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Three Daily Stretches for Your Back

For mid to low back pain, give these stretches a try. You may find it helpful to do them multiple times throughout the day. If you feel any of these movements are difficult due to tension, reduce the range or do a modification if you know a modification. It is also good to note the areas of tension and mention them to your massage therapist at your next session. A skilled therapist will be able utilize various techniques such as active and passive stretching to help reduce the tension. If you experience pain with any of these stretches, discuss this with your physician before continuing.

Knee drop. Lie on your back (supine) with your knees bent, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Keep both shoulders relaxed by imagining that your collar bones are widening. From here, let your knees drop to one side only as far as they will go comfortably. Relax there for a few seconds then bring them up again. Repeat on the other side. Alternate sides 3-5 times each. If your head and neck are uncomfortable being flat against the floor you can add a small pillow or even turn your head in the opposite direction to the knee drop to add in neck rotation.

Side bend. Stand with your feet parallel and about fist width apart. Lift your left arm up to the ceiling and bring it as close as possible to your ear. From here, side bend over to the right side letting your right arm hang heavy as you reach down your right leg. Think over and out to the side with your arm. This will prevent you from collapsing at the waist and pushing your left hip out. Gently straighten up to neutral position. Repeat 3 times, then repeat the sequence to the other side 3 times.

Knee lift. Lie down supine on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Make sure your sacrum is anchored to the floor. Bring your right knee in towards the chest. Hold the stretch for 5 seconds. Return your foot to the floor and switch legs. Repeat 3-5 times.

If you cannot lie down on the floor, try sitting up in a chair. Sit in a chair with your back straight and your low abs engaged. Pull your right knee toward your chest and hold for 5 seconds. Release. Repeat the exercise 3-5 times with each leg.

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