Here at Austin’s TexStar Chiropractic, we educate all our patients on the importance of building a strong core for long term back pain prevention. In fact, we think this is such an important part of good spine health that we created this nine-part video series of basic low back strength and stretching exercises that you can do at home, at the gym, the park, or wherever you can dedicate 15 minutes to wellness. This blog post offers the first of our nine Low Back Core Exercises.
Today exercise is a mobility exercise called the Cat Cow and the goal of this one is to get your spine moving through its full range of motion. This exercise stretches the muscles and ligaments that help to stabilize your spinal joints.
Before Kyle demonstrates this exercise for you let’s review some of the benefits you will enjoy by adding stretching to your home exercise routine.
Stretching can improve posture.
Tight muscles can cause poor posture. Specifically, the muscles of the chest, back (both lower and upper), and hips can cause poor posture if they are tight. Many of us spend at least a portion of our day sitting at a computer or looking at a phone or tablet. The position that is typical with these activities (rounded shoulders and forward head) is a position of poor posture. We can improve on this by stretching the pectoralis, upper trapezius, and hamstring muscles, to name a few.
Stretching can improve range of motion and prevent loss of range of motion.
As we age, our joints lose range of motion. We can counteract this by stretching regularly. Even if range of motion in some joints is limited, stretching can help to improve this.
Stretching can decrease back pain.
This goes hand in hand with improving posture. If we have poor posture in the upper back, the lower back compensates and often develops pain. Also, if we have tight hamstrings or hip flexors, the lower back compensates and can develop pain. Stretching the leg muscles and the muscles of the upper back, neck and spine are a great way to decrease back pain.
Stretching can decrease muscle soreness.
If you have soreness in a muscle or muscle group from a recent workout or from a muscle strain, stretching can help relieve some of this discomfort. Many times, when we are injured, the muscles around the injury site tighten up as a protective response. The problem is that sometimes they don’t loosen on their own after the injury has healed. By stretching these tight muscles out, pain and soreness from old injuries can be greatly improved.
Remember if you are suffering from low back pain and home treatment isn’t getting you the results you want then click here to schedule a free consultation with one of our doctors to see if we can help you reach your goals.
OK, so now on to the first of our nine-part stretching blog post series starting with The Cat Cow.
Important Disclaimer: If any of the exercises that we are presenting cause numbness, tingling, pain, or discomfort, stop immediately. Consult with a health care professional before resuming any of these stretch therapies.
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