Lower Back Pain Stretching Exercises

Do you need to do lower back pain stretching exercises? Some well meaning friend or relative tell you so. Or maybe your doctor has recommended stretching. Should you go ahead and start doing some?

Stretching Hamstring

Maybe... maybe not.

To simply jump into doing lower back pain stretching exercises without:

  • understanding your lower back problem fully,
  • thoroughly assessing your lower back muscles,
  • correcting postural and structural deficits and problems,
  • incorporating an overall fitness and rehabilitation program,

...will probably yield unsatisfactory results.

Understand And Assess Your Problem

You need to understand what is the action of your stretching and what is it effecting.

For example, is your lower back pain primarily related to DDD? Is there nerve compression causing sciatica?

Guess what? Stretching tight hamstrings in the presence of sciatica will also stretch your sciatic nerve and will surely make your sciatica worse.

Not such a good idea.

However, stretching the quadratus lumborum or gluteal muscles may be very beneficial.

Stretching Guidelines

A good rule to follow would be to try the lower back pain stretching exercises first.

If you:

  • Experience pain before you reach the point where stretching begins it is probably a wise decision not to do that particular stretch.
  • Only experience some mild discomfort and further stretching is just uncomfortable and not accompanied with pain then it is probably okay to do that stretch.

  • Stretch and you have full range of motion or elongation of the muscle(s) then stretching will probably not yield significant relief or benefit. Why waste your time and effort stretching any muscle or muscle group that doesn't need stretched.
  • Have a piriformis syndrome and you feel pain when attempting to stretch that may very well increase your sciatica and you should not do that stretch. Your piriformis muscle may need stretched but better to wait until your sciatica is relieved sufficiently so as not to cause more sciatic pain. Besides your restriction of motion may be your body preventing you from doing just that as a naturally protective action.

  • Have a facet syndrome you surely won't want to do any hyper-extension type of stretching as shown here. This will further cause facet glide and worsen your back problem.
Lower Back Extension Stretch

Do Not Do These Stretches If You Have Facet Syndrome

Correct Structure and Posture

Stretch all you want but if you have a short leg, pronation, flat feet, that is not corrected or balanced your stretching efforts will be ineffective and quite possibly even aggravating.

To achieve balanced muscle tone you need a balanced structure. Make sure that before you start stretching, or at the same time, you also correct your structural and postural deficits.

Include Overall Fitness

Work towards total fitness as your ultimate goal. You are 50-100 pounds overweight, you have a sedentary lifestyle, you lack normal muscle strength and endurance, you smoke which deprives your muscle of need oxygen yet you believe that somehow if you just do a few stretches you will cure your lower back pain.

Believe that and I also have an elixir that if you just take one tablespoon three times per day it will fix all your lower back problems.

Come on! If you owned a prized race horse would you not do your best to keep him in tip-top shape and do everything needed to help him stay healthy.

Why not do the same for your own body…

...it is far more valuable than any race horse.

Lower back stretching should be included in your overall fitness program and rehabilitation program. But you need to be smart about what, how, and why you do it.

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