Back pain is one of the most common issues we see as practitioners. Sometimes we’re well aware of the cause such as an injury or accident and sometimes a patient just wakes up with aches that can last for days, weeks or even month. The good news is there are tried-and-true methods for managing and preventing back pain through a combination of massage therapy and stretching.
Evidence shows there are clear benefits for patients with low back pain. According to one study the majority of people said their back pain significantly decreased with about 2 – 6 massage therapy sessions and that treatments helped more than over the counter medication.
The targeted area to help low back pain is usually the quadratus lumborum muscle, the lumbar spine erector muscles, and the glute muscles. Sometimes low back pain can even be caused by tight hip flexors or hamstrings. That being said, massage therapy does not exempt us from taking care of our bodies on our own. We still need to move, stretch, strengthen and mobilize our body to maintain good spinal and muscle health.
Ready to tackle back pain? Here are our top 5 stretches to reduce pain and tension.
Quadratus Lumborum Stretch
This stretches the lower side of your back. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds each side and repeat 4 times increasing the stretch each time.
You should feel a light pull in the back of your hamstring with this stretch. Hold this for 2 minutes. Every 10 seconds take a deep breath in and on the exhale pull your leg closer to your body.
This stretches the side of you hip and and your glute. Hold this stretch for 2 minutes. Every 10 seconds try to increase the stretch with your breath.
Hip Flexor Stretch
This stretches the front of your hip and a little bit down the front of your leg. Hold this stretch for two minutes on each side. Every 10 seconds try to increase the stretch with your breath. Slowly come out of each stretch.
This stretch is good to get your spine moving again. It stretches your lower back as well as your glutes at the same time. This stretch you do last because it’s much more effective when you are warmed up.