not need to be a trained yoga instructor. Instead, you can perform these straightforward steps:
- Find a clear space on the ground
- Lower yourself to the ground on your hands and knees
- Sit back on your heels, placing your butt on the back of your ankles
- Stretch your arms out in front of you as far as they can go
- Relax into the pose, allowing your body to stretch each area
Not only can you use this stretch multiple times in a row, but it is also one that you can do in between exercises to actively allow your muscles a bit of recovery time. Many people report less tension throughout their bodies after using this stretching technique.
The Pelvic Tilt is another excellent stretching option that is highly beneficial for lower back pain and has advantages throughout the spine and back. While this stretch can be awkward to perform because of the reverse movement from other common stretches, it can reduce back pain for many.
You can rely on the Pelvic Tilt to stretch and to strengthen at the same time. Many individuals turn to this movement to increase strength in their abs, while others use it for muscle pain in their hamstrings and glutes.
How to Stretch Lower Back
Ultimately, the Pelvic Tilt is a great option to alleviate lower back pain for those who suffer from it. To appropriately perform the move, utilize these straightforward steps:
- Find a clear area on the floor
- Lay with your back flat on the ground
- Bend your knees so that your feet are near your buttocks
- Place your arms straight by your sides with your palms flat
- Gently raise your bottom so that your stomach and legs are in a straight line
- Lower yourself back down to the ground
- Perform this move several times over
This move can be made by those with limited flexibility and mobility, like many of the other stretches listed. Therefore, it can help many people who find themselves suffering from lower back pain or workout-induced glute and hamstring strain.
Back pain is widespread. 8% of all adults experience chronic back pain issues throughout their lifetime. Due to the long-term misery that people can have with back issues, many turn to alternative methods to find substantial relief.
One of the ways that people experience success is through stretching. Taking the time to stretch out the muscles surrounding your upper and lower back can alleviate tension and tightness.
Having pain of any type, especially back pain, can significantly hinder a person’s quality of life, as it can be hard to perform everyday tasks when you suffer from pain you can’t control. Additionally, pain can impact other areas of your life and affect things like work, relationships, and hobbies.
If you are looking to explore stretching to reduce the amount of back pain you are experiencing, these four stretches are an excellent foundation for back pain relief. Be sure to follow all safety precautions and consult with a doctor if you think the issue stems from a severe injury.