Stretching for Pain Relief

One of the first things a personal trainer will teach you is the importance of stretching. Stretching is believed to be a critical tool for preventing injury, and has the ability to increase flexibility.

But stretching may have additional benefits as well. One such benefit is pain relief. Stretching has many positive advantages to the muscles that can assist in long term pain relief.

Stretching For Back and Neck Pain

If you struggle with back and neck pain, daily stretching can help. Stretching is a long term pain relief strategy, capable of providing less back and neck pain the longer you stretch regularly. Some of the benefits of stretching on pain relief include:

  • Improving Range of Motion – Often when some part of you feels injured, your body tends to overcompensate by leaning on other muscles, which in turn start to become overworked and harden. This eventually leads to further pain. Stretching helps make sure that the muscles stay loose, and make it easier for all of your muscles to stay mobile and active.
  • Greater Blood Flow – Blood flow is important for reducing pain and improving the healing process. It also moves oxygen throughout the body. Stretching improves blood flow throughout the body, which allows blood and oxygen to reach your muscles and speed up the healing process.
  • Endorphins – When you stretch, your body releases neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) known as “endorphins.” These brain chemicals play two roles in your body – they make you feel happy, and they reduce pain. Both of those are beneficial for those that are struggling with back and neck pain.

Stretching also simply makes it easier for you to move freely, and movement is known to reduce pain. That is why, if you suffer from back and neck pain, you do not just stretch your neck and back. You also stretch other areas of the body, like your calves and abdomen. This is because when your legs and core are loose, you’re able to have better posture and walk more often, both of which are important for improving blood flow and reducing pain.

Stretching alone is not a short term cure. Those that engage in stretching need to be prepared to commit to it, and combine it with other back and neck pain reduction strategies. But stretching is surprisingly beneficial, and because it can be completed in only a few minutes every day, it is something you should strongly consider if you’ve been suffering from chronic pain.

If you have been suffering from long term back or neck pain, contact SpineCenterAtlanta to learn about the wide range of treatment options we have to help you find relief.

Stretching Tips to Avoid Back Pain After Working Out

Stretching for Back Pain

The idea that you should stretch before working out is a myth. Known as “static stretching,” this type of exercise has not been shown to prevent injury, and can actually reduce the benefits you receive from working out by tiring the muscles before you’ve had a chance to use them.

However, stretching itself is considered highly beneficial. Stretching can improve flexibility, increase strength, and can play a role in reducing muscle soreness after exercise. You simply have to stretch after exercise, not before it.

The Value of Stretching to Avoid Back Pain

Any time you play sports or go to the gym you are putting pressure on your muscles. For those prone to back pain, exercise can cause both aching and sharp pain in your upper and lower back because of that pressure, which wears out muscles and can damage the spine. Back Pain Prevention

But stretching can help reduce back pain, especially if you stretch right after a workout. That is because stretching has many potential benefits for your back and muscles, including:

  • Resetting Muscles – When you exercise, you’re contracting your muscles and “ripping” them in a way that will heal into larger and stronger muscles in the future. But right after a workout, your muscles are often left in a tight, shortened state. Stretching the muscles brings them back to their natural position, which allows them to move freely with less discomfort.
  • Improving Circulation – Stretching after exercise may help improve circulation to your muscles and tissues, which may speed up recovery and healing while also relaxing the muscles.
  • Mindfulness of Pain – It’s not uncommon to make “accidental adjustments” to the way you sit, stand, or walk because of muscle discomfort or tight muscles. But these added adjustments can put extra pressure on your muscles and spine, increasing pain in the future. Stretching helps you notice and become more mindful of where your pain points are, and try to relax them/reset them so that your posture is not affected.

These are only some of the many benefits that stretching has on your back muscles, spine, posture, and more. Stretching after a workout is a great way to keep your body flexible, healing, and free of significant back discomfort, and should be added to any workout you undertake. If you’re interested in learning more, call SpineCenterAtlanta at 404-341-4731, today.