If you are suffering from back pain, you are not along. According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), approximately 31 million Americans deal with some form of low back pain. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to lessen the pain you are experiencing. Taking care of yourself – including maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise – can help prevent back pain. And when you do experience back pain, chiropractic treatment and stretching can often ease your symptoms.
Before we get to the stretching, we recommend preparing for your stretching session so you can stretch comfortably and safely. Tips for stretching include:
Ease into it. Stretching should be done gently and smoothly, traveling from stationary to a position slowly and carefully. Avoid bouncing, which can tear muscles.
Stretching should not hurt. You should not feel significant pain when you stretch. As you move into your stretch, listen to your body and stop before you start to feel pain. Stretching should feel good, not painful.
Wear comfortable clothing. Wear loose clothing that will allow you full range of motion.
Choose an area to stretch that is flat and clean. Choose an area that will be comfortable and well-suited for your activity.
Use padding when necessary. If you are going to be stretching on a hard surface, a little padding can make things much more comfortable.
Hold each stretch 15-30 seconds, and repeat at least 2 times. Holding a stretch lets the muscles elongate, and repeating the stretch improves your results. Repeat the stretch four times for maximum benefit.
Modify to fit your needs. Everyone must work within their limitations. When you try a stretch and you find it is not working for you, try to modify it to suit your needs. You can find modifications to most popular stretches online.
The name Child’s Pose comes from yoga, where this stretch is often used to begin each session of stretching. Child’s Pose is so popular because it is gentle and effective, and just about anyone can do it.
To do Child’s Pose, get down on your hands and knees. To begin with, place your knees slightly wider than hip-width. Flatten the tops of your feet to the floor, toes pointing behind you. Slowly move your hips back over your feet. Once you have rested your buttocks on your ankles, stretch your arms out in front of you. Feel your lower back stretch out as you hold the pose.
Lying on your back, use your hands to pull your knees up to your chest, rounding out your back in the process. You can interlace your fingers to hold your knees in position. If you like, hug your knees more tightly to your chest and rock left to right. To enhance the stretch, slowly bring your chin towards your chest.
Lying on your back, stick each hand out to the side of your body to create a T shape. Bring the right knee up to your chest while keeping the left leg straight on the floor. Use your left hand to gently pull your knee higher, then pull the knee across your body to the left. Try to keep your right shoulder on the floor. Repeat on the left side.
If you are suffering from back pain, please schedule an appointment to meet with our chiropractic team. We can help design a custom stretching plan to help you ease your back pain.
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