Three Easy Exercises and Back Stretches to Help Your Back Pain at Home

When it comes to back pain, nothing beats going straight to the cause by seeing an accredited professional physiotherapist.  But if you need some relief before that happens, here are three easy back stretches that you can try at home:

A Body in Common Physiotherapist uses biofeedback to show the client how their movements affect their posture.

#1 - Arm Openers

Why:

  • To mobilize the spine segments, helping your spine to more evenly distribute your body’s weight.

  • To stabilise the shoulder joints.

  • To stretch the chest.

  • This Back Stretch will warm up your low spine, and allow the spinal fluids to better lubricate your vertebrae.

How:

  1. Lie on your side with your head supported on a pillow.  Put both arms in front of your body.

  2. Bend your hips to about a 90 degree angle.

  3. Bend your knees to about a 90 degree angle.

  4. While exhaling, reach your upper arm  up to the ceiling and let your eyes follow your hand.

  5. Continue to rotate further, but don’t let your hips leave their original positions.

  6. While inhaling, unwind back to the original position.

  • For best effect, do this in a slow and controlled manner.  Remember, don’t let the hips and legs move!

Arm Openers Step 1. Lie on your side with your knees bent and both arms out straight.
Arm Openers Step 2. Open up your top arm and reach it to the ceiling.
Arm Openers Step 3. Continue to extend your top arm to the back wall to open up your chest.

#2 - Shoulder Bridges

 

 

  • To train the nerves and muscles how to support the back.

  • To mobilize the spine segments, helping your spine to more evenly distribute your body’s weight.

  • To train the Gluteal muscles (The “butt muscles”) to activate safely with spinal activation.

  • To build strength along the spine.

 

How:

 

  1. Lie down on your back, and place a small ball between your knees if you can.

  2. While exhaling, gently roll just your tail bone upwards towards the ceiling – keep the rest of your back on the ground.

  3. Continue to “peel off the mat”, bone by bone until you are just resting on your shoulders.  Don’t rush this – the rolling slowly is what teaches each spinal segment to move.  If you don’t roll, the stiffer segments won’t have time to move.

  4. Inhale at the top, and then unwind in the reverse order.

  • For best effect, do this in a slow and controlled manner.  Remember: this isn’t just a ‘plank exercise’, but also a spine mobility exercise.

Shoulder Bridge Starting Position. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your arms by your sides.
Step 2, slowly lift the back off the ground to start the shoulder bridge. This is great for your hamstrings.

#3 - Glute Stretches

Why:

  • To mobilize reduce tightness in the gluteal muscles, that might be putting stress on the lower spine.

  • This may look like a leg stretch, but is also a key back stretch.  Your upper leg muscles are interconnected with your lower spine segments, and often put stress on your back, causing pain.

How:

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet comfortably on the floor.

  2. Lift one leg and rest your ankle comfortably on the other knee.

  3. At this point, make sure that your back and tailbone haven’t rotated away from their original position.  If they have, you will not stretch the glutes, and will instead put the stretch onto your spine.

  4. Gently pull your thigh towards your chest.  Focus on keeping the stretch in your glutes.  Hold for 10 seconds.

  • For best effect, do this in a slow and controlled manner.  Remember, don’t let the lower back and tailbone leave the floor.

  • If the stretch starts to give pins and needles, either reduce the stretch or stop.

Glute Stretch. Lie on your back with one knee bent. Bring the other leg over the knee to stretch our your glutes.

Come and See a Professional

Nothing beats professional assessment and personalized plans.  While three stretches will give some relief, our professional programmes have hundreds of different personalized options, combined with manual therapy and other forms of treatment.

 

This scientifically-backed method is the best way to take control of your pain.

A Client tries out the 'wobble board': a platform that tests your balance, and strengthens your core.
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