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It is important to know that it is the effort to do these stretches which provides relief from back pain. Tension is one of the primary sources of pain and discomfort. Stretching reduces the tension. It is the decrease in tension which brings about a reduction in discomfort. It is not necessary to fully accomplish these stretches to get relief, it is only necessary to try.

The first stretch is called the cobra pose. It is the most important of the stretches in relieving pain and, back pain in particular, and should be done daily. If you are unable to lie on the stomach, perform back bending while standing.

The second stretch twists the spine and can be seen in pictures 2, 3, and 4. It may take several months or even years of internal hip rotation to do this stretch, but the attempt will provide relief for low back and neck pain.

Picture 5 shows forward bending or spinal flexion which is good for improving neck as well as mid to low back flexibility.

Picture 6 demonstrates hip and spinal flexion reducing tension and increasing mobility of the low back and hips. Low back pain sufferers will benefit especially from performing stretches 5 and 6.

Picture 7 illustrates fully stretching the knees and ankles relieving tension in both. Be careful as the knees are susceptible to being over stretched and creating instability in the knees characterized by a “popping” sound.

Picture 8 displays external (outward) hip rotation, flexes the knees, and provides the practitioners the opportunity to manipulate the joints of the ankles, feet and toes. Applying pressure to the sore areas around the joints is invaluable in increasing mobility, circulation and reducing discomfort.

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