Every Back Stretch to Help Promote Spine Health


Worldwide, back pain is the single greatest cause of disability. In severe cases, it can severely impact a person’s quality of life, preventing them from working as well as enjoying simple, day-to-day activities.

About 31 million Americans experience episodes of lower back pain, and it’s a leading cause of missed days at work. Fortunately, there are some simple changes that you can make to reduce incidences of back pain.

Learning a good back stretch technique or two is a great place to start. For some stretching tips that can help you improve your overall spine health, check out these key techniques.

1. Back Flexion

The back flexion is one of the more basic stretches. It works the neck and lower back, and is an exercise that most people should be able to perform with ease.

Start by lying flat on your back on a comfortable, flat surface. Then pull both of your knees to your chest while bending your head forward.

Hold this position for up to 30 seconds, and then relax back to the starting position. Repeat the exercise two to five times.

2. Cat-Camel Back Stretch

This stretch is another gentle exercise that stretches all three sections of the spine (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar).

It begins on your hands and knees, so you may need either a matt or cushion for comfort. To perform it, arch your back towards the ceiling and hold that pose for five seconds before relaxing back to the starting position.

3. Prone Extension

This is another lower-back stretch.

Begin by lying on your stomach. Using your forearms to prop yourself up, squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold the position for 20 seconds before relaxing back down onto the floor. Repeat the motion up to five times.

4. Levator Scapula Stretch

This stretch is meant to alleviate tension in the neck. To perform the stretch, reach one arm up and over your shoulder. This should stabilize the scapula.

Now bend your head down and toward the knee opposite your raised arm. Place your free hand behind your head and very gently pull forward to execute the stretch. Hold the position for five seconds and then repeat the movement with your opposing arm.

You may repeat this stretch up to five times on each side.

5. Chin-To-Chest Stretch

This simple technique is another stretch meant to help alleviate pain and tension in the neck.

From either a standing or a sitting position, tile your head forward until your chin touches your chest. Hold this pose for five seconds and repeat up to ten times.

Notes On Safe Stretching

Stretching can be a great way for your to reduce pain, discomfort, and tension in your spine. However, it’s paramount that you do so safely to prevent accidental injury. Here are a few basic tips to keep in mind.

Avoid forcing yourself into uncomfortable positions. It’s always important to listen to your body when stretching. If something feels off or is unduly uncomfortable or painful, that’s your body telling you something is wrong and you should stop immediately.

Move into each stretch slowly. Trying to force yourself into position too quickly can be as damaging as using improper technique. Give yourself time to ease into a nice, deep stretch.

And last, remember to wear comfortable, unobstructive clothing. You always want to have a full range of motion when you’re stretching.

Lifestyle Changes For Better Spine Health

Spine stretches are a great way to soothe and prevent back pain. However, there are many other actions you can take throughout the day that can help keep your spine healthy and strong.

Here are only a few ways you can help maintain a pain-free back.

Letting Your Spine Rest

Above all else, we need to make time to let our bodies rest and repair. In practice, this tends to mean getting more high-quality sleep.

Lying down at the end of the day gives the structures of your spine a chance to take a load off and rejuvenate themselves. But to get the most out of your nightly rest, you need to make sure that your spine is well-supported.

Using a proper mattress is a key component. Either a firm or medium-firm mattress can do wonders in giving you the support that you need.

Your sleeping position also plays a factor. If you sleep on your back, try putting a pillow under your knees to take pressure off of your lower back. If you sleep on your side, putting a pillow between your knees can help keep your hips balanced.

Limit Sitting Time

Sitting for long periods puts more pressure on your lower spine than if you were standing. And what’s more, if you sit at a desk all day, there’s a natural tendency to slouch forward over time.

You can help mitigate this by taking regular breaks from your chair, investing in a standing desk, and practicing good back posture throughout the day.

Spinal Decompression Therapy

Even with stretching exercises and positive lifestyle changes, you might still experience occasions of back discomfort and pain. But before you consider surgical solutions, consider the therapy benefits of spinal decompression treatments.

Decompression therapy is a technique that may alleviate the pressure that tends to build upon the soft discs between the vertebrae, providing relief from pain and discomfort. Once the pressure is alleviated, water, oxygen, and essential nutrients should have an easier time reaching the damaged discs. The influx of these resources can help encourage long-term healing.

A Healthy Spine For A Happier Life

Sporadic bouts of back pain area serious impediments to a high quality of life. And for about eight percent of all adults, they will become chronic.

Regularly practicing a good back stretch or two can help alleviate pain and promote better overall spine health. But as important as it is to know how to stretch your back, there’s a lot more to maintain g good full-body health. For all that you need to know to live as the best, healthiest version of yourself, be sure to keep up with all our latest health and lifestyle news and guides.