Stretching Exercise; How Stretching Exercise to Reduce Pain

Stretching
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Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a specific muscle or tendon (or muscle group) is deliberately flexed or stretched in order to improve the muscle’s felt elasticity and achieve comfortable muscle tone. The result is a feeling of increased muscle control, flexibility, and range of motion. Stretching is also used therapeutically to alleviate cramps.

Stretching is a common activity used by athletes, older adults, rehabilitation patients, and anyone participating in a fitness program. While the benefits of stretching are known, controversy remains about the best type of stretching for a particular goal or outcome. The purpose of this clinical commentary is to discuss the current concepts of muscle stretching interventions and summarize the evidence related to stretching as used in both exercise and rehabilitation.

Increasing flexibility through stretching is one of the basic tenets of physical fitness. It is common for athletes to stretch before (for warming up) and after exercise in an attempt to reduce the risk of injury and increase performance, though these practices are not always based on scientific evidence of effectiveness.

Stretching  before  playing

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A series of exercise routines you can do to help reduce any pain, including tension, stiffness, and soreness.

These exercises from physiotherapist and BackCare expert Nick Sinfield help to stretch, strengthen and mobilize the lower back.

When starting out, go gently to get used to the movements and work out how far you can go into each position without feeling pain. Aim to do this routine at least once a day if the pain allows. You can complement this routine with walking, cycling and water-based activities.

You are advised to seek medical advice before starting these back pain exercises, and to stop immediately if you feel any pain.

stretching exercise

Stretching exercises should form an integral part of any conditioning program. Performed consistnetly, the stretching exercises below can help to do the following…

  • Increase the range of motion about a joint reducing the risk of muscle and tendon tears during competitive activity.
  • Relieve muscle tightness and stiffness.
  • Improve postural imbalances and help to reduce chronic back pain.
  • Increase localized blood flow to the muscles being stretched.
  • Possibly relieve muscle soreness after intense physical activity and help to reduce the severity of DOMS (dleayed Onset Muscle Sorness).
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STRETCHING EXERCISES

Stretches for the side of neck

  • Sit or stand with arms hanging loosely at sides
  • Turn head to one side, then the other
  • Hold for 5 seconds, each side
  • Repeat 1 to 3 times

person turning head to side

Stretches side of the neck

  • Sit or stand with arms hanging loosely at sides
  • Tilt head sideways, first one side then the other
  • Hold for 5 seconds
  • Repeat 1-3 times

person tilting head sideways

 

Stretches back of the neck

  • Sit or stand with arms hanging loosely at sides
  • Gently tilt head forward to stretch back of the neck
  • Hold 5 seconds
  • Repeat 1-3 times

person tilting head forward

Stretches side of shoulder and back of the upper arm

  • Stand or sit and place right hand on left shoulder
  • With left hand, pull right elbow across chest toward left shoulder and hold 10 to 15 seconds
  • Repeat on another side

person stretching arm across chest

Stretches shoulder, middle back, arms, hands, fingers, wrist

  • Interlace fingers and turn palms out
  • Extend arms in front at shoulder height
  • Hold 10 to 20 seconds, relax, and repeat

person holding elbow and stretching to one side

Stretches triceps, top of shoulders, waist

  • Keep knees slightly flexed>
  • Stand or sit with arms overhead
  • Hold elbow with the hand of the opposite arm
  • Pull elbow behind head gently as you slowly lean to side until a mild stretch is felt
  • Hold 10 to 15 sec
  • Repeat on another side

person with hands on hip and turning at waist

Stretches middle back

  • Stand with hands on hips
  • Gently twist torso at the waist until a stretch is felt
  • Hold 10 to 15 sec
  • Repeat on another side
  • Keep knees slightly flexed
  • Stretches ankles
  • Stand and hold onto something for balance
  • Lift right foot and rotate foot and ankle 8 to 10 times clockwise, then 8 to 10 times counterclockwise.
  • Repeat on another side

(Note: can also be done sitting)

person lifting foot off ground and moving it in circular motion

Stretches calf

  • Stand a little way from the wall and lean on it with forearms, head resting on hands
  • Place right foot in front of you, leg bent left leg straight behind you
  • Slowly move hips forward until you feel stretch in the calf of left leg
  • Keep left heel flat and toes pointed straight ahead
  • Hold easy stretch 10 to 20 seconds
  • Do not bounce
  • Repeat on another side
  • Do not hold breath

person stretching calf muscle

Stretches front on the thigh (quadriceps)

  • Stand a little away from the wall and place left hand on the wall for support
  • Standing straight, grasp the top of the left foot with right hand
  • Pull heel toward buttock
  • hold 10 to 20 sec
  • Repeat on another side

person stretching thigh muscle

Relaxes hamstrings stretch calves, Achilles, and ankles

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart
  • Keep heels flat, toes pointed straight ahead
  • Assume bent knee position (quarter squat)
  • Hold 30 sec

person in quarter-squat position

Stretches inner thigh, groin

  • Stand with feet pointed straight ahead, a little more than shoulder-width apart
  • Bend right knee slightly and move left hip downward toward right knee
  • Hold 10 to 15 seconds
  • Repeat on another side
  • If necessary, hold on to something (chair, etc.) for balance

person standing, bending one knee slightly

Stretches side of hip, hamstrings

  • Sit on the floor with right leg straight out in front
  • Bend left leg, cross left foot over, place outside right knee
  • Pull left knee across body toward the opposite shoulder
  • Hold 10 to 20 seconds
  • Repeat on another side
  • Breathe easily
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person doing floor exercises

Stretches lower back, side of hip, and neck

  • Sit on the floor with left leg straight out in front
  • Bend right leg, cross right foot over, place outside left knee
  • Bend left elbow and rest it outside right knee
  • Place right hand behind hips on the floor
  • Turn head over right shoulder, rotate upper body right
  • Hold 10 to 15 seconds
  • Repeat on another side
  • Breathe in slowly

person doing floor exercises

Stretches back of the leg and lower back

  • Sit on the floor, legs straight out at sides
  • Bend left leg in at the knee
  • Slowly bend forward from hips toward the foot of straight leg until you feel a slight stretch
  • Do no dip head forward at the start of a stretch
  • Hold this developmental stretch 10 to 20 seconds
  • Repeat on other side
  • Foot of straight leg upright, ankles and toes relaxed
  • Use a towel if you cannot easily reach your feet

person doing floor exercises

Stretches shoulders, arms, hands, feet, and ankles

  • Lie on floor, extend arms overhead, keep legs straight
  • Reach arms and legs in opposite directions
  • Stretch 5 sec, relax

person lying on back on floor stretching straight out with arms overhead


stretching exercise

Bottom to heels stretching

  • A series of exercise routines you can do to help reduce any lower back pain (occasionally referred to as low back pain), including tension, stiffness and soreness.
  • These exercises from physiotherapist and BackCare expert Nick Sinfield help to stretch, strengthen and mobilize the lower back.
  • When starting out, go gently to get used to the movements and work out how far you can go into each position without feeling pain.
  • Aim to do this routine at least once a day if the pain allows. You can complement this routine with walking, cycling, and water-based activities.
  • You are advised to seek medical advice before starting these back pain exercises and to stop immediately if you feel any pain.

Bottom to heels stretch

Stretches and mobilizes the spine

exercise-low-back-pain
  • Start position: Kneel on all fours, with your knees under hips and hands under shoulders. Don’t over-arch your lower back. Keep your neck long, your shoulders back and don’t lock your elbows.
  • Action: Slowly take your bottom backward, maintaining the natural curve in the spine. Hold the stretch for one deep breath and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 8 to 10 times.

Tips:

  • Avoid sitting back on your heels if you have a knee problem.
  • Ensure correct positioning with the help of a mirror.
  • Only stretch as far as feels comfortable.

Knee rolls

Stretches and mobilises the spine

backpain-knee-roll
  • Start position: Lie on your back. Place a small flat cushion or book under your head. Keep your knees bent and together. Keep your upper body relaxed and your chin gently tucked in.
  • Action: Roll your knees to one side, followed by your pelvis, keeping both shoulders on the floor. Hold the stretch for one deep breath and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 8 to 10 times, alternating sides.

Tips:

  • Only move as far as feels comfortable.
  • Place a pillow between your knees for comfort.
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Back extensions

Stretches and mobilizes the spine backward

backpain-exercise/Back extensions
  • Start position: Lie on your stomach, and prop yourself on your elbows, lengthening your spine. Keep your shoulders back and neck long.
  • Action: Keeping your neck long, arch your back up by pushing down on your hands. You should feel a gentle stretch in the stomach muscles as you arch backward. Breathe and hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 8 to 10 times.

Tips:

  • Don’t bend your neck backwards.
  • Keep your hips grounded.

Deep abdominal strengthening

Strengthens the deep supporting muscles around the spine

https://www.rxharun.com/Deep abdominal strengthening
  • Start position: Lie on your back. Place a small, flat cushion or book under your head. Bend your knees and keep your feet straight and hip-width apart. Keep your upper body relaxed and your chin gently tucked in.
  • Action: As you breathe out, draw up the muscles of your pelvis and lower abdominals, as though you were doing up an imaginary zip along your stomach. Hold this gentle contraction while breathing from your abdomen for 5 to 10 breaths, and relax.

Repeat 5 times.

Tips:

  • This is a slow, gentle tightening of the lower abdominal region. Don’t pull these muscles in using more than 25% of your maximum strength.
  • Make sure you don’t tense up through the neck, shoulders or legs.

Pelvic Tilts

Stretches and strengthens the lower back

backpain-exercise-Pelvic tilts
  • Start position: Lie on your back. Place a small, flat cushion or book under your head. Bend your knees and keep your feet straight and hip-width apart. Keep your upper body relaxed and your chin gently tucked in.
  • Action: Gently flatten your low back into the floor and contract your stomach muscles. Now tilt your pelvis towards your heels until you feel a gentle arch in your lower back, feeling your back muscles contracting and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times, tilting your pelvis back and forth in a slow rocking motion.

Tips:

  • Keep your deep abdominals working throughout.
  • Don’t press down through the neck, shoulders or feet.

Modification
Place one hand on your stomach and the other under your lower back to feel the correct muscles working

 References

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