Reasons To STOP Stretching For Lower Back Pain

lower back pain woman

Variations of ‘low back pain stretches’ are some of the most commonly searched terms on Google and Youtube. Thousands or articles and videos have been written demonstrating various stretches designed to ease low back pain. Gyms and doctor’s offices have posters showing you how to do various back stretches. While a very popular approach to easing low back pain, stretching is not the very effective and if we’re not careful, can make lower back pain worse.

Today we’ll take a look at why you should stop stretching for lower back pain and what you should do instead.

Provides Temporary Relief While Potentially Making Lower Back Pain Worse

Stretching is a popular go to for back pain relief because it feels good in the moment. But the reality is that many common stretches for lower back pain put your body in a bad position and can actually make your pain worse in the long term.

If we injured our back bending a twisting (a very common mechanism), do we really want to sit or lie in a twisted position for a low back pain stretch? If our back pain is caused by long hours of sitting in a flexed position (another common mechanism), do we really want to stretch out back by flexing forward to touch our toes? Or bring our knees to our chest to further flex the spine? The answer is no.

Doesn’t Address the Root Cause of Lower Back Pain

Tight muscles are RARELY the cause of low back pain. More commonly the cause is too much impact on our spinal joints over too long a period of time. This means that the goal of any low back pain exercise needs to focus on how to limit the impact that goes through our spine. Stretching does not do that. In fact, being too loose or too mobile can actually INCREASE the impact that goes through your low back. To find low back pain relief which we cover in the next section.

What To Do Instead For Lower Back Pain Relief

Pain Free Movement

The best thing you can do to find lower back pain relief if gentle movement. Exercises like Pelvic Rocks and the Cat/Cow are great ways to introduce movement without stressing our joints. Movement is the best tool we have at relieving pain and speeding the healing process without putting your body in potentially dangerous positions.

Create Muscular Tension

The absolute BEST thing you can do for your low back is learn how to develop muscular tension to take pressure OFF of your joints and discs. Our favorite exercise to do that is through our full body squeeze which we demonstrate in the video below.

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