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Stretching w/ Traction Bench recommended?

Luis's picture
Last seen:
13 years 11 months ago
12/22/2009 - 1:34pm
Stretching w/ Traction Bench recommended?
Dear Esther,

I am a swimmer, overall excelent health, only have some muscle / back pain due to bad posture with my laptop at work

I recently bought a bench to stretch my back (see attached).

it feels good when i use this bench, but a friend thinks that although this bench stretches the back, he is not sure if it is a good idea, because it bends the back backwards, and might add pressure between the vertebraes

I think it bends the back only slightly backwards and the benefits of the decompression on one side outweighs any minor compression on the other

I would greatly appreciate your opinion, at least to know if I this not recommended at all and I should stop immediately or just the usual common sense recommendation, do with moderation, following the instructions..etc

thank you!
Last seen:
11 min 28 sec ago
09/10/2008 - 8:36pm
I'm not a fan of this type of stretcher. I prefer people lie on a bolster with just the bottom hanging over the edge. If your discs are in good shape, the curvature in this bench is small enough it shouldn't hurt you, but it isn't particularly helping you either. You want to train yourself to curve back at L5-S1, not just wherever gives nor equally throughout the spine.

If it's a stretch you are looking for, focus on stretches that lengthen you back and front, like hanging from a bar, or lying on an inversion table, or just stretchsitting and stretchlying. That way you get benefit without any downside.
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