Lower back pain is a common problem that has many causes and just as many levels of severity. Whether you hurt your back using incorrect form in the gym or bending over to pick up your child, back pain can really put a damper on your everyday routine. While there are lots of ways to address lower back pain, stretching can not only halt the healing process, but also cause more damage. It is important to understand which stretches do more harm than good.
Your back is a complex structure of muscles, tendons, nerves and joints that create a load-bearing framework with a little flexibility. According to Crossfit Sandpoint, your back resembles a tall building that, while its structure has a little “give,” is still strongest when it is locked into position. If any part of the system is impacted, the components of your back work together to lend support to the injured part as it heals. At this point, when you stretch your lower back, you are reducing the tension that gives support to your back and this can lead to a much more severe injury that could ultimately result in surgery.
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Oftentimes, if you experience pain during a stretch, it is wise to avoid that particular movement until your back pain goes away. Stretches that cause you to round your back too far and any type of straight-leg stretch, like the hamstring stretch, will cause strain and inflammation in the nerves. These types of maneuvers will stretch the inflamed nerve, causing pain and prolonging recovery. If you're experiencing lower back pain, don’t worry! There are many stretches you can do through the extent of your back pain. In fact, it is important that you continue to be active. Exercise increases blood flow and fluid exchange around the spine, which helps reduce swelling and inflammation. Your workouts don’t have to suffer! Click here to learn about stretches you can do for lower back pain.