Exercises for Back Pain Relief: Stretching Can Prevent and Relieve Back Pain

Low back pain sciatica chiropractorAlthough chiropractors are trained to care for more than just back pain, many patients visit chiropractors every day looking for exercises for back pain relief.  It’s not a surprise when you look at the following stats at American Chiropractic Association on back pain in America and worldwide:

  • 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.
  • Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide.
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.
  • Back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain.

Exercises for Back Pain Relief

Exercises for Back PainBelieve it or not, stretching exercises for backs can prevent and relieve back pain. Therapeutic stretching exercises for back pain with chiropractic guidance can strengthen the back and relieve discomfort.  Muscle stretching can also help speed the recovery process after an injury and prevent future injury.

The American Chiropractic Association recommends 6 stretching exercises for back pain relief.

Passive Stretch Exercises

These three passive stretches can be performed several times per day to help facilitate movement in the affected muscle or joint:

Hamstring Stretch:  Lie on your back with both legs straight up in the air. Bend one leg at the knee and keep foot on floor, while extending the  other leg in the air.  Loop a towel over the arch of the lifted foot, and gently pull on the towel as you push against it with your foot.  Hold 30 seconds.  Repeat three times per leg.

Piriformis Stretch: Lie on your back and cross one leg over the other; gently pull the knee towards the chest until a stretch is felt in the buttock area.  Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times per leg.

Back Stretch:  Lie on your stomach.  Use your arms to push your upper body off of the floor.  Hold 30 seconds.  Repeat.

Exercises for back pain

Active Stretch Exercises

These three active stretches also help facilitate movement in the affected muscle or joint, with the added benefit of strengthening:

Leg Raises: Lie on your stomach.  Tighten the muscles in one leg and raise it 1 to 2 inches from floor.  Return the raised leg to floor.  Do the same with the other leg.  Repeat 20 times with each leg.

Bridges:  Lie on your back with your knees flexed and your feet flat on the floor.  Keep the knees together.  Tighten the muscles of the lower abdomen and buttocks; slowly raise your hips up from the floor and then lower them back to the resting position.  Repeat 20 times per day.

The Pointer: Kneel on mat on hands and knees, with palms directly under shoulders and knees hip width apart.  Slowly raise your right arm and extend it forward parallel to floor.  Keep right palm parallel to the floor, then life the left leg and straighten it behind you.  Hold opposing limbs off the ground for 30 to 60 seconds without arching your back.  Switch sides.  Repeat 3 to 6 times.

Download an American Chiropractic Association PDF showing these exercises for back pain relief.


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