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Exercises for Back Pain Relief

Back In Shape and Pain Free: Exercises To Safeguard Your Back

Stretching and an active lifestyle are often recommended to help reduce back pain and speed the recovery process following an injury. Improving exibility through stretching is also an excellent way to avoid future injuries.

Depending upon one's individual injury and level of pain, the exercise and rehabilitation program may vary. The key is to start slowly and increase the repetitions as you feel stronger. Consult with your doctor of chiropractic prior to starting a new exercise program, especially when associated with low-back pain. He or she can help develop an individualized program and provide instruction on proper stretching technique.

Passive Stretches
Passive stretches help facilitate movement in the affected muscle or joint. Stretches should be held for 15 to 30 seconds, allowing the muscles to gradually relax and lengthen. Stretches should never cause pain nor should you feel tingling in the extremities. Stop immediately if you experience any discomfort.

Hamstring Stretch 

Lie on your back with both legsHamstring_Stretch.jpg
straight. Bend one leg at the knee and
extend one leg straight up in the air.
Loop a towel over the arch of the lifted
foot, and gently pull on the towel as
you push against it with your foot; you
should feel a stretch in the back of the
thigh. Hold 30 seconds. Relax. Repeat 3
times per leg. This stretch may be
performed several times per day.

Piriformis Stretch

The piriformis muscle runs through thePiriformis Stretch_1.jpg
buttock and can contribute to back
and leg pain. To stretch this muscle, lie
on the back and cross one leg over the
other; gently pull the knee toward the
chest until a stretch is felt in the
buttock area. Hold 30 seconds. Relax.
Repeat 3 times. This stretch may be
performed several times per day.Back_Stretch.jpg

Back Stretch

Lie on your stomach. Use your arms to
push your upper body o the oor.
Hold for 30 seconds. Let your back
relax and sag. Repeat. This stretch may
be performed several times per day.

Active Stretches
Active stretches facilitate movement and improve strength. Stretches should never cause pain nor should you feel tingling in the extremities. Stop immediately if you experience any discomfort.

Leg Raises


Lie on your stomach. Tighten the muscles in one leg and raise it 1 to 2 inches from the floor.  Return the raised leg to the floor.  Do the same exercise with the other leg. Repeat 20 times with each leg.  This exercise may be done several times per day.


Lie on your back with your knees flexed and your feet flat on the floor.  Bridges.jpgKeep the knees together.  Tighten the muscles of the lower abdomen and buttocks: slowly raise your hips up from the floor and then lower them back to the resting position.  Repeat this exercise 20 times.  This exercise may be performed several times per day.

The Pointer

Kneel on mat on hands and knees, with palms directly under shoulders and knees hip-width apart. Slowly raise your right arm, and exteThe_Pointer.jpgnd it forward parallel to the floor.  {Balance by contracting your abdominal muscles}  Keep right palm parallel to the floor, then lift the left leg, and straighten it behind you.  Hold opposing limbs off the ground for 30 to 60 seconds without arching your back. Switch sides. Repeat 3 to 6 times.

The Cardio Componant

Most health care professionals recommend 20 to 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three to four days per week to improve endurance and help lose weight. Until you've recovered from back pain, select low-impact activities that burn calories, but won't place undue stress on your joints. Also, before beginning a vigorous exercise program, check with your physician to rule out any possible cardiovascular health risks.

Stretching Tips
To get the maximum benefit from stretching, proper technique is essential. The American Chiropractic Association offers the following tips:
• Warm up your muscles before stretching by walking or doing other gentle movements for 10 to 15 minutes.
• Slowly increase your stretch as you feel your muscles relax. Don't bounce.
• Stretch slowly and gently only to the point of mild tension, not to the point of pain.
• Don't hold your breath. Inhale deeply before each stretch and exhale during the stretch.
•As your flexibility increase, consider increasing the number of repetitions.
• Stop immediately if you feel any severe pain.

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