Man stretching the low back

Stretch Tips For Relieving Tension In The Back

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“Why is my back so tight?” was the question that was asked by the one who did not stretch…

Constant lifting, bending, excessive sitting, or prolong standing?

Over training/over-developing of the erector spinae and other low back muscles?

Sigghhh…

Back muscles tend to become stiff and rigid. Why am I writing this? Because in the clinic I’ve seen, diagnosed, and treated many cases of low back pain with success. I’ve even had a bout of it myself which lasted about a day and a half. Why did the pain come? I wasn’t taking care of myself properly at the time. How did I rid myself of this ailment? Stretching of course… and 7 years pain free.

Ok so I’ll assume you don’t care about the eitology behind the tightness of your back causing you pain and discomfort and just want to find a quick fix to your solution. Alright, keep scrolling.

Glutes, hamstring, quadriceps, and calf stretches.

Hamstring/Calf Stretch

Man stretching before a run
Photo Credit: Fabio Mascarenhas

I enjoy this stretch and do it on a daily basis. The start of obtaining high martial art kicks and relief to your low back pain.

  • Keep your back straight when performing this exercise and bend at the waist.
  • Look forward to help keep your posture and maintain balance.
  • Make sure your foot is pointed up to
    Calf stretch
    Photo Credit: Håkan Dahlström

    the sky. This ensures that you are maximizing the stretching of your muscle fibers, especially the gastrocnemius, soleous, fibularis longus and brevis, also known collectively as the calf.

  • Maintain your breathing.

Gluteus Stretch

  • Great stretch for targeting the gluteals.
  • Try to focus the stretch on the glutes.
  • Avoid putting strain on the knee.
  • Keep ankles relaxed.
Photo Credit: Ben Bradshaw
Photo Credit: Ben Bradshaw

Quadricep Stretch:

Photo Credit: Håkan Dahlström
Correct
Man stretching
Incorrect
  • Stand upright and try to prevent leaning forward.
  • Use the ground with a pillow to train with help obtain a full stretch of the quads.
  • Make sure you hold on to an object to maintain your balance. If you’re able to you can also extend one arm out and look straight ahead to maintain balance if you don’t have something to hold you up.

Good posture can save you a lot of pain and discomfort. Stretching and mastering your flexibity can help improve your posture. Got it? Good.

Ohhh wait! How long should I hold each stretch for?

I recommended for beginners 30 seconds each leg (for the quad stretch 20 seconds). This gives enough time for the body to relax and the muscles to obtain a good stretch. 45 seconds each leg (30 seconds for the quad stretch) is an optimal goal to reach towards.

And lastly…

  • Don’t Overstretch. Let your muscles speak to you and let them relax.
  • Don’t hold your breath. Don’t!
  • Don’t hurt yourself.
  • Don’t do any stretches you are not comfortable with. Seek help of a qualified trainer to guide you as needed.

Progress! If you’ve been stretching for two months and haven’t noticed any changes in your flexibility then you need to adjust your routine to become more effective.

Focus! Stretching is like lifting weights. You want to see some results then do the exercise correctly! Many times I have seen people just sit there for 30 seconds and not even move one centimeter forward. Persistance, calmness, and awareness people!

So what was the point of all this? Oh yeah, stretching can be beneficial to your back pain relief. Thee End.

 

What? You think there’s more?

 

 

No. Go out and do it. Now.

 

 

No, I can’t stretch for you that’s impossible.

 

Credit Last Two Photos: Tony Alter, Håkan Dahlström

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Hi name is Carlo St. Juste II, L.Ac and I'm a Licensed Acupuncturist in the state of California. I've also studied the martial arts for ten years in the styles of Kung Fu, Tai chi, & grappling. My Interests include nature, hiking, philosophy, technology, health and wellness.
I enjoy writing and published my holistic health and wellness book in 2015. Here on this site I feel more free to share my philosophies, theories, and general ideas that I find inside and outside the clinic. I'm Always living life to the fullest and trying to help make this world a better place.