When it comes to low back pain, the umbrella term covers many conditions. Some of the more common ones include: sprain or strain of musculature, central and lateral stenosis of the vertebral column, herniated discs, fractures, bruises and postural inadequacies leading to such symptoms as sciatic nerve pain, dull , achy, or sharp pain.
If you’ve been in an accident please see your chiropractor to ensure there aren’t any fractures or ligamentous instability. And please discontinue stretches if they increase the pain of your main complaint.
There is a improper stretching method that has been taught to us all, and that is reaching for your toes. Any physical therapist, chiropractor or doctor of osteopathy worth his salt knows that toe reaching does not stretch the back properly, it stretches the hamstring. And though I agree that hamstring stretches are important to back tension properly doing them can take the strain away from those who already do have a back issue.
Step one: Place the leg to be stretched on ledge one foot or less from the ground with the other foot planted firmly on the ground.
Step 2: Straighten the toes of both feet to point forward
Step 3: Place hands on your hips and point the index fingers. This will give you an indication if your pelvis is pointing straight ahead. Reposition your pelvis being careful not to lose your balance.
Step4: Now for the stretch. Instead of reaching for your toes bend your body in half as if closing a book.If you place a hand on your back muscles they should be straight and relaxed. If done correctly you should not have to bend too far. I like to put my palms out as if pushing an imaginary wall. This will encourage the correct movement for the pelvis.
Hamstring stretches are effective for back tension and pain as tightness in the large muscles of the hamstring apply tension to the pelvis which in turn can place stress on the structures of the low back.