Why stretching when you have low back pain can cause more harm. 

Low back pain is the number one concern people have in my chiropractic practice. Low back pain affects 84% of Canadians at least once. 50% of the time, pain is a recurrent issue. As a result, people often ask how they can stretch to help their low back pain. Unfortunately, although stretching is sometimes indicated, it can often cause more harm than good. 


Stretching in which you are bending forward can aggravate underlying injuries or conditions that are causing the pain in the first place. In addition, if done incorrectly or excessively, stretching can irritate the joints, muscles and soft tissues that are already inflamed and agitated. 


Some stretches, such as forward folds or deep backbends, can also place undue pressure on the lumbar spine, resulting in further damage or injury. Furthermore, stretching may also be ineffective in relieving low back pain if the root cause of the pain is not addressed. If you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, it is imperative not to go too deep into a forward bend.


Exercise can significantly, positively, affect your ability to heal from low back pain. Coupled with regular chiropractic adjustments, exercise can help you regain a pain-free life more quickly. 

I recommend two exercises to most people struggling with low back pain. These are the bird-dog and a cobra. 


In the cobra pose, you will lie on your stomach with your palms on the ground near your shoulders. Next, press your hands and lift your head and chest off the floor while keeping your elbows close to your body. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, and then release.


For bird-dog start on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. First, engage your core muscles by pulling your belly button towards your spine. Next, lift your right arm and left leg simultaneously until they align with your body. Hold briefly, then lower your arm and leg back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.

Alternate sides for 10 to 15 reps, keeping your movements slow and controlled.


If you are struggling with pain in your low back and hips, it is essential to talk to your chiropractor. They will complete a full examination to assess what is causing the pain and help you create a plan to manage it. 


At Longevity Chiropractic, we have a three-step plan for our patients to empower them and help them heal from their pain. First, we will identify the cause of YOUR pain. Each of us is individual and back pain is often multi-faceted. In step two, we will outline a specific plan with chiropractic adjustment, lifestyle consideration and spinal stability exercises to help you heal quickly. Finally, we will reassess our progress every step of the day to ensure we meet your expectations as your healthcare provider and that you are progressing as expected. Please reach out if you are struggling to manage your low back pain and are looking for a plan to get back on track. 


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