An effective stretching routine for tight hips and low back pain (video)
What Is A Stretching Routine For Tight Hip Or Lower Back Pain?
A stretching routine is a regular exercise program designed to improve flexibility and range of motion in your muscles. There are many different types of stretching routines available: static, dynamic, ballistic, plyometric, yoga, Pilates…etc. You will find a variety of exercises which can be used for various purposes.
The purpose of a stretching routine is to increase the range of movement in your muscles. If you have ever tried to do some simple stretches, you would probably notice that they don’t really work very well if at all! They just make things worse instead of better.
So what’s wrong with them?
Well, it is because they aren’t done correctly. Properly performed stretches are beneficial not only for your body but also for your mind and spirit.
There are several reasons why proper stretching routines may be helpful in preventing injury:
Stretches strengthen the connective tissues of the muscles and tendons. These tissues allow you to move better when stretched out properly. Stretching helps prevent injuries such as strains, tears, sprains, pulls and bruises.
When you stretch, the muscles are able to go through a fuller range of motion. This prevents injuries like strains and tears since your muscles can do their job better without being excessively strained or torn.
The tenser the muscle is, the less force it can produce. By stretching, you prevent your muscles from being excessively tense hence allowing them to produce more force when they contract. This helps to prevent injuries caused by muscle pulls and tears.
When you contract a muscle, the nerves that are near it also get tensed up. This can cause pain. Stretching helps prevent this by relaxing the nerves and allowing them to do their job of sending messages back and forth from the brain to the muscles unimpeded.
Many of us lead such fast-paced lives that our minds and bodies never get a chance to “shut-off.” By doing some stretches, you give your mind and body a chance to relax. This helps to reduce tension and can improve your overall well-being.
You may notice that some stretching exercises resemble some of the movements in yoga. There are two main reasons for this:
Our modern “civilized” bodies have become so inactive that yoga-type stretching exercises often prove inadequate to keep our muscles and joints limber. We need more vigorous stretching exercises to meet our current physical needs. Many of the stretching exercises used in yoga are also beneficial for non-yogis.
So it makes sense to incorporate some of them into your stretching routine.
Benefits Of A Stretching Routine
Stretching provides many benefits:
Increased flexibility and range of motion in your muscles, joints and tendons.
Prevention of injuries such as strains, sprains and tears caused by overstretching.
Increased muscle strength and endurance. This helps prevent muscular injuries such as pulls and tears.
Relaxation of your muscles, joints and tendons.
Less tenseness which can prevent muscular injury.
Relaxation of mind and spirit.
Better breathing. Better oxygenation of blood and cellular nutrients to your vital organs. More efficient elimination of carbon dioxide and waste by-products.
Yoga vs. Stretching
You may be wondering why you need to do some stretching if you do yoga. As wonderful as yoga is, it doesn’t include a thorough stretching routine. It focuses more on the spiritual and meditative aspects of the mind and body.
Since proper stretching can help prevent injuries, it’s a good idea to include some in your routine.
Sources & references used in this article:
Does it matter which exercise?: A randomized control trial of exercise for low back pain by A Long, R Donelson, T Fung – Spine, 2004 – journals.lww.com
Passive versus active stretching of hip flexor muscles in subjects with limited hip extension: a randomized clinical trial by MV Winters, CG Blake, JS Trost… – Physical …, 2004 – academic.oup.com
Effect of low back pain on the kinematics and joint coordination of the lumbar spine and hip during sit-to-stand and stand-to-sit by GLK Shum, J Crosbie, RYW Lee – Spine, 2005 – cdn.journals.lww.com
A randomized trial of combined manipulation, stabilizing exercises, and physician consultation compared to physician consultation alone for chronic low back pain by L Niemistö, T Lahtinen-Suopanki, P Rissanen… – Spine, 2003 – journals.lww.com
Comparing yoga, exercise, and a self-care book for chronic low back pain: a randomized, controlled trial by KJ Sherman, DC Cherkin, J Erro… – Annals of internal …, 2005 – acpjournals.org
Effectiveness of a stretching exercise program on low back pain and exercise self-efficacy among nurses in Taiwan: a randomized clinical trial by HM Chen, HH Wang, CH Chen, HM Hu – Pain Management Nursing, 2014 – Elsevier