I often get asked about back stretches – which are the best to do? What back stretches actually work to get more mobility into the spine? Alongside Osteopathy treatment I often recommend people to do specific exercises or stretches that are going to help get them out of pain as quickly as possible. I have decided to try and put together a collection of my top exercises which will all be available on my youtube channel so if you are feeling a bit stiff and sore then you have a reference guide for some great exercises to help loosen you up. Even better try and incorporate these into your daily routine so that you are doing them every day.
The first back exercise that I recommend works on trying to improve the flexion and extension in the spine. Often when people have been spending long periods of time sitting down they spend a lot of time with their spine in a flexed position. Having a flexed (or slouched) position in the spine is not a bad thing – what is important is not to spend too much time in any one position. Any position that you adopt for too long is going to have an impact on your back itself.
The next back stretch that I commonly recommend helps to improve the rotation through the spine. This is a movement that we don’t do very often and is the most common movement that appears to trigger pain in the back. People rarely twist their spines through its full range of motion, so this exercise is designed to do just that, as well as improving the coordination between pelvis, thorax and skull.
Along side flexion/extension and rotation the other movement the spine has to do is sidebending. Here is one of my top back stretches for improving sidebending in your spine.
And finally – here is a perfect exercise that incorporates all of the movements of the spine. This back stretch works around a clock face to make sure that you access every movement through the spine. This is one of my favourite exercises and one that I would definitely recommend you doing on a daily basis.