Did you know that back pain impacts 64% of all adults across the United States? If you’re one of the 65 million people who experience back pain on a regular basis, then you’re probably searching for a solution.
Some of these solutions are more invasive, like surgery. However, there are much less invasive options that are effective at reducing pain and discomfort over the long term. One of these options is increasing your flexibility.
So often, long term back, neck and shoulder pain is caused by chronically tight muscles and ligaments. When your joints and ligaments are tight and inflexible, more strain is placed on your muscle and joint movement, which can increase your chance of pain and injury. This is why an exercise and stretching routine that is specifically designed to increase flexibility is such an important part of a larger back pain treatment plan.
The more flexible you are, the less back pain you have
When you are flexible, it means you can move a joint through its entire range of motion. By ensuring your joints are flexible, you can:
- Reduce your risk of injury,
- Increase your muscle balance and function,
- Improve your posture,
- Reduce your number of back pain incidents.
Remember that flexibility decreases the older you are, so it’s important to prioritize working on your flexibility as you age.
Stretching is your best way to improve flexibility
Your body naturally loses elasticity and flexibility as you age, resulting in shorter and tighter muscles. When your muscles are short and tight, any extra movement or stretching alerts the muscle’s sensors that something is not working correctly. The body responds with pain messages, which will repeat until the system is “reset” through some method of pain relief.
Stretching is your best way to improve flexibility by allowing your muscles to have a greater range of motion, while at the same time reducing tension on lower back muscles. You will not only improve your mobility, but greatly reduce your risk of injury as a result of a fall or other accident.
How to increase flexibility through stretching
The specific stretching exercises you choose are less important than the length and frequency of the exercise. Why? Because your muscles require the repeated activity that comes with regular exercise and stretching. When you establish a regular routine, your body becomes accustomed to moving and stretching and no longer needs to signal a pain alarm at any new motion that occurs.
Consistency is the most important factor when it comes to improving your range of mobility through regular stretching exercises. By setting up a regular stretching and exercise program, you are helping your muscles operate effectively.
When you set up your regular routine, make sure to select the right type of stretching for your activity, and warm up first to prepare your muscles for use. Your joints will benefit from the stretching exercises, improving your range of motion, helping them perform better, decreasing the risk of injury and accelerating your performance. You will also increase your blood flow, giving your muscles the necessary nutrients for high performance.
Make sure to talk to your doctor if you experience any pain during exercise, and develop an appropriate plan to ensure your body can handle the level of activity and exertion.
How to improve your flexibility after an injury
After an injury, you may be tempted to resume your exercise routine right where you left off. However, it’s important to slow down, introduce new activities gradually, and give your body time to work back up to the level it was at before the injury. If you don’t, you risk causing an additional injury and extending your recovery time.
Your Chiropractor can help
Are you tired of your back pain and ready for relief? Have you experienced any of the symptoms listed in this article? Contact our office today to schedule an evaluation and find out how our doctors and specialists can help you overcome your pain.