What is the best way to stretch my back

by Daphne
(London)

I often feel like I need to stretch my back out, what is the safest way to do this and how often?

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Jan 14, 2013
The safest way to stretch my back and for how long
by: Sarah says

Feeling you want to stretch is usually Nature's way of telling you exactly what needs to be done. The most common reason for stretching the spine is to 'reflate' the intervertebral discs (the fibro-elastic shock absorbers between the vertebrae) with fluid. After periods of activity, especially while sitting, the spine settles down upon itself as the muscles around it relax and the discs (particularly at the bottom of the back) bleed dry of fluid. Like a bird ruffling its feathers to allow the air to circulate, occasionally the spine needs to stretch itself free to help the discs puff themselves up again. When the back feels brittle and non-compliant and we have the sense of yearning to pull free to make it loose again, the pulling apart of the stretch sucks fluid in which primes the bottom of the spine and arms it better to ride out shock. It's a totally automatic and subconscious instinct.
The easiest way of stretching the spine is touching your toes or squatting at frequent intervals throughout the day. This pulls apart at the back of the spinal segments and drags fluids in. Just as important is lying backwards draped over a BackBlock positioned under the sacrum (the hard\flat bone at the base of the spine). Remaining in this position - which incidentally is the classic anti-sitting posture - for one minute, pulls apart the front of the spinal segments. It also realigns the spine and helps stretch the powerful flexor muscles at the front of the hips. Please note you should always follow this procedure by rocking your knees to your chest and doing 12-15 curl ups with the knees bent, feet secured.
See the BackBlock and how to use it on www.sarahkeyphysiotherapy.com

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