April 13, 2024 1:01 pm

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How many times have you done something and thought “Ugh, I shouldn’t have done that,”? Usually, it is the end of the day, your tired, and your body felt fatigued hours ago. Straining your back when you are not paying attention to posture is not uncommon. Here are six stretches you can do before your back pain turns into a bigger problem.
Note: Always move slowly when your back is hurting. These back stretches should feel great, so stop if anything hurts.

1. Legs up the wall. If your back feels more than strained, try this back stretch before you go any further.
• Laying on your back, get as close as possible to the wall and extend your feet toward the ceiling. Aim to have your sit bones (ischial tuberosity) touching the wall. Put your arms out into a “T.” This is a much-needed area to stretch for the mid-back and pectoralis muscles. Breathe and rest in this passive stretch.

This stationary back stretch does more than you may realize. In this stretch the back is fully supported. The spine is lengthened while supported by the floor. Many times, laying supine with firm support is rejuvenating for the back. When the legs are raised up the wall, the sacrum contacts the floor in a way that doesn’t happen when the legs are outstretched on the floor.

If you feel tightness in your hamstrings with your legs up the wall, bend your knees slightly. Find a comfortable resting position for this stretch.

2. Knees to chest. Start by lying on your back and hugging both knees to your chest.
• Let your knees fall wide as you hold them. Breathe and hold this position.
• Draw circles in the air with your knees to the left several times: reverse direction and circle to the right. The circles should be small. If you feel your abdominals contracting or you are falling over to the side, your circles are too large.
• If circling doesn’t feel good, return to holding your knees into the chest as comfortably as possible. Breathe and give the low back time to release.

3. Egg rocking. This stretch is great to do after the knees-to-chest stretch. You will already be in a position to do this stretch. I like this one because it has movement and uses the floor to massage your lower back.
• While lying on your back, pull your knees in toward your chest and hold them there. Think of pulling your body into the shape of an egg.

• Rock to the left and right. Go as slow or fast as you need to massage the area of your back that needs it.
• Do this stretch until the soreness in the back dissipates.



4. Supine spinal twist. Twisting the spine is a movement we don’t do in everyday activities. To maintain a healthy spine and back, moving and stretching in all directions is important. Let this stretch become one you add to your self-care routine.

• Lying on your back, take one knee with the opposite hand and guide it across your midline so your spine twists. Rest your leg on the opposite side of the body, to the floor if you can. Your hips will twist, and your shoulder will want to come off the floor if your back is tight. That’s OK.
• Go as far as you can and breathe. Then, do the same spinal twist to the other side and hold while breathing.

This is a good stretch for the entire back. The twist of the spine stretches the lower and mid-back. The upper back opens and stretches through the pectoralis muscles when extending the arm away from the twist.

5. Forward fold. This stretch for the back is easy to do in between clients. I like to put this one on the convenient to-do list because it’s a standing stretch. When you can’t lie on the ground but your back needs some TLC, try this.

• Clasp your hands behind your back. Bend forward at the waist while raising your hands behind you towards the ceiling.
• There can be a slight bend in your knees to focus the stretch on your back instead of your hamstrings.
• Curl your chin toward your chest to feel a stretch down your entire spine. Breathe and hold in the forward-fold position.



6. Squat stretch. The squat is a natural position for our body and helps to stretch the back. The knees, ankles, and hips need enough flexibility to allow the squat position, so go as far as you comfortably can.

• Stand with your feet more than hip-width apart. Let your toes point outward if that feels better to your hips. Hold on to a sturdy surface if you need to as you drop into the squat position.
• Let the knees fall wide as you bring your elbows inside your knees. With palms in prayer position, press your elbows against the inside of your knees.
• Place a small stool or stack of yoga blocks under your hips to sit on for beginners and those with limited mobility. As your flexibility increases, the stool can be removed.

Keep Your Body Working
Stretching can help you mentally unwind by releasing physical tension, while a therapeutic massage induces deep relaxation by calming the nervous system. Together, they create a powerful relaxation experience.

Body & Soul Massage in Salem Ma offers Therapeutic Massage for Pain Relief. Book an appointment with one of our Experienced Massage Therapist and Start your path to Wellness today.

Call 978-825-0040 or visit www.bodysoulsalem.com for more information.