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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Don’t let back pain keep you from enjoying life. Be sure to check out other some of our other back pain articles for even more help:
- What Causes Lower Back Pain? Treating The Root Cause
- Ten Glute Bridge Progressions To Treat Low Back Pain
- Reasons To STOP Stretching For Lower Back Pain
- What Causes Lower Back Pain? Three Movements To Master
- Causes of Low Back Pain: Three Areas To Strengthen
- Lower Back Pain Causes: How Mobility Issues Can Lead To Back Pain
- Best Exercises To Get Rid Of Lower Back Pain
- How To Fix Lower Back Pain: Three Places To Start
- Ten Step Guide To Treating Chronic Lower Back Pain
- Lower Back Pain Solutions: How To Improve Breathing For Less Back Pain
- The Best Low Impact Strength Exercises For Low Back Pain
- The Best Exercise For Low Back Pain You’re Probably Not Doing
- How To Fix Lower Back Pain With The Hinge
- Five Reasons For Lower Back Pain With Your Squat
- How To Solve Lower Back Pain That Comes And Goes
- How Stiff Ankles Can Cause Lower Back Pain
- What Is The Neutral Spine Position
- How To Find And Keep A Neutral Spine Position