Approximately 10% of the world suffers from lower back pain that can be disabling.
Back pain is one of the most common presentations of pain all over the world. This is not surprising as we put an extreme amount of weight on our backs–figuratively and literally. Whether it be working a desk job, doing manual labor, waiting tables, or otherwise, we are using our backs in so many ways and need to do a better job taking care of them.
Back at It
So many people in the world have lower back pain but don’t know how to mediate it properly. They may suffer from muscular or ligament problems, nervous problems, a degenerate disk, or just about any other factor. What they may not necessarily know is that regularly stretching out their lower back can drastically reduce pain. Both strengthening and stretching can primarily help reduce pain, and work best when used in tandem.
In addition to helping to thwart pain, stretching out your lower back has many other benefits. It helps to improve your flexibility and increase your range of motion. It also has been known to improve blood flow to your muscles. By improving blood flow, you will be able to build strong muscles quicker.
Stretching the lower back can also be used to improve posture, and is so commonly done by physical therapists and even chiropractors to work to remedy injuries. It is also mostly useful for those recovering from more extreme spine injuries and pain, and even if the person can’t stretch it themselves, it can still be manually implemented.
Another benefit of stretching is that it is incredibly good for mental wellbeing, wellness, and stress relief. Stretching and moving into certain positions can be incredibly useful for clearing your mind and letting your body relax. Back stretches are also able to help you be more aware of your body, and where in your body, you hold tension.
Don’t Back Down
There is a wide range of exercises and stretches that can be done for the lower back. Many of them actually originated within the practice of yoga, and thus are both stretches and yoga poses.
The knee to chest stretch is one of the most basic, yet also one of the most popular. To do this stretch start out by lying down with your back to the floor. Extend one leg all the way out while keeping the opposite knee bent. Then pull the bent knee toward your chest while either pulling on the backside of your thigh or the top of your shin. While doing this, a common mistake is to lift up your hips. Avoid that, and stay in this position for 1 to 3 minute. Focus on releasing tension in your body and evening out your breath.
A variation of this involves using a band to stretch up from your toes instead of from your knee. This can help get a stretch that is both dynamic for your lower back and hip flexors.
Taking care of your lower back is one of the most important things a person can do to maintain an overall healthy body. A wide range of injuries and pains can be avoided by taking up regular stretching.