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Stretches to ease backaches and fatigue

The following exercises should cause you to feel a gentle stretch, but no pain.

Overhead stretch

 
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slide 1 of 4, Overhead stretch,
  1. Stand comfortably with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Looking straight ahead, raise both arms over your head and reach toward the ceiling. Do not allow your head to tilt back.
  3. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, then lower your arms to your sides.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Side stretch

 
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slide 2 of 4, Side stretch,
  1. Stand comfortably with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Raise one arm over your head, then lean to the other side. Slide your hand down your leg as you allow the weight of your arm to gently stretch your side muscles.
  3. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times to each side.

Press-up back extensions

 
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slide 3 of 4, Press-up back extensions,
  1. Lie on your stomach, with your face down. Keep your elbows tucked into your sides under your shoulders.
  2. Press your elbows down into the floor to raise your upper back. As you do this, relax your stomach muscles and allow your back to arch without using your back muscles. Let your low back relax completely as you arch up. Don't let your hips or pelvis come off the floor.
  3. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Then relax, and return to the start position.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Relax and rest

 
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slide 4 of 4, Relax and rest,
  1. Lie on your back with a rolled towel under your neck and a pillow under your knees. Extend your arms comfortably to your sides.
  2. Relax and breathe normally.
  3. Remain in this position for about 10 minutes.
  4. If you can, do this 2 or 3 times each day.

Current as ofJune 26, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Joan Rigg PT, OCS - Physical Therapy
Steven J. Atlas MD, MPH - Internal Medicine


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