Previously, I explained how a Backbridge could help you relieve pain caused not only by forward hunching, but also aging, exercise (like sit-ups), and daily life stressors. You may see your chiropractor or physical therapist a few times a month. For a fraction of the time and cost of a chiropractor or physical therapist visit, you can use the Backbridge to get back pain relief at home, increase flexibility, and sustain back health. I believe it is important to complement treatment from medical practitioners with regular and routine stretching to help reduce soreness and tightness, and increase flexibility.
The Benefits of Improved Flexibility
I have seen many patients and athletes who have more than adequate strength and aerobic function, but who are severely lacking in flexibility. Flexibility affects your ability to bend and move.
To be truly healthy and fit, you need to have a balance of 3 factors: endurance, strength, and flexibility. The benefits of improved flexibility are many, including the following:
- Better posture – Stretching leads to better flexibility, which means you will have less forward hunch and less back pain.
- Improved coordination prevents injury – Better balance and coordination means fewer falls, and hopefully, fewer traumatic structural injuries!
- Improved blood circulation – Stretching and flexibility helps relax your muscles, allowing circulation to improve. Better circulation leads to increased oxygen delivery, reduction in cramping, and increased capacity for performance.
5 Stretches For At-Home Back Treatment and Flexibility
If you are incorporating the Backbridge as part of your at-home back treatment, it has 5 stackable levels to do different stretches and adjusts to your own level of flexibility. When I invented the device, I wanted to help people safely reclaim and sustain their back health. And, the stackable levels can help you prevent injuries and discomfort from over-stretching. Listed below are some recommended stretches that you can do in a few minutes a day to improve your flexibility and get back pain relief at home –
- Backbridge extension - Lie back so that the highest point of the Backbridge is between your shoulder blades and your head touches the floor. Rest your arms on the floor behind your head and hold this stretch for 2 minutes. After a few weeks, slowly progress to the next level (2-5).
- Spinal stretch – Lie on your back and place the Backbridge under your knees. Reach your arms behind you on the floor to lengthen the spine.
- Side lying stretch – Lie on your side and stretch over the Backbridge. The highest point of the Backbridge should be at your rib cage. With your bottom hand, grab the wrist of your top hand and extend your arms overhead along the ground. As you progress, add more of the stackable levels.
- Cobra – Lying face down over the Backbridge, place your hands in front of you and do half a push-up so that your upper torso is elevated but your pelvis still has contact with the device. Raise your eyes to the ceiling and hold for a count of five, and then slowly lower yourself down and repeat. This stretch really works your lumbar extenders and lower back, while stretching and lengthening the core.
- Knees to Chest – Sit on the highest point of the Backbridge and lay down. Wrap your hands around your knees and gently pull your knees to your chest, while reaching and lengthening your tailbone down toward the Backbridge and hold for a few seconds. If you have trouble wrapping your hands around your knees you can place them behind your thighs. The higher the level you use in this posture, the more intense the stretch.
A gradual stretching and flexibility program can help to improve posture, prevent some injuries, and enhance performance. With 3 weeks of stretching and sticking to it, you can avoid future pain and improve posture. To maximize the benefits of stretching your back, and promote and sustain a healthy spine, you should move slowly, stretch often, and breathe! Ease into each stretch to reduce the risk of over-stretching and subsequent injury. I recommend that Backbridge’s 75,000+ users incorporate the Backbridge extension twice a day for at least 2 mins. If you have more time, you can do more, but don’t over-do-it. And yes, breathe! It allows you to let go of the stress and achieve a better stretch.