If you are having regular back and/or neck pain, you may want to consider a structured stretching workout regimen. There is a large amount of research to show the benefits of a regular stretching routine. Not only is it beneficial for your muscles, but it can improve back pain, headaches, and improve your overall sense of well-being and health.
- Improves Posture
- Recent research has shown the negative effects of poor posture on the spine
- Reduces stress on joints and spinal elements
- Prevents Injury
- Improves flexibility
- Reduces muscle tension and risks of strain
- Improves Blood Circulation
- Reduces muscle soreness by removing lactic acid build-up and other toxins
- Supplies nutrients to allow healing and growth
- Increases energy
- Reduces Cholesterol
- Can reduce cardiovascular disease in conjunction with a healthy diet
- Enhances Well-being
- Decreases stress and its physiological effects on the body
- Never bounce. By bouncing you can potentially cause micro tears in the muscle which can lead to injury.
- When stretching any muscle, only go to the point where you can feel the muscle pulling. Forcing the muscle past this point can cause damage.
- If possible, stretch both sides and opposing muscles regularly.
- GO LOW AND SLOW!
Before proceeding with any new exercise regimen, discuss with your doctor to see if there are any restrictions. A referral to a physical therapist may be necessary to learn what stretching exercises you should perform. They will also teach you the correct technique. This will allow you to receive the maximum benefit of the workout and reduce the risk of injury. Be patient with your exercise program. The goal is to stretch the muscle slowly over a period of time. It may take several weeks or even months before noticing significant improvements. Remember, by exercising regularly, you are giving yourself the best chance of relief from your chronic pain.
Troy Gingerich MD