Lower back pain can take many forms, from a simple muscle strain to symptoms related to a condition such as a herniated disc. One issue that many people with back pain deal with is tightness in the lower back muscles. Not only can muscle tightness contribute to mobility problems and poor posture, but it can also lead to problems in other parts of the body, including neck pain and leg pain.
The reason for this is that the body’s muscles are highly interconnected. Tight muscles in one place can pull on muscles in another area of the body, creating a chain reaction that leads to pain and mechanical issues. This is why lower back stretches are such an important and commonly recommended part of treatment for back pain, neck pain and a wide range of other issues.
To help you learn more about the many benefits of lower back stretches for pain relief, we’re happy to share the following overview. If you have any questions or want to learn more about the full range of treatment options available from USA Spine Care, feel free to reach out to us at any time.
The importance of working with professionals to ensure safety while performing lower back stretches
If you’re dealing with chronic neck pain or back pain, it’s very important to work with a professional such as a qualified physician or a physical therapist when performing lower back stretches. While there are many benefits to stretching, overexerting yourself in using improper techniques can increase your risk of worsening your injury or condition.
A qualified professional can tell you if you are physically cleared to perform lower back stretches and other therapeutic exercises while also providing instruction on how to perform specific stretches properly. This can ensure the best chance of any stretches you perform being effective and help you better integrate this activity into your overall treatment plan.
Common types of stretches you may encounter include knees toward your chest stretches, pelvic tilt, prayer stretch, trunk rotation and cat and cow. However, recommended stretches will vary according to your specific diagnosis and level of activity and mobility.
Lower back stretches help to relax tense muscles
Probably the primary goal of performing a stretch for cases of back pain or neck pain is to relieve muscle tension. Not only does muscle tension contribute to soreness and pain, but it can also cause a negative reaction to the entire kinetic chain as mentioned above. Carefully targeted and performed correctly, lower back stretches can help release these lower back muscles and relieve associated symptoms of stiffness, soreness and pain.
Lower back stretches can increase range of motion
The other primary goal of stretches is to improve flexibility and mobility. The ability to move the lower back through a full range of motion helps to increase your ability to function and perform normal activities. Performing regular lower back stretches can increase the range of motion in not just the back, but even the legs and neck.
Lower back stretches help increase blood flow to your muscles
There is evidence that engaging in stretches, including lower back stretches, can help to improve your circulation. This means an increase in blood flow to your muscles, which is especially beneficial for helping the healing process for muscle strains.
Lower back stretches can help with posture and strengthening core muscles
A leading contributor to poor posture is muscle imbalance, particularly related to chronically tense lower back muscles. Lower back stretches are a great way to improve posture through releasing these muscle groups. In fact a combination of strengthening and stretching specific muscles, including in the lower back and core muscles, can help to encourage better postural alignment.
Posture is extremely important for spine and back health. While no one can stop the natural aging process, good posture can help to slow down natural degeneration by decreasing and evening out the stress on the spine.
Comprehensive conservative treatment for neck pain and back pain
Lower back stretches can be an extremely important element of a physical therapy program that includes therapeutic exercises to strengthen core muscles, manual therapy to activate soft tissue and improve function and soft tissue mobilization. Many patients also explore therapeutic injections that can help reduce pain and inflammation, enabling a higher level of function to complete a physical therapy program.
At USA Spine Care, we have a highly experienced team of multidisciplinary experts who can help you develop a highly personalized treatment plan to treat neck pain, back pain and a wide range of other issues. If surgery ever becomes necessary for long-term relief, we are leaders in minimally invasive, outpatient procedures designed to help patients regain a healthy and active life.
Contact us today to learn more.