Do you wake up with an achy, stiff low back in the morning? Or maybe you find that your back tightens up after you haven sitting or standing for a long period of time?
You find yourself asking – should I be doing stretches for my low back pain?
The quick answer is – YES! Movement Is Life and adding gentle, pain free movement actually helps every tissue in your body to heal. Let’s break that down a little bit.
What stretches are most effective?
Active stretches are most effective for decreasing pain and improving the motion of the tissues.
Initially these include small movements in a limited range of motion. As you stretch more frequently you are able to increase the range of pain free motion.
Don’t hold the stretch for more than 10 seconds. Beyond this you may get into a danger zone where you are actually starting to create microtrauma. This microtrauma will actually delay the healing process.
The goal is to get the muscles moving in order to increase blood flow. This allows the body to heal naturally and pump out all the stiffness.
Always avoid extreme ranges of motion when you have stiffness or pain. Although that stretch may feel good initially it will lead to microtrauma which delays healing.
What stretches should I avoid?
Stretches that are held for longer than 10 seconds. Stretching beyond 10 seconds can lead to tearing in the muscle that will actually increase your low back pain.
Anything at the end range of motion. If you are bending all the way forward or rotating all the way to each side you are probably going too far. Stay in the middle for now to decrease stress to the joints.
Avoid pain. Stretches and exercises should always be pain free. Always.
My two favorite stretches for low back pain
- 1Supine Caudal Rotation – that name may sound crazy but it accurately describes this exercise. You are going to lie on your back on a stable surfaces such as a yoga mat on the floor. You are then going to bend your knees up so your feet are resting flat on the floor. Very slowly and gently you are going to move your knees side to side which causes a rotation through your low back. When you are starting, only move your knees 1 inch to each side. As you progress this exercise you can move your knees up to 3 inches but NEVER more than that.
- 2Seated Pelvic Tilts – This exercise is performed sitting on a flat chair such as a dining room table chair. Do not use an office chair that has a deep seat that naturally leans you back. While you are sitting you are going to bend your spine all the way forward until you are rounded forward from your head down through your tailbone. Then you are going to sit up tall. Next you will bend backwards by lifting your chest towards the ceiling while keeping your head in a neutral position. Keeps your eyes looking forward to make sure you don’t put too much stress through your neck.
Often these simple movements can help to unlock pain and stiffness in your low back. Please remember to stay in the PAIN FREE range of motion. Exercises should not cause pain and certainly should not increase your pain. The whole point of exercising is to help your body move more naturally with less low back stiffness – and pain!
What else can I do to Get my low back moving?
Once your low back is moving better it’s time to take the next step – literally. Go for a walk. You can walk outside and enjoy the fresh air or you can walk on a treadmill (and avoid the weather!).
Walking allows the body to perform rotation naturally which helps to get the joints moving, loosens up the ligaments, and brings blood flow to the muscles.
Has this actually worked for anyone else?
YES! This slow and steady approach has helped hundreds of patients start their journey towards eliminating low back pain.
A special story comes from our friend, Erika. She had low back pain while she was pregnant but thought it would go away after delivery. Only it got worse!
Erika was unable to bend forward and pick up her daughter from her crib without having pain that literally made her knees buckle. Erika was frustrated to the point of tears by the time she found our office.
Within a few weeks we figured out the root cause of Erika’s low back pain and implemented some easy to do for a new mom exercises. Erika was not only able to pick up her baby – she even returned to working out a few days a week. Her life was transformed from feeling helpless to having a plan on how to get her body back after baby.
Are you looking for more specific answers to your low back pain?
Then I encourage you to sign up for a Free Discovery Visit. During this consultation session we will listen to your story and hear more about your low back pain journey. Together we can decide if we are a good fit for your low back pain needs.
Or, if you are looking for a solution that you can use right now, then download our Free Guide “7 Incredibly Easy Ways to Get Rid of Back Pain…Without Medication or Surgery”. This report is packed with tips you can start using right now – no equipment required.
We love helping people find permanent solutions to their low back pain. If you are looking for a Low Back Pain Specialist in Maple Valley then contact us at (425) 658-4944. We look forward to helping you eliminate your low back pain and stiffness.