Stretching can significantly reduce the symptoms and increase the effectiveness to lower back pain relief. Stretching will help keep the muscles of the lower legs in the proper length-tension ratio. When specific muscles do not have the appropriate length-tension ratio, they create disproportionate muscle tension, arguably one of the leading causes of lower back pain.
Specific stretches when performed correctly can restore balance and relieve the pain caused by disproportionate muscle tension. Some of the most common muscles that require balance to stop lower back pain include:
- hamstrings and quads
- gluts and hip flexors
- external rotators of the hip and the ITB.
By keeping those muscle groups in a balanced state, it helps eliminate undo stress on the spinal column. Your stretches should be of a light to medium intensity and be held for 40-50 seconds for each stretch.
Stretches can be performed before, during and after an exercise or physical movement. Before an exercise you can do light intensity stretching, during and after an exercise you can do a more medium intensity stretch.
When you feel discomfort in your lower back, you should stretch the lower leg muscles identified above to see if you can alleviate the pain.
Choosing not to stretch and waiting to address your condition will many times cause you to start compensating with other muscle groups creating additional stress and pain previously not associated with your lower back pain. In order to prevent this, maintain a healthy stretching regime.
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