What Causes the Need to Stretch the Back?
It is quite common for people who work heavy duty like people working in construction and involved in work where they have to lift, push, and pull heavy items on a regular basis throughout their eight hour shift to have a stiff back which tends to cause them to have a considerable need to stretch the back. The urge to stretch the back is not limited to these people but is prominent in even those people who sit for a long period of time and have a bad posture while sitting. This causes them to have a stiff back which results in them having a need to stretch the back every now and then.
The urge to stretch the back increases with age. People in the age range of 35-60 will have it more than the younger population. A stiff back may cause intense pain in the back and the individual will have difficulty with any sort of movement. This will not only hamper their household activities but will also impact their work life negatively. As one ages, the discs of the spinal cord also start to degenerate which makes them less flexible and when excessive stress is put on them it results in them getting stiff and cause pain and lack of motion of the back. If one practices regular back stretches in the morning before going to work and makes it a routine then the problem of a constant urge to stretch the back can be addressed to a significant degree. This article provides some of the basic and easy-to-do stretching exercises for the back which can help them deal with the urge to stretch the back on an everyday basis.
Exercises to Stretch the Back
Below mentioned are some basic stretching exercises for the back. It is recommended that you consult your treating physician before starting these exercises to get a better idea as to which exercise is good for you. Some of the exercises for Back Stretches are:
Knee-to-Chest Stretching Exercise for Back
To do this exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor as shown in the figure. Now, using both hands, pull up one knee and bring it as close to your chest as possible. While doing this, tighten up your abdominal muscles and press the spine to the floor. Maintain this position for about 10 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat the same with the other leg. Return to the starting position and now do it both legs together. Do this at least two times, once before going to work and once after coming home from work. This is quite helpful is stretching your back and prevent any stiffness.
Lying Down Stretching Exercise for Lower Back
To do this exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor as shown in the figure. Keep your shoulders firmly on the floor. Now, move the bent knees to one side as much as possible until a stretch is felt. Hold this position for about 5 seconds. Return to starting position and now move the bent knees on the opposite side and maintain the position for five seconds. Do this exercise at least about two times a day, before going to work and after coming from work to keep the back flexible.
Lower Back Flexibility Exercise
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor as shown in the figure. Tighten up your abdominal muscles in such a way that it feels as if the stomach is pulling away from the waist. Hold this position for about five seconds. Do this about 10 times.
Bridge Exercise to Stretch the Back
To do this exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor as shown in the picture. Keep the head and the shoulder relaxed as much as possible and tighten up the abdominal muscles. Now, raise the hips in such a way that a straight line is formed from the knees to the waist to the shoulders. Maintain this position for at least 10 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat it again. Do this routine about 5-10 times as comfort allows.
Cat Stretch for Back
To do this exercise for the back, you should position yourself on all fours meaning on your hands and feet as shown in the picture. Now, slowly arch the back such that the back is moved upwards towards the roof. Then slowly let the back and abdomen sag toward the floor as shown in the picture. Do this about 10 times.
Seated Lower Back Rotational Stretch
This exercise can also be done in your office if you have a sit down job. To do this exercise, you need to sit on a stool as shown in the picture. Cross the right leg over the left. Place your left shoulder over the right knee, and then twist to an extent that a stretch is felt across the back. Maintain this position for about 10 seconds. Now do it for the opposite side.
In summary, it is quite common to have an Urge to Stretch the Back, especially if you work in construction which involves moving, lifting, pushing and pulling heavy objects, loading or unloading a truck, or have a sit down job where you sit for prolonged periods of time with very little break. The above exercises are meant to stretch the back so that you can get through the workday smoothly without any trouble. Again, it is recommended to consult a physician before starting any exercise routine to see whether the exercises are safe for you and also to rule out any other condition like a disc issue or some issue with the spinal cord which may be causing you to have an Urge to Stretch the Back.