Stretches to Relieve Back Pain and Strengthen the Spine
Stretching is essential for maintaining a strong and stable spine. These are some of my favourite stretches to relieve back pain by releasing tension in muscles that are prone to getting short and tight. When muscle imbalances occur this puts a lot of pressure on the spine and pelvis. Adding these stretches into your gym routine is a great way to relieve back pain as well as to prevent muscle imbalances and back injuries.
1. Pec Stretch
This stretch is a great way to open up through the front of the chest, neck and shoulders. With everyone spending so much time on computers and smartphones, this is an important stretch for correcting postural imbalances that can arise from excess screen time. It’s also great for relieving upper back, neck and shoulder tension. This stretch can easily be done at home, without gym equipment. Use a doorway or wall to support your arms and lean into the stretch slowly.
2. Hip Flexor Stretch
This stretch is a must-do for anyone sitting for long periods of time, especially for those experiencing lower back pain. The hip flexor attaches into the front of the lumbar spine and crosses the front of the hip joint making it prone to getting short and tight after sitting for a while. Hip flexor tightness and spasm can result in any number of lower back or pelvic injuries/issues so this stretch is an important one to include in your routine.
3. Glute Stretch
Pretty much everyone these days has tight glutes! This can cause issues through the lower back and hips so getting involved in this stretch is a great way to help relieve tightness in the lower back and prevent niggles in the hips and pelvis. Glute stretches can help increase your flexibility and range of motion and it is also one of the many great stretches to reduce back pain.
4. Hamstring Stretch
The hamstrings are a big stabiliser muscle for the pelvis and posterior chain. They are very often recruited when people have weak hip flexors or glutes, common in those who sit a lot. When the hamstrings get short and tight they pull on the pelvis and cause a loss of the normal lordosis in the lumbar spine. This leads to lower back pain! So, stretching your hamstrings out on a regular basis is another way to bulletproof your back and reduce risk of injury.
How Often Should I Stretch?
Hold each of these stretches for at least one minute each side and repeat 2-3 times at least a couple of times a week. This is a great way to prevent any major postural imbalances from developing which can lead to injuries. Regularly doing these stretches to relieve back pain will benefit your flexibility, improve movement and prevent possible injury.
This is the last post for my bulletproof backs blog series! We’ve covered lumbar strain, core strengthening as well as oblique strengthening to create the strength needed for a bulletproof back. I hope you’ve all learnt some new tips and strategies for looking after your spine.
If you have a particular query or would like to know a bit more about your back, I work from Embassy Chambers on Elizabeth Street and can be contacted here or on 0424 785 699.