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Stretching Exercise for Back Pain in Seniors

Stretching exercise is really important for seniors who’re suffering from back pain due to arthritis, being overweight, poor posture, and physiological stress. According to the ACA (American Chiropractic Association), treating or preventing back pain at home may be a feasible alternative in many cases.

Stretching exercise for back pain can really help to keep your spine supple and your postural muscles strong, especially as you age. Aging can cause stiff joints, pains, aches, and tightening of the muscles which can take a toll on your body, but stretching exercise can help you feel better.

Stretching Exercises for Back Pain

Various studies suggest that stretching exercise for back pain can help promote balance, improve flexibility, and even lessen stress or pain. These exercises focus on mobility and posture which can help limit your risk of injury or falling.

Following are some of the top proven easy stretching exercise for back pain in seniors:

1.) Calf Stretch

This back pain stretching exercise can be done against a wall and helps treat calf tightness.

Steps to do calf stretch:

  • Step 1: Attain a standing position with your face towards a wall and place your hands on it.
  • Step 2: Place your left leg behind you by straightening the knee and bend the knee of the right leg in front of you.
  • Step 3: Make sure that your feet and hips point straight forward and keep both of your heels down.
  • Step 4: Bend forward towards the wall until you feel a stretch in your hips and the back of the lower leg.
  • Step 5: Hold the position for 30 seconds, and repeat the entire routine by placing your right leg behind you.
  • Step 6: Repeat all the above steps three times per side.

2.) Hip Flexor

Stretching the hip flexor muscles help with spine alignment, posture, and maintaining a good running or walking stride.

Steps to do hip flexor muscles stretch:

  • hip flexorStep 1: Attain a kneeling position on the floor using both your knees. If you’re recovering from a knee injury or the floor hurts your knees, you can use a towel or a rolled-up blanket to help protect your knees.
  • Step 2: Put your left foot forward and place it flat on the floor. Your left knee should make a 90-degree angle with the floor, while your right shin is behind you on the floor.
  • Step 3: Place both hands on your left knee and slowly move your body down.
  • Step 4: To increase the stretch, move your left foot farther forward and keep on moving your body down.
  • Step 5: Uphold your body position upright by engaging your abdominal muscles. You’ll feel the stretch in your left quad, left hip, and right hamstring.
  • Step 6: Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds, take deep breaths and then switch your legs.

3.) Seated Hamstring

Doing the hamstrings stretching is simple and you can do it anywhere.

Steps to do seated hamstring stretch:

  • Step 1: Attain a sitting position on a bench or chair.
  • Step 2: Put your left leg straight in the front and place the foot on the ground.
  • Step 3: Your hips should be facing forward.
  • Step 4: Keeping your back straight, use your hips to lean forward slowly until you feel a stretch in your left leg’s back.
  • Step 5: Hold this position for 30 seconds, and repeat the entire routine three times per side.

4.) Shoulder Stretch

Shoulder StretchThis stretching exercise for back pain can be done in a seated (using a chair) or standing position.

Steps to do shoulder stretch in a seated position using a chair:

  • Step 1: Sit on the front edge of your chair and stretch your hands behind around the chair, and clasp your fingers.
  • Step 2: Using your hands as an anchor, move your upper body until you feel an intense stretch in your shoulders. You can do this stretch one side at a time if your shoulders are injured or stiff.
  • Step 3: Repeat the entire routine a few times.

5.) Chest Stretch

You can easily perform chest stretches from a standing or seated position.

Steps to do chest stretches:

  • Step 1: Attain a standing position facing a wall and place your hands on the wall approximately at your waist height.
  • Step 2: Place your feet at a distance to allow your weight go to your heels.
  • Step 3: Stretch your arms out straight by keeping your hips a little behind your feet.
  • Step 4: Hold the position for 15 seconds and then come back.
  • Step 5: Repeat the entire routine two to three times.

6.) Superman stretch

The superman stretch exercise is great for back pain and can help strengthen your lower back, glutes, and upper body.

Steps to do superman stretch:

  • Superman stretchStep 1: Lie flat on your stomach facing down on the floor and place your arms in front of you straight out. You can even use a yoga mat for extra cushioning.
  • Step 2: Simultaneously lift your legs and arms up off the floor slowly. Hold the raised position as long as you can.
  • Step 3: Slowly lower your legs and arms.
  • Step 4: Repeat the entire routine ten times.

7.) Knee and chest hugs

Steps to perform knee and chest hugs:

  •  Knee and chest hugsStep 1: Lie down on the floor on your back and bend your knees. You can even use a yoga mat for extra cushioning.
  • Step 2: Pull your knees up close to your chest by wrapping your arms around the calves. If you can’t bring your knees closer to your chest, try to pull as far as possible.
  • Step 3: Make sure to keep your head on the floor to avoid any neck strain.
  • Step 4: Return back to the original position and repeat the entire routine ten times.

8.) Cat stretch

Cat stretch is a great stretching exercise for back pain which can help maintain your lower back’s flexibility.

Steps to perform cat stretch:

  • Cat stretchStep 1: Attain a cat’s posture by keeping your knees under the hips and your hands under the shoulders.
  • Step 2: While inhaling, lift your tailbone and tilt your head back by raising your chin.
  • Step 3: Hold the position for three breaths.
  • Step 4: While exhaling, drop your chin to the chest and arch your back up just like a cat.
  • Step 5: Hold the position for three breaths.
  • Step 6: Return back to the original position.
  • Step 7: Repeat the entire routine at least five times.

9.) Bridge

The bridge is also a great stretching exercise which can help relieve lower back pain. While doing bridges, always keep your neck and head on the floor to avoid any pain and strain.

Steps to perform bridge:

  • Bridge stretchStep 1: Lie down on the floor on your back and bend your knees. You can even use a yoga mat for extra cushioning.
  • Step 2: Place your palms on the floor and raise your lower back and hips off the floor.
  • Step 3: Raise the hips as high as possible and do not lift the feet off the floor.
  • Step 4: Lower down your hips.
  • Step 5: Repeat the entire routine ten times.

You can easily perform these stretching exercises for back pain. These will help maintain your strength and won’t put your safety at risk. However, make sure to consult your physical therapist or doctor prior to performing these stretches especially if you’re suffering from back pain.

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