Saturday, January 7, 2012

Most Effective Stretching Workouts for Lower Spine Injury

You may not be able to completely heal an injury to the lower spine, but you may be able to drastically reduce your symptoms and eliminate flare-ups related to medical conditions or tightness, stiffness and pain caused by an injury to your lower back. Talk to your doctor about stretching exercises that help relieve pressure or ease pain caused by pinched nerves or limited mobility caused by compacted vertebrae or other spinal conditions.

The L5/S1 area of the lower spine is a common location for a fall injury or musculoskeletal conditions such as herniated or bulging disks or pinched nerves. Disks are thick, cushion-like structures between the spinal vertebrae that act like shock absorbers. Bulging or herniated disks are caused by degeneration of the disk or disk space that allows a portion of the disk itself to bulge or extend from beyond its normal borders, causing the disk to press against the spinal cord. Two nerves commonly affected by herniated or bulging disks are those that supply the L5 and S1 vertebrae, causing numbness, tingling and weakness in the affected leg.
Piriformis Stretch
If you experience low back pain, stiffness and limited mobility in your hips, a piriformis stretch helps relieve pain and tight muscles at the base of your spine and in your buttocks. Perform this exercise by lying on your back, legs extended. Lift your left knee toward your chest and clasp the knee with one hand and your ankle with the other. Gently press the knee deeper into the chest, aiming it toward your right shoulder. Hold the stretch for several seconds, repeat, and then switch to the other side.
Double-Knee Stretch
The double-knee stretch releases tension in the entire lower back and upper buttocks area, often helping to relieve pain and maintain flexible muscles, tendons and ligaments in the pelvis and hips. Start this exercise by lying on your back on the floor, knees bent. Pull your lower abdominals inward for greater lower back stability and support, and then lift your knees from the floor toward your chest. Clasp your knees with both hands. Lift your head and shoulders off the floor, hold this stretch for several seconds, and then relax. Repeat as directed by your doctor or therapist.
Cross-Legged Stretch
Stabilize and strengthen your lumbar spine and sacral joints by engaging in an exercise that increases flexibility, floods the region with oxygen and nutrient-enriched blood for optimal healing benefits, and strengthens muscles in the entire lower spine region. Lie on your back on the floor, legs extended. Lift your right knee toward your chest and grasp it with both hands. Slowly pull the right knee toward the right side of your body while keeping your left buttock and hip on the floor. Hold for several seconds and then repeat on the other leg.

Design by Free Wordpress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Templates