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How Do I Increase Back Flexibility?

Increased flexibility can help ease and prevent back pain.
Some people gain flexibility by learning yoga.
Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can increase back flexibility.
Performing a regular regimen of stretching exercises can help relieve stiffness and soreness.
Article Details
  • Written By: Ron Marr
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 December 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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There is neither a magic bullet nor a miracle drug that will resolve the pain of an aching back; exercise is the only certain method of increasing back flexibility. Performing a regular and consistent regimen of stretching exercises can help relieve, if not totally eliminate, stiffness and soreness. Such workouts not only lead to greater back flexibility, they can also lead to better posture and improved circulation.

Low-impact exercises, those that do not lead to strains or injury, are some of the preferred methods of improving back flexibility. Walking on flat, smooth surfaces, as well as swimming, are both excellent choices. Routines that strengthen the abdominal muscles further help with back flexibility, as does a mild workout that builds up muscles in the hips, thighs, and upper legs.

Though exercise is the most effective approach in the quest for back flexibility, lifestyle changes are also vitally important. Smoking can actually lead to back problems, as the habit depletes oxygen levels in muscle tissue. Lowered oxygen levels inhibit healing, with the result being that minor back injuries may be compounded over time. Overweight individuals are also prone to maladies of the back, and losing a few inches and pounds can often work wonders in achieving a more flexible back.

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It has often been hypothesized that modern work habits and patterns have led to an accelerated levels of back pain within the general population. Ergonomics at the workplace are of vital importance, and one’s office chair should feature ample lumbar support, appropriately placed armrests, and a base that swivels. Chairs should also be height adjustable, so that one’s arms are neither too high nor to low in relation to the top of a desk and a computer keyboard.

For most people, a certain degree of back flexibility will be lost simply due to the effects of the aging process. Cartilage between spinal vertebra thins or wears out, arthritis sets in, and long-forgotten bone and joint injuries from one’s youth may lead to a variety of structural problems. Still, these nearly inevitable gifts of the calendar can be minimized if one eschews a sedentary lifestyle and attempts to provide muscles and tendons with at least a modicum of use.

No matter one’s age, back flexibility can be achieved to a greater or lesser degree via movement, a healthy lifestyle, and a bit of common sense. Before engaging in any exercise routine, one should first consult with a physician. Simply heading to the closest gym and taking part in strenuous routines can sometimes hurt more than help, and doctors will usually advise that a person start any attempts at back rehabilitation with slow and easy movements.

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