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Prevent Pain - How to Stretch Your Lower Back Muscles

Updated on January 06, 2015

For many people, it is the lower back pain that causes a change of lifestyle, leads to inactivity and weight gain. It is stated that 80% of us will have experienced back pain.

Our back is made of a complicated and very functional spine which contains 24 total discs running from the base of the skull to the tip of the tailbone. This is the system upon which our body moves.

What IF we gave you a great tool to alleviate some of that pain?

Stay tuned as we explore eight exceptional videos that provide the tools you need to alleviate your back pain.

But first let's set a firm foundation of what we are talking about; let's quickly review the spine and the number of discs that service our back and our neck.

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photos courtesy of ehow.com/Joyce Mann top and Patick Cameron
photos courtesy of ehow.com/Joyce Mann top and Patick Cameron
photos courtesy of ehow.com/Joyce Mann top and Patick Cameron

Fun Way to Remember the Spinal Discs

Fun Rule for Rembering the Number of Discs in the Human Back



We have 7 cervical discs (located in the neck – cervical region), 12 in the middle back (thoracic region) and 5 in the lower back (lumbar region). A great way to remember this is the American eating time frame, 7 am for breakfast (your cervical discs), 12 for lunch at noon, and 5 pm for dinner time.



7am Breakfast = 7 Discs in the Neck (Cervical Spine)

12 Noon Lunch = 12 Discs in the Lumbar (Spine)

5pm Dinner = 5 Discs in the Lower Lumbar Spine


24 discs in the human body!

Upper Trapezius Stretch

#1 Stretch for Back/Hips with Resistance Bands

Back: Piniformis Stretch Create a 4 With Your Body

Back: Knee to Chest Stretch

The Tool to Alleviating Back Pain

Poor posture, poor nutrition, improper lifting, and excessive weight all play an important role in preventing back pain.

Another proactive method of prevention is stretching.

Stretching is THE Answer

Stretching the lower back can add range of motion, prevent injuries and relieve built up stress.

In this article we provide step by step instruction along with several videos to add to your stretching routine.


5 Simple Steps to Stretch Your Lower Back Muscles and Release Tension from your 5 discs in your lumbar region:


Difficulty Level : Very Easy and Yet Very Effective

Instructions

Things You'll Need:

• Comfortable Loose Clothing

• Comfortable Shoes with Rubberized Soles for Added Stability

• Chair or Counter for Added Stability

Step 1: Stand next to a sofa, solid/stable chair or kitchen counter. My favorite from Kitchen Calisthenics is to start with the kitchen counter. It gives you a great reference point to take it to another chair or sofa within in your home. But is provides a standard of stability and height for your comfort level.

Step 2: Place your feet shoulder width apart. Knees should be soft, not locked. Shoulders back, chin level. Posture erect and back position is neutral.

Step 3: Place your right hand on the counter. Chin is level, shoulders pulled back.

Step 4: Place your right ankle over your left knee. Make a number 4 with your body.

Step 5: Slowly bend your left knee and sink your hips toward the floor. Extend your hips downward toward the floor.

Step 6: Sit in a chair which isn’t there. The lower you pretend your chair is to the ground the deeper the stretch. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds and do 3 times or for a full 30 seconds.

Step 7: Reverse and repeat.


Tips & Warnings:

• Poor posture, poor nutrition, improper lifting, and excessive weight all play an important role in preventing back pain.

• Stretching the lower back can add range of motion, prevent injuries and relieve built up stress.

IMPORTANT - SEE YOUR PHYSICIAN:

  • If back pain persists after 1-2 days,
  • If you feel weakness in your legs, or
  • If you feel tingling or dumbness in your legs or buttocks, or
  • If the back pain causes loss of daily movement, consult your physician.

• Poor posture, poor nutrition, improper lifting, and excessive weight all play an important role in preventing back pain.

• Stretching the lower back can add range of motion, prevent injuries and relieve built up stress.

• If back pain persists after 1-2 days, if you feel weakness in your legs, or if you feel tingling or dumbness in your legs or buttocks, if the back pain causes loss of daily movement, consult your physician.


Levator Scapulae Muscle in the Neck

photo courtesy of en.academic.ru
photo courtesy of en.academic.ru

Neck: Turtle Stretch

Trigger Points for Computer Pain

Neck: Levator Scapulae Muscle Stretch

Neck: Levator Scapulae Muscle Stretch

The "pain in the neck" can be crippling. The tightness in the "levator scapula muscle" is the tendon that passes downward the spine.

Often tightness in this tendon will produce numbness and even pain in the arm. Why? Because of the mechanics of he tendon attaching to the arm.

Stretching the tendon that run across the cervical discs can help not only the neck but also possibly prevent the arm pain.


Stretching Critical to Good Health and Fitness

Cardiovascular exercise, target toning have received all the attention from the news and media. Stretching is just as important - perhaps even more so as we age.

Taking care of the back and the neck and the discs and tendons that help us move and navigate is an important skill to learn not just for ourselves but also to teach our children.

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© 2010 Kelly A Burnett

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    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      Terrific advice. I will try this and I thank you.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 7 years ago from Central Oregon

      Great exercises and it is so true! If you stretch, you do feel so much better and it prevents or at least alleviates many back problems.

    • profile image

      4youreyes 6 years ago

      Very informative hub thanks! Stretching feels great when done the right way.Taking care of your back is something people should not take for granted.They have no idea what it's like to have an injury,maybe for a lifetime.You only have one take care of it.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      @breakfastpop,

      My exercise clients find this very helpful.

      @akirchner,

      Prevention is the key.

      @4youreyes

      You are correct - we have only one body.

    • Teresa Schultz profile image

      Teresa Schultz 6 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      Informative hub, well done. I love the breakfast, lunch and dinner idea for remembering how many discs there are and where they are - going to tell my kids that one!

    • Tusitala Tom profile image

      Tom Ware 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Excellent Hub. I can recall many years ago reading that "The way to stay young is to keep the spine subtle." I took that advice and, at around 35 took to doing Hatha Yoga stretches. At 74 I can still sit down and have my hands meet at the bottom of my outstretched legs. The secret? Hold the pose; make it a 60 or 90 second stretch to allow the blood to flush away any build up of calcium deposits.

      Yoga by itself is good. Supplemented with a few aerobics and a few minutes 'pumping iron' to keep up muscle tone and strength, and you can retain fitness well after seventy...and I expect well after eighty.

    • Tusitala Tom profile image

      Tom Ware 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Another way to keep the spine subtle is - according to a chiropractor I know - is to 'roll on the spine' a couple of times a week. Always ensuring plenty of cushing beneath you, of course.

    • Wrath Warbone profile image

      Terry Chestnutt 6 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio

      Hi. I tried some of the easy ones and now my lower back feels better. Thanks.

    • profile image

      TechTrendy 6 years ago

      Nice write up! As an LMT my biggest complaints from my clients is almost 95% back pain. It seems some people just don't realize a little bit of prevention can go a long way.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      TechTrendy,

      For my clients I try to stress the number of muscles in the body and how they are all connected and critical. All too often, we simply take our muscles for granted.

      You are absolutely correct, people will invest time and money in about anything but in an once of prevention - the cheapest and best investment they can make in their lives.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Well this was handy as I lay in bed with horrible back pain. I've a little bit of back pain before but never like this. When I feel better I'll have to try some of these.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      What a very helpful hub. Loved the exercises and the videos too!

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! This way to read and vote https://hubpages.com/community/Back-to-School-HubN...

    • Highland Terrier profile image

      Highland Terrier 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      excellent information. I have bookmarked this page.

      up and useful

    • Inspired to write profile image

      Dale J Ovenstone 4 years ago from Wales UK

      Great hub, look forward to viewing the exercises.

      Regards Dale

    • Beata Stasak profile image

      Beata Stasak 4 years ago from Western Australia

      Very useful hub, yoga helped enormously with my back pain:)

    • Easy Exercise profile image
      Author

      Kelly A Burnett 4 years ago from United States

      Glimmer Twin Fan,

      Oh, the severe pain most likely is a disc - be very careful my friend, when well do try to incorporate some stretches to help your back loosen up. Please see a physician before trying any stretches. Pain is a plea direct from our body - we must listen and act responsibly.

    • Easy Exercise profile image
      Author

      Kelly A Burnett 4 years ago from United States

      Ripplemaker,

      Wow! I didn't know I had a nomination! Thank you so much!

    • Easy Exercise profile image
      Author

      Kelly A Burnett 4 years ago from United States

      Highland Terrier,

      Oh, my goodness - a friend from Ireland - I am honored. Thank you so much!

    • Easy Exercise profile image
      Author

      Kelly A Burnett 4 years ago from United States

      Dale,

      Thank you so much! I love exercise but the best part of writing is to inspire - oh, I love your moniker - very cool! I look forward to visiting your hubs.

    • Easy Exercise profile image
      Author

      Kelly A Burnett 4 years ago from United States

      Beata Stasak,

      Yoga does wonders as does all movement but Yoga is very special, it is slower and kinder to our muscles - great choice for an exercise program. You might also enjoy water pilates in order to mix it up.

    • profile image

      Johnd493 2 years ago

      Normally I do not read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this writeup very compelled me to try and do it! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite great article. eadcdggadeed

    • Easy Exercise profile image
      Author

      Kelly A Burnett 2 years ago from United States

      John,

      The research on stretching our back muscles is really interesting. I am so glad I was able to have you step beyond and enter into the world of blogs. Although I don't consider HubPages blogging - the articles here are much more in depth.

      I greatly appreciate your accolades - your comments are why I do this hard and time consuming work.

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