Brazilian Journal of Pain
Brazilian Journal of Pain
Review Article

Mechanisms of muscle stretching exercises for reduction of low back pain: narrative review

Mecanismos de exercícios de alongamento muscular para redução de dor lombar: revisão narrativa

Luís Felipe Câmara-Gomes; Almir Vieira Dibai Filho; Renata Rodrigues Diniz; Poliane Dutra Alvares; Christiano Eduardo Veneroso; Christian Emmanuel Torres Cabido

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BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Stretching exercises are present in physical training and muscle rehabilitation programs. Within the context of rehabilitation of patients with low back pain (lombalgy), there is still a gap about the mechanisms that these exercises should reduce pain and disability in these patients. The aim of this study was to investigate what are the possible mechanisms through which muscle stretching exercise could reduce pain in individuals with chronic low back pain.

CONTENTS: Pain in the lumbar region is one of the most disabling pains when it comes to limitations for daily functions, so it’s necessary to investigate alternatives that provide relief for these patients. As the cause of non-specific chronic low back pain is multifactorial, the treatment of the pathology occurs mainly to reduce the sensation of pain. As an alternative, the flexibility training through stretching exercises can be efficient because they generate biomechanical and sensory changes, which would result in an analgesic effect. Additionally, it’s still possible that these two effects occur together to explain the reduction in low back pain after performing stretching exercises.

CONCLUSION: There is theoretical basis in the literature to support the performance of stretching exercises as a non-pharmacological strategy for the treatment of chronic low back pain. Biomechanical and neurophysiological mechanisms can be pointed out to explain these benefits.


Low back pain, Muscle stretching exercises, Pain


JUSTIFICATIVA E OBJETIVOS: Exercícios de alongamento estão presentes em programas de treinamento físico e reabilitação muscular. Dentro do contexto da reabilitação de indivíduos com dor na região lombar (lombalgia), ainda existe uma lacuna sobre os mecanismos pelos quais esses exercícios reduzem dor e incapacidade nesses pacientes. O objetivo deste estudo foi descrever os possíveis mecanismos pelos quais o exercício de alongamento pode reduzir dor em indivíduos com lombalgia crônica.

CONTEÚDO: A dor na região lombar é uma das dores mais incapacitantes quando se trata de limitações para as funções no cotidiano. Por isso, é necessário investigar alternativas que possam proporcionar o seu alívio nesses pacientes. Considerando que a causa da lombalgia crônica não específica é multifatorial, o tratamento desta doença ocorre principalmente na tentativa de reduzir a sensação dolorosa. Como alternativa, o treinamento da flexibilidade por meio de exercícios de alongamento pode agir reduzindo a dor lombar por gerarem alterações biomecânicas e sensoriais que resultam em efeito analgésico. Adicionalmente, ainda é possível que esses dois efeitos possam atuar em conjunto para explicar a redução da dor lombar após a realização de exercícios de alongamento.

CONCLUSÃO: Existe suporte teórico na literatura para sustentar a realização dos exercícios de alongamento como estratégia não farmacológica para o tratamento da dor lombar crônica. Mecanismos biomecânicos e neurofisiológicos poderiam ser apontados para explicar tais benefícios.


Dor, Dor lombar, Exercícios de alongamento muscular


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