Exercise is the last thing you want to do when you have back discomfort, but in truth, stretching and exercising can help alleviate pain.
While we all know that regular exercise is beneficial to our health, stretching is sometimes ignored. Stretching offers several health benefits, from increased flexibility to better posture. It is also crucial in preventing future pain or injury; therefore, the proper technique is critical!
Continue reading to understand why stretching is good for your back, and learn some tips on stretching correctly.
Advantages of Stretching
1. Enhances Your Performance in Physical Activities
Stretching improves performance before any physical activity and helps you gain a full range of motion, lessening the risk of injuries. Static and dynamic stretching are both helpful in achieving this, but you can also try PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) stretching. It is when you stretch your muscles to their limit for much more significant progress in less time.
2. Corrects Your Posture and Treats Back Pain
Incorrect posture makes you vulnerable to back tension and pain. Stretching the muscles in your back can aid in the recovery of back injuries and discomfort. According to one study, stretching and strengthening specific muscles can reduce musculoskeletal discomfort and improve appropriate spine alignment.
3. Improves Your Flexibility and Increases Muscle Blood Flow
When we talk about flexibility, we mean a range of motion on your joints. Stretching improves muscular coordination and mobility, lowers the chance of muscle pain, and enhances blood circulation, reducing muscular pain by increasing blood flow to the muscles (also known as delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS).
4. Effectively Reduces Your Stress and Calms Your Mind
When the body is under mental or physical stress, muscles tend to tension or tighten. Stretching on regions of your body such as your shoulders, back, neck, or tight places will assist release stress.
As your muscles relax, your body and mind begin to relax as well. Meditation and mindfulness assist in relaxing your mind and offering you a mental respite. In short, stretching, along with a healthy diet, water, and rest, may help relieve headache tension.
Commonly Used Stretches for the Lower Back
Stretching is essential for the body, but not everyone, especially those who work full-time, has the opportunity to do so. Low back discomfort can affect 85 per cent of working adults, whether working from home or in the office.
However, sitting for a long time puts a lot of strain on your legs and might damage your posture. Stretching your lower back for 1–2 minutes will help reduce tension and soreness.
- Core Stability Stretch: An absence of core control leads to lumbar pain and weak abdominal muscles, but stretching out your core can help strengthen the area.
- Prayer Stretch: This stretch relieves lower back muscular stress.
- Knee to Chest Stretch: This stretch helps your lower back and hip muscles relax, reduces strain on the spine, and allows more room for the nerves.
Other Important Considerations for Lower Back Stretches
There are several things to consider before, during, and after stretching to avoid injury. Starting with a warm-up can help prepare your muscles and body for stretching and prevent muscles from being jolted by a rapid range of motion, which can cause pain and discomfort.
Stretching should be done gently and lightly, especially if you are experiencing lower back pain. It should provide mild pain or a moderate strain, not excruciating agony. Lastly, it is essential to cool down after stretching to assist your body recover from the workout.
Flexible, strong, and healthy muscles come from stretching and are needed more than ever due to remote working. Take frequent breaks to stretch and relax your muscles, so make sure to schedule it in between half-hour spurts of work.
When you split your work this way, you become more productive and avoid backaches and muscular tightness. If you have specific issues and want to try stretching, you should consult your doctor first to prevent injuries or discomfort and learn how to do it properly.
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