The importance of Stretching Exercises for Back Pain

August 8th, 2012
The importance of Stretching Exercises for Back Pain

Almost everyone and not just physical therapy patients can benefit from stretching.  The muscles, tendons, ligaments of the back and the spinal column are designed to move and any condition that hampers its movement can cause back pain.

Self-care can be done at home for patients suffering from back pain.  Maintaining correct posture is crucial to back pain.  Proper sleeping positions have to be followed as well for prevention.  Exercises can be done at home to lessen the pain and the discomfort associated with this condition.

Stretching exercises can be done to relieve back pain.  Examples of these exercises are knee to chest stretches, pelvic tilt, lower trunk rotational, hamstring stretch, lower back flexibility, bridge, cat stretch and lower back rotation stretch (seated).

There are points to consider as part of any stretching routine for the relief of back pain.

  • Always wear comfortable clothing that does not constrict the body.
  • Stretching should be done without forcing the body into any difficult or awkward positions
  • Move your body into the position slowly to avoid tearing the muscles
  • Clean and flat surfaces are best for stretches to allow for free movement
  • Stretches should be held for 20-30 seconds to allow joints and muscles to flex properly
  • For better benefits, stretches should be repeated for about 5-10 times

Physical therapy treatment can also help relieve back pain.  A therapist will come up with a treatment plan to help you restore movement as well as help the body heal.

Passive and active treatments can be applied for back pain.  Deep tissue massages used direct friction and pressure to release tension in the affected muscles, tendons and ligaments.  Alternating cold and hot packs will bring more blood to the affected area.  This allows more oxygen to be distributed as well as to remove any waste byproducts that normally comes with muscle spasms.  Cold ice packs can slow down circulation to minimize pain and inflammation.  TENS and ultrasound are also useful for this medical condition.

Active treatment includes exercises that will help the patient improve their flexibility, core stability, strength and range of motion.

Part of the treatment plan is patient education on how to correct posture and how to take care of your body better.  Since back pain is manageable, a patient’s cooperation is required.  He or she must follow the after therapy care plan to prevent any recurrence of the back pain.