Saturday, January 7, 2012

4 Effective Stretches for Back Pain

It may seem counterintuitive to move around when your back hurts, but strong back muscles help speed recovery and prevent further injury. recommends no more than a day or two of rest if your back is hurt. Stretching exercises can strengthen back muscles and relieve pain. Repeat exercises five to 10 times, two to three times a day. If your back pain is severe see a doctor, as it may be a symptom of a serious problem.
Neck Stretch
Pain in the back can cause pain in the neck as well. Stretching can ease tightness and loosen muscles in the neck, shoulders and upper back. With a straight back, tilt your head forward and reach for your chest with your chin. Bring your head back up slowly, and then bend your neck to the side reaching for your shoulder with your ear. Repeat on the other side.
Get down in a kneeling position, with your knees slightly apart and hands under your shoulders. Keep your palms on the floor, and rock back until your buttocks touch your heels and your arms are stretched to the front. Your back should be rounded. Hold this stretch for a few seconds, then return to kneeling. Drop your abdomen until your legs are flat on the floor and your arms are in a push-up position. Hold, then return to kneeling.
Stretch and Release
With a straight back, reach your arms straight up over your head and lift your shoulders. Hold, then bring your arms back down. Bend over from the waist, reaching for your toes. Stop at the point where it becomes uncomfortable. Slowly straighten, curling your back up so that your neck and head are the last to straighten. To perform this stretch you can stand, with feet shoulder-width apart, or sit, with feet flat on the floor.
Hamstring Stretch
When the back of the thighs are tight, more stress is put on the lower back. Lie down on the floor with your legs fully extended. Bring one leg up without bending your knee by placing your hands behind the knee and gently pulling. Repeat with the other leg. If that is too difficult, try looping a towel around your ankle and pulling on that to bring your leg up. You can also perform this stretch while sitting on a chair. Place another chair across from you, rest one leg on the chair and reach your hands toward your toes. Repeat with the other leg.

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