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What are good stretches for the back ?

The littlest thing can hurt my back ! # #physical-therapy

Thank you comment icon What helps me personally on my lower back is to do like a baby pose. Basically, you lay on the ground and lift your knees towards your chest and hold onto them. Jeimy

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Deborah R.’s Answer

Others have given you good suggestions for exercises for your back, so I'll offer another idea based on what I read in your question: "The littlest thing can hurt my back!"
If the littlest thing can hurt your back, before you do any exercises you need to be as sure as you can be that each specific exercise will be good for your back, no matter how good it is for backs in general. Usually that involves consulting with someone who is trained to make that kind of assessment. When you understand the needs of your back, not just backs in general, then you will be better able to judge for yourself what your back needs, and hopefully why.

I am a physical therapist and usually get physical therapy questions. Physical therapists work on their own and with other types of doctors to help people make these kinds of assessments, guide them through the exercise so they are moving safely, and teach them how to do their exercises at home. Also, a physical therapist can teach you how to use good body mechanics to protect your back in your everyday life. Your back has to last you a long time so you want to be careful with it. Physical therapists also do many other things, but these seem to be most relevant to your question.

Everyone's body is both the same in many ways, and also different in many ways, from what we think of when we talk in general about a human body - the one we study about in books. So, having knowledge involves not just knowing the information but also knowing when to use it, when not to use it, when to alter it, when to say, "I don't know," when to be cautious, when to be encouraging, etc. With knowledge comes responsibility. Take care of your back, it is yours for the rest of your life, and it is as unique as you are.

Deborah R. recommends the following next steps:

Consult with a professional regarding the health and vulnerability of your back.
If what you learn makes sense to you, follow that advice.
If you are thinking of becoming a professional in rehabilitation medicine, learn from your experience so you can use it when you are in your own practice.
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Donna’s Answer

A physical therapist would not recommend exercises to someone without doing a thorough evaluation on that person. Please be skeptical of any exercises recommended on line. I encourage you to see your family doctor for a PT referral or get an appointment at a PT clinic for someone to evaluate you and make exercise recommendations based on those findings.
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Amrutha Sarvani’s Answer

Exercises for a healthy back can be divided into three basic groups:
1) Strengthening: repeated muscle contractions until the muscle becomes tired.
2) Stretching or Flexibility: slow, sustained lengthening of the muscle.
3) Low-impact Aerobic: steady exercise using large muscle groups.

Common good stretches for the back - Child pose , Cat/Cow Stretch, Supine Twist, Supine Figure 4 Stretch, Knee-to-Chest Stretch, The Pelvic Tilt, Reclining Hand-to-Big Toe Stretch (Supta padangusthasana), Cow-Face Pose (Gomukhasana), Bridge Pose and Forearm Plank :-)

A few tips to keep in mind before you get started
• Aim to hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds and preferably 30 seconds or longer. The pain-relieving benefits will increase the longer you hold these stretches.
• Rather than rush through the moves, Costello recommends turning on soothing music and using this stretching time as a chance to relax and renew.
• Don't forget to breathe! It may sound silly, but focusing on using your breath can help you cope with any feelings of discomfort.
Happy Healthy living ! Kimbriel .
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