In order to recover from injury, to strengthen the body, or even to prevent back pain, it is important to know how to do back stretches and exercises.
Back pain can come from many of the muscles in the back. Aside from pain, there are other reasons to perform back stretches and exercises: strengthening and injury prevention. The muscle that is in charge of helping the movement between vertebrae is called the intertransversarii muscle, while the one that facilitates the whole spine’s movement is the multifidus spinae. In the upper back, the trapezius muscle runs between the neck, anterior chain, the thoracic vertebra, and the shoulders. Making a triangle from the shoulder to the hip is the latissimus dorsi.1
Back Stretches and Exercises
Whether for back pain prevention, or for pain relief and rehabilitation, there are many kinds of back exercises available. Chiropractors may prescribe specific ones for injury recovery. There are also exercises people can do at home to increase their fitness and avoid trauma in the back. A knee-to-cheststretch is performed on the back, as are the lower back rotational stretch, lower back flexibility exercise, and bridge exercise. The cat stretch is done on the hands and knees. Some exercises may be performed while seated in a chair, such as the seated lower back rotational stretch and the shoulder blade squeeze.2 There are many types of exercises that people can perform for fitness and flexibility. Some lower back exercises include the atlas stone trainer, weight/band/chain deadlifting, child’s pose, crossover reverse lunge, dancer’s stretch, hugging the knees to the chest, hugging an exercise ball, pelvic tilt, and superman. The middle back exercises include kettlebell (and other) rows, incline bench pulls, middle back stretches and shrugs, chin-ups, and spinal stretches. For the upper back, people may wish to try shoulder presses, arm circles, back fly, shoulder shrug, elbow circles, iron cross, lateral raise, pull-ups, shoulder stretches, side wrist pull, and rowing.3
There are many other types of exercises and stretches that people can perform, no matter what their fitness level is. Each person needs to find the exercises that they are able to do, using proper posture and form, so that injuries are prevented. From planks to bird-dog, to cat camel and leg raises, to other yoga positions, such as downward-facing dog (and more), there are stretches for each person.4 Many exercises can be performed without extra equipment, and others might use barbells, free weights, straps, exercise balls, bars, or other devices. Cost and fitness level need not be an obstacle. If a person is under chiropractic care, their DC will help them find the appropriate stretches and exercises for their treatment plan. Typically prescribed exercises will include neck exercises, low back exercises, and strengthening exercise programs.5