Best Stretches to Prevent Back Injuries

Best Stretches to Prevent Back Injuries

Starting your day off with a quick and easy series of stretches to prevent back injuries is an excellent habit to develop. Almost everyone has or will experience a back injury or back pain at some point in their lives. Young or old, male or female, active or inactive, we can all benefit from stretching to improve our flexibility and strengthen our back muscles to prevent injury and pain.

Doing Back Stretches Safely

Before beginning any type of exercise or stretching routine it’s always recommended to talk with your healthcare provider. If you have back pain or spinal injuries, it’s especially important to speak with your Chiropractor to ensure a safe and effective plan is in place.

Tips to stretch safely:

  • Warm-up – Before stretching warm up your muscles for 5 to 10 minutes. Get up, make that coffee, hop in the shower, or if you are really feeling adventurous take a spin on that stationary bike.
  • Go slowly – Stretching should always be a smooth movement. Not quick or jerky. Go slowly so you are aware of how your body feels.
  • Stop before there is pain – Stretching should feel good, nothing more than a little bit of tension on your muscles. If you experience pain you are over-extending your muscles.
  • Enjoy and relax – Ease into your stretches, hold for about 15-30 seconds and keep your muscles relaxed.

Here are a few recommended stretches to prevent back injuries and back pain.

Quad Stretch
1. Stand upright with your feet flat on the floor.
2. Raise your right heel towards your right buttock.
3. Using your right hand reach behind you and grasp your right shin, pulling upward toward your right buttock. (You can use your left hand on a wall or piece of furniture for support if needed.)
4. Hold for 15-30 seconds.
5. Repeat for your left side.
6. Complete this stretch 3x, alternating the sides of your body.

Knee to Chest Stretch
1. Lay on your back, on the floor.
2. Raise your right leg up and bring your knee towards your chest.
3. Use your right hand to grasp your right shin and pull your knee toward your chest.
4. Hold for 15-30 seconds.
5. Repeat for your left leg.
6. Perform this stretch 3x, alternating sides of your body.
7. Complete this stretch by raising both knees to your chest, hold for 15-30 seconds. 3x.

Pelvic Tilt
1. Lay on your back, on the floor, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
2. Lift your hips while tucking your pelvis beneath you, as if you are bringing your pelvis toward your navel.
3. Hold for 15-30 seconds.
4. Complete this stretch 10x.

Angry Cat Stretch
1. Kneel on all fours on the floor, with your knees at hip width, your arms fully extended, and your hands at shoulder width.
2. Bring your belly towards your spine and round your back into an arch. like and angry cat.
3. Hold for 15-30 seconds.
4. Relax and repeat 3x.

How to get the most benefits from stretching

As with most steps towards better health, consistency is key. While stretching, it’s important to listen to your body and stay within the range of motion that is comfortable for you. Moving slowly and paying attention to proper form and posture will ensure stretching becomes easier over time as your strength and flexibility increase. Stretching should be relaxing not painful.

If you are experiencing back pain for longer than a few days or have pain from an injury the sooner you book an appointment with your Chiropractor, the sooner you will feel better.

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