There are 33 interlocking bones in the spine known as vertebrae that hold the spinal cord, and each vertebra is separated by a disc that serves as a cushion between the bones. Structures like these enable us to bend, reach, walk, dance, and live a full and active life.
As soon as we experience back pain, whether it is caused by a muscle pull or prolonged sitting in front of a computer, we realize how much our backs depend on us.
"In order to take care of your back and strengthen your core muscles, you should take an active role," explains Nick Shamie, M.D., professor of orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery at UCLA School of Medicine, and professor and chief of spine surgery at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.
Yoga, stretching, and exercise can help, especially when the back stretcher is used. A back stretcher can provide temporary but welcome relief when we experience mild back pain.
What Is a Back Stretcher?
Usually made of wood or plastic, a floor back stretcher is used to treat injured bodies. The rounded portion is up and rests flat on the floor, weighing just a few pounds. Laying on your back, face up, you place the area of your back you want to stretch over the bend of the stretcher. You should feel a gentle stretch in your back as you lie on the curve.
Health Benefits of a Back Stretcher
A back stretcher may not be the best tool for reducing back pain, but there is plenty of evidence suggesting that stretching can help. You can use a back stretcher to help with your stretching routine when used properly.
According to a study of Taiwanese nurses who work on their feet most of the day, stretching regularly improved their back pain. Furthermore, according to a 2016 study published in the journal Healthcare, stretching exercises can increase the range of motion for the spine, which makes it easier to perform daily activities.
Equipment can be used to stretch back muscles to alleviate back pain. Researchers found that becoming more active and performing exercises with minimal equipment, like rolling a ball on the floor over the lower back, can successfully relieve lower back pain. Besides a ball, a back stretcher can also provide relief since it covers a larger part of the back.
Who Should Use a Back Stretcher?
A back stretcher may relieve discomfort or pain in people with low-grade, chronic pain who do not need surgery, according to their doctors. The pain may only last a few weeks-it's just bothering them, which is the case for many of us," Dr. Shamie explains, adding that a thick, rolled-up blanket or yoga mat can work the same way as a back stretcher.
Back pain affects nearly everyone at some point, says Dr. Shamie.Low back pain affects over 90% of persons at some point during their lives." He adds that if it isn't caused by an accident, moving a big object, or illness, it usually goes away on its own.
However, if the pain persists or you are unable to pinpoint the source, you should seek medical advice before attempting to cure it yourself. "Unless you know why you're in pain, the treatment you choose could be ineffective or even detrimental," says Dr. Shamie.