Low Back Pain Stretching
Updated: Feb 5, 2020
I wanted to title this article “The Low Back Pain Stretching Guide”, which you could defiantly use, but there are about a thousand articles with that title and that’s just not our style. So, let’s give you an introduction to the video below on how to get the most out of your time while staying limber and athletic. I will go through why to stretch, when and when not to stretch, what to stretch and finally how to stretch with 8 specific stretches that should only take you 10-15 minutes.
The general perception of stretching is that one must do it to keep flexible. This is not entirely true. Stretching does a number of good on the body but I see the most important aspect of stretching as improved range of motion. Motion is life and when you have more of your have more energy, clarity and longevity. The benefits physiologically are numerous and include increased muscular elasticity and range of motion as mentioned before, increased blood flow to tissue for recovery, released muscle tension, putting your body back in a state of homeostasis (normal) post activity and gives you the ability to check in with your body to assess and identify any injuries that may be occurring.
One of the biggest questions we receive on stretching is, “When should I stretch, before or after an activity?”. The best way to answer this is to start with when NOT to stretch. You should avoid stretching an injured area of the body. This will only reaggravate the injured tissues and not allow for proper healing. Don’t stretch through the pain. Stretching before an activity should only be done if it is a dynamic (movement) stretch and is typically done with guidance of a health care professional as it can lead to injury. If your body is not warmed up and doing a static (non-movement) stretch will only lead to decreased performance as it lengthens muscle fibers and golgi tendons, resulting in delayed muscle firing or worst a tear could occur as you are trying to lengthen stiff and cold fibers. You generally want to stretch post activity or warming up. Do not wait to long after activity to stretch as your body will cool down and the stretching will not be effective.
We want to focus on specific areas of the body when stretching to get the most out of our time and best results for your increased range of motion and body healing. The areas to stretch are: Neck, Upper/mid-back, Shoulders, Chest, Low Back, Hamstrings, Quads, Hip Flexors, Glutes, and Groin. The video below will walk you through an 8 stretch routine that will target all of these areas and give you all the benefits of stretching mentioned above. Happy Stretching!