When it comes to caring for your back, one of the best things you can do is regularly stretch. While it’s best to visit a chiropractor to properly align your spine, stretches can supplement that care and keep you flexible and less injury-prone. These stretches are easy, effective and can be done in your home. Most importantly, they make your back feel great!
Sitting Spine Stretch
How to Do it: Sit on the floor with your feet and legs spread out straight in front of you, wider than your hips. Take a deep breath in, elongate the spine and sit up as straight as you can. Then bend forward at the hips and reach your hands out straight in front of you as far as you can, until you feel a stretch. If you experience pain or can’t go any further, stop. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds, release, and repeat the process two more times.
This stretch will help loosen a number of muscles down you back, particularly the paraspinal muscles that run down the spine. You will also get a nice stretch in your calves and hamstrings.
Sitting Rotation Stretch
How to Do it: Sit on the edge of a firm chair with your feet flat on the floor. Sit up straight. Twist your upper body so your shoulders and head are facing completely to your left or to your right. Keep your feet on the floor pointed forward. Rotate until you feel a stretch then hold for 20 seconds and release. Switch sides and repeat.
This stretch will loosen up your lower back and you will feel a pull up the sides of your back muscles as well.
Laying Trunk Rotation
How to Do it: Lay on your back and lift your legs so they are bent at a 90-degree angle perpendicular to the floor. Keep your hands and your low back pressed flat against the floor. Slowly rotate your knees to one side, but keep your back straight and pressed against the floor. Hold for 30 seconds, switch sides and then repeat.
This back stretch will not only loosen up the muscles along your spine, but those around your oblique muscles as well. You will feel a complete back stretch with this exercise, and if you keep your core engaged while doing it, you can benefit from a nice ab workout as well.
How to Do it: If you have ever done yoga, then chances are you are familiar with Child’ Pose. This stretch is meant for the lower back muscles along the spine. Sit on your hands and knees, with your buttock resting on your heels. Reach your hands forward slowly lengthening the spine. Hold for at least 30 seconds and repeat three to four times.
Child’s Pose is great for the lower back, if you have low back pain or tightness. As you stretch you will also feel a nice, deep pull in the middle back, loosening up the muscles in this area as well.
Keep these stretches in mind in between your visits to the chiropractor. They will help keep your spine and paraspinal muscles and keep you feeling great year-round.