Let’s mount a lat comeback: Back stretches can ease pain

Things coming to an end aren’t always happy experiences, unless the thing ending is back pain.

In this final column of a three-part series on back pain, massage therapist Brigitte Papp shares some useful pointers that may help ease back pain. If you missed the first two columns, you can find them at www.lvrj.com/trainer.

To review the most recent column, tight pectoral muscles can lead to bad posture by rounding the shoulders forward. Back and neck pain can follow. A forward head is the postural malalignment of the neck that moves the head from its neutral position. Upper back pain can result from overstretched back muscles pulled by the dominant muscles in the front of the body.

Common causes for chest dominance are uneven upper body workouts, desk jobs and slouching. Stress and depression often cause people to slouch, which can exacerbate muscular dominance.

The strategy to create muscle balance out of muscle imbalance is to strengthen the weak side and relax the tight side. Pecs are often tight and can be relaxed with a few stretches at home.

Picking up from those points made last week, the latissimus dorsi (lats) also can contribute to these issues. The lats are a pretty amazing muscle. They have origination points most of the way up the back. Starting at the iliac crest of the pelvis there are insertion points in ribs 9-12 and up into the spinous process of T7-T12. With all of these origin points the lats culminate in one attachment site on the upper arm.

Because of this attachment site on the arm, shortened and tightened lats can pull the shoulders into a forward and rounded position similar to that caused by tight pectorals. This also shortens the pectorals and stretches the muscles of the upper back including the rhomboids and trapezius. The tightness in the front of the body can lead to pain in the upper back.

Today’s stretches include one for the lats and a unique stretch for the chest. The lat stretch is just that, a stretch with a two-second hold. It can make a world of difference in your quest for muscle balance.

The pectoral stretch is a proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, or PNF, stretch. This type of stretch uses physics. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Applied to stretching: The tension of a muscle will result in an equal relaxation of that same muscle. In the door pec stretch, you press against a doorframe for 10 seconds and then observe an increased range of motion upon the release. It’s kind of amazing to add 15 degrees to your range of motion in a few minutes.

If your back pain is caused by muscle imbalances, these stretches should help. If your pain doesn’t decrease, you may have a different issue. See your favorite massage therapist to better understand how everyday activity contributes to your muscle balance.

Check out the videos online for a more thorough walk-through of the stretches.

Brigitte Papp is a massage therapist specializing in orthopedic massage in Las Vegas. She can be contacted at www.oasismedicalmassage.net. Chris Huth is a Las Vegas trainer. He can be reached at 702trainer@gmail.com. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

Kids become firefighters at Fire Station 98 open house
Henderson residents wore fire hats, learned about CPR and met firefighters at the Fire Station 98 open house Saturday, August 11, 2018. (Marcus Villagran Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
People from all over the world attend RollerCon 2018
RollerCon 2018 is a five-day convention focused on the roller derby community and culture at Westgate in Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Las Vegas police officer on being PETA's Sexiest Vegan Next Door
Las Vegas police officer David Anthony talks vegan lifestyle and how he feels about being voted PETA's sexiest Vegan next door from his home on Monday, July 9, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Bark-Andre Furry meets Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog
Two of NHL's furriest fans met at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace on Tuesday, June 18, 2018, in Las Vegas. Vegas Golden Knights superfan Bark-Andre Furry and Washington Capitals superfan Ovie the Bulldog shared a plate of meatballs and spaghetti with help from Logan, "The Girl with the Hat." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like