Back disorders don’t develop overnight. If you weren’t aware, these disorders or injuries are some of the leading causes of disability! According to experts, any repetitive damaging activity that takes place over an extended time period may cause the accumulation of microtrauma of the back. These issues could result from bad posture, poor body mechanics, or a combination of both. Thankfully, you can prevent this problem by performing lower back stretches regularly to increase its strength.
What Are Some Common Lower Back Disorders and Injuries?
Aside from back pain being a leading cause of disability worldwide, it’s also one of the most common reasons people need to visit the doctor or miss work. Anyone can develop back pain, and often, it seems to come without a cause. Below are some of the common reasons most people may experience back pain.
- Sprains and strains
- Herniated or bulging discs
- Fractured vertebra
Types of Bursitis
People can experience bursitis anywhere there’s a joint. It’s a painful condition that results from the inflammation of fluid–filled sacs that act as a cushion between the tendons, joints, muscles, and bones. It’s common to experience bursitis, but most individuals try to treat it at home as opposed to seeing a doctor. Below are some of the types of bursitis a person can develop that can lead to back pain.
You can experience pain on the outside of your hip joint when you have hip bursitis, or trochanteric bursitis. The pain can range from intense and sharp to dull aches, and it typically extends to the outside of your thigh area. Those with this condition generally feel pain when they put direct pressure on the hip. Factors such as injuries, surgery, constant pressure, and some pre-existing conditions can cause hip bursitis. The best way to prevent this condition is to not put a lot of strain on your hips and take frequent breaks from physical activity to rest them.
The iliopsoas muscles connect the femur to the spine. These are the strongest hip flexors that can experience inflammation, resulting in a limited range of motion and pain in the hip joint. This is what’s known as iliopsoas bursitis. Athletes and those who exercise regularly commonly experience this form of bursitis due to repetitive use of their hip flexors. Exercising and stretching the hips could help to prevent iliopsoas bursitis.
Back bursitis, or scapulothoracic bursitis, can impact your upper back between your ribs and shoulder blades. It could result from inflammation of your soft tissues due to repeated movements and can cause a popping sensation. Frequently performing range-of-motion exercises can prevent stiffness in that area and reduce your chances of developing back bursitis.
Stretches to Protect Your Lower Back from Disorders and Injuries
Nobody enjoys having lower back pain! Fortunately, there are some great stretches out there that can protect and strengthen your back. This will also lower your chances of getting injured. Performing these stretches with a professional will give you much better results than if you try and do them on your own. Below are some of the stretches you could begin trying at a StretchZone near you to help you get the pain relief you need.
Spine Strengthening Stretch
This is a popular way to stretch your abs and is useful for those who spend most of their time sitting at a desk. Not only does the spine strengthening stretch target your core muscles, but it’s also great for strengthening the muscles in your buttocks and spine.
You can start by lying on your stomach while you keep your arms and legs extended straight. Next, position your elbows to your sides while you place your hands under your shoulders. A stretching coach will help you slowly lift your chest off the floor while you gently press your hands into the ground. Hold this position for about five to ten seconds before going back to your starting position. Do this stretch three to five times for the best benefits.
When you perform this stretch enough, it can elongate your lower back. Knees-to-chest will stretch your hip and lower back muscles while creating more space on your spinal nerves. It’s a great move for relieving tension and pain.
Begin by lying flat on your back while extending your legs. Next, your stretching coach will pull your right knee close to your chest while you inhale. While you are exhaling, they’ll bring your right knee across your chest and hold this position for at least five to ten seconds before releasing. For the best results, you should perform about three to five repetitions of this stretch on each side.
This move is commonly known as wall squats or wall sits. They’re perfect for strengthening your upper legs while increasing endurance in your glutes, quads, and abdominal muscles. Keeping those strong and healthy will make it easier to support your back and significantly reduce pain or injuries.
Start this stretch by leaning with your back against a wall and slowly sliding down. Make sure that your knees do not extend over your toes. A stretching coach will be there to guide and support you. When you’re assuming the squat position, hold the stretch for about five to ten seconds before returning to the standing position. Make three to five repetitions.
Standing Back Arch
This move is a mild standing backbend that warms up your back muscles and eliminates stiffness and tension. It’s perfect for individuals who work at a desk.
Begin by standing with your feet at shoulder-width apart and with the palms of your hands on your lower back. A stretching coach will guide you in bending your upper body backward while ensuring your knees are kept straight. Your hands should be supporting your back, and you’re going to hold that position for five seconds before your stretching coach slowly returns you into the starting position. You should do about five repetitions for the best results.
Assisted Hamstring Stretch
When your hamstrings get too tight, it can cause pain in the back of your thighs that can radiate to your back if not addressed. It’s a common result of sitting for long periods.
Begin by lying down on your back with your legs extended in front of you. A stretching coach will lift one of your legs off the ground toward your hip and push forward until you feel a stretch on your hamstring. It’s up to you to let your coach know how much of a stretch you want to feel before it becomes too intense. After holding the position for a few seconds, you’ll switch legs.
This move will work the large muscle of the buttocks – the gluteus maximus. This muscle is responsible for helping to support your lower back, so it’s important to keep it strong.
To do this move, lie on the ground with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. They should be about hip-width apart. Start raising your buttocks off the floor, and your stretching coach will guide you in a position where your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. After holding the position for a few seconds, your stretching coach will help lower you back to the ground. Perform about three repetitions for the best results.
Lower Back Rotational Stretch
This is a great move for relieving tension in your lower back and your trunk. It’s also important to know much your core muscles have to do with keeping you stable. The lower back rotational stretch gently works those muscles so you can have improved stability and support for your back.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Your shoulders should be spread out on either side of your body, and your stretching coach will gently roll your knees over to one side. After holding the position for about ten seconds, your stretching coach will roll your knees over to the opposite side of your body, hold for ten seconds, then return you into the starting position. Performing three repetitions on each side can give you great benefits.
Lying Lateral Leg Lift
The lying lateral leg lift is ideal for working your hip abductor muscles. When those become too weak, it’s harder for a person to maintain their balance. Weak hip abductors can also affect your mobility! These support your pelvis and helps reduce strain on your back.
Begin by lying on your side with both legs together. With the lower leg slightly bent, your stretching coach will gently lift the top leg as far as you’re comfortable going and hold the position for a few seconds. You will do about three repetitions before turning on the other side and stretching the other leg.
Other Ways to Prevent Bursitis and Other Lower Back Injuries
Stretching is only one of many ways to help reduce your chances of having lower back pain or injuries. You could also begin to start implementing some lifestyle changes to keep your back muscles strong and healthy. Below are some of the other ways to prevent back pain.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
When you have excess weight, especially in your midsection, it puts additional strain on your back. The weight pulls your pelvis forward, which can cause your spine to become tilted and develop an unnatural curvature. Being overweight can also increase your chances of injuries. By eating a balanced diet and getting enough exercise, you should be able to maintain a healthy weight.
Practice Proper Lifting
You may have heard the saying over a thousand times already – lift with your legs and not with your back. Health experts say this because when you lift with your back, you’re at a greater risk of developing back pain. To properly lift a heavy item, you’ll want to keep it close to your body and ensure your spine is fixed in the same position the entire time.
Have Proper Posture
It’s way too easy to slip into an improper posture, especially if you sit all day or text a lot. By slouching for long periods, you’re doing a lot of damage to your back. The best way to maintain your spine’s natural curves is to continue to practice good posture. It’ll keep your back strong and significantly reduce your chances of developing back pain.
Exercising is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight and prevent back pain from occurring. Your muscles are meant to move, and lack of physical activity can cause them to become stiff. Have you noticed how much harder it is to do even the simplest tasks when you’re out of shape and have tight muscles? Once you get your body moving like how it’s supposed to, your muscles will become stronger. Stretching before and after exercising will also keep them flexible.
Yes, stress can cause back pain! Many people don’t realize this until it actually happens. When you’re constantly stressed, you tense your muscles. The longer your muscles have this constant tension, the higher your chances are of developing back pain. If you’re always stressed, you could try doing some calming activities like yoga or meditation. Watch both your stress and back pain decrease during these activities!
Back pain can occur due to various reasons, from chronic stress to an injury to simply aging. If it prevents you from doing daily activities, there are some measures you can take to reduce the discomfort you’re experiencing.
Stretching and strengthening the muscles that support your lower back is one of the best ways to eliminate pain and lower your chances of getting injured. Starting a healthy lifestyle is another way to help with your pain. That means doing all you can to reduce stress, get your body moving with some physical activity, and eat healthy. It’s also important to know when you should visit a doctor.
You never know if your back pain could be the cause of something that stretching can’t necessarily help with, so make sure to listen to your body!
Try Doing Lower Back Stretches with a Professional!
There’s nothing like maximizing lower back stretches with the help of an experienced stretch practitioner at StretchZone. We care about your health and wellbeing, and our team is here to get you the relief you need when you have chronic or acute back pain. Are you ready to get started? Book your FREE 30-minute stretch now!