When you’re experiencing back pain, your first instinct may be to cut out all physical activity until the discomfort subsides. However, according to the chronic pain management specialists at iSpine Pain Physicians, low-intensity exercises like stretching may actually alleviate your symptoms. But first, you must find poses that specifically target your back muscles.
Some of these stretches include:
- Lying Knee Twist: This particular pose not only strengthens your abdominal muscles but also targets the paraspinal muscles in your back. To complete the stretch, start by lying on your back with your legs extended outward. Then, bend your right knee and slowly draw it across the left side of your body. Don’t force your leg over. Rather, keep it in a position that feels comfortable but gives you a noticeable stretch along your spine. Hold for 20 seconds, return to center and repeat three times on each side.
- Cat/ Cow: Rather than maintaining one pose, this stretch requires a fluid movement between two different poses. First, assume all fours with your hands in line with your shoulders and your knees in line with your hips. Then, exhale and curl your spine upward, drawing your head towards your chest. Stay in this position for a few breaths. Next, slowly drop your stomach towards the floor, lifting your gaze toward the ceiling. Repeat this sequence anywhere from five to ten times. You should feel a deep stretch in both your neck and your lumbar region.
- Forward Fold: Don’t let the outward intensity of the forward fold intimidate you. Each time you practice it, you’ll gain flexibility and will get an even deeper stretch. First, inhale and raise your arms. After an exhale, hinge at your hips and bend forward. If you can do so comfortably, place your hands or fingertips on the floor for an added stretch. You can also bend your knees or try the seated version of the pose. Just be sure to focus on lengthening your upper body rather than your legs, or you won’t find effective chronic pain relief.
Like any fitness program, you should consult a medical professional before attempting any of these stretches. Not only can they help you achieve proper form but they can also recommend other non-invasive treatments for your back pain. To schedule an appointment with Twin Cities’ leading back pain specialists, call iSpine Pain Physicians at (763) 201-8191. For an overview of their chronic pain management services, visit their website.