One of the most common questions patients ask chiropractors is “should I be stretching?”
The answer is a great, big YES!
And while we typically recommend specific stretches to patients based on their needs, there are four general stretches for your spinal health. The best part? These four stretches are easy and safe for almost everyone.
To begin, make sure you stretch after your daily exercises or directly following your warm-up. You want your musculature to be well perfused with lots of great blood flow before stretching.
Once your blood is pumping, complete these exercises to give your spine more mobility and prevent or alleviate potential back pain.
Seated Figure Four
With any new exercise and stretching routine, start slowly with a low number of sets and repetitions.
A good example of a stretching routine may look like this:
- Week 1: 1 set of 5-10 repetitions for each stretch, 3x per week
- Week 2: 2 sets of 5-10 repetitions for each stretch, 3x per week
- Week 3: 3 sets of 5-10 repetitions for each stretch, 3x per week
- *Maximum Set* 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each stretch, 3x per week
The best course for stretching specific to your body is to consult your chiropractor or physical therapist for a tailored approach that is you-centered.
Because we all have varying abilities and activity levels, the most important advice I can give is to listen to your body (and drink lots of water).
Consult your chiropractic physician, physical therapist, or provider about these specific stretches to see if they are appropriate for you. The above is not intended as medical advice.