Approximately 16 million Americans experience consistent or chronic back pain. That’s eight percent of all adults!
If you’re among these individuals, your back pain likely affects your life in numerous ways. For example, it may cause you to miss work, feel depressed, or even stop participating in your favorite activities.
The great news is that there are some proven methods to manage your back pain! The key is strengthening your back, which you can do through a regular stretching routine!
Let’s look at why stretching is important and how you can use it to improve your back strength!
Why You Should Stretch
Some people are under the impression that stretches are only for individuals that engage in high-impact exercises, such as running. Yet, that can’t be farther from the truth.
Many of the things you do daily can cause tension and stiffness, including:
- Sitting at your desk
- Sleeping in a bad position
- Long periods of inactivity
- Carrying heavy objects
- Physical labor
Since such a wide range of activities cause stiffness, it is logical that nearly anyone can benefit from a regular stretching routine.
What Are the Benefits of Stretching for Back Pain?
One of the primary benefits of stretching is that it reduces tension in muscles that support the spine. When these muscles are tense, your pain will worsen, and you will likely have a limited range of motion.
Additionally, stretching elongates your muscles, increasing your range of motion and flexibility. As a result, your muscles will be stronger, reducing your risk of a disability caused by back pain.
By relaxing your body, stretching also can lead to numerous health benefits such as:
- Improved mood
- Relief from anxiety and stress
- Corrected posture
- Decreased risk of injury
- Reduced muscle soreness after exercise
- Better sleep quality
Get the Most Out of Your Stretches
Simply stretching once won’t do much to improve your flexibility or reduce your back pain. However, with a consistent routine, you can notice major improvements within a few months.
To get the most out of your stretches, you should start with light cardio activity, such as walking, for at least ten minutes. Doing so will warm your muscles up and get the blood flowing to the areas you are about to stretch. As a result, you are less prone to injuries.
Another important thing to consider is the length of your stretches. You should maintain each stretch for at least 30 seconds without bouncing through the motion.
You should feel some tension, but stop stretching and talk to your doctor if you feel pain. Click here for some questions to ask your back doctor if you are experiencing back pain while stretching or during other types of physical activity.
Strengthening Your Back With Stretches
If you’re suffering from chronic back pain, we encourage you to start a regular stretching routine today. By strengthening your back, you will manage your pain more effectively and improve your quality of life!
Did this information help you understand the importance of stretching? If so, check out more of our health-related content!