Nobody is immune to back pain. Or back pain relief, for that matter.
Our bodies go through a lot of stress even as it supports us through all our daily activities. The last thing we need is back pain caused by the wrong moves. Did you know that not following the right way to life, bend or get out of bed can result in additional stress that ends up in back pain? Because our leg muscles happen to be stronger than our back muscles, why not make good use of them to keep our spines healthy?
Make note of these specific back pain relief tips
- If you sit on the floor a lot (if you don’t you should!) practice the right way to get up from the floor. Rather than jumping up and inviting a sprained muscle, roll to your side and use your hands to come to an upright position. Then, using the kneeling position, place one foot forward on the floor. Place your hands on the forward knee. Now use your legs and arms to bring yourself to a standing position. While this sounds complicated, when you practice, it will become second nature. And the right way to get up from the floor!
- While getting out of bed, always roll to your side first. Then, use your hands to become upright. Swing your legs over the side of your bed and sit up. Now use your arms and legs to stand up. Never pull yourself straight up from bed as this can strain your abdominal muscles.
- Who doesn’t do laundry? Most of us do and while at it, always squat or kneel when you empty or load the dryer, rather than twist back and forth between the machine and your laundry basket. When you fold clothes, either sit with the clothes in front of you or have them easily accessible on a surface so you can stand up straight.
So maybe all this sounds like common sense, but it is very easy to make mistakes as we rush through our day. Even if it doesn’t hurt now, you are probably setting the stage for future damage.
Some stretches and exercises for back pain relief
The full stretch
Whenever you feel that lower back pain coming on, get something stable to hold on to and do this exercise, which focuses on that muscle mass extending from your neck to the small of your back. It lengthens the back muscles and relieves lower back tension.
Stand with your feet apart. Keep your knees relaxed. Holding on to a solid stable support, bend your knees and curve your back as you tuck your chin into your chest and your pelvis. You’ll feel the stretch all along your spine. Hold the position for a few seconds. Repeat.
For the lower back
This focuses on your lower back and butt muscles (glutes) and helps lengthen the tight lower back muscles and improve your posture.
Lie on your back. Bend both knees with feet flat on the floor, a foot apart. Pull your right knee toward your chest. Loop a towel around your right foot. With foot flexed, bring knee up toward the right shoulder, pulling gently with the towel. Stay that way to a count of three and release. Repeat with left leg.
(If you are pregnant, do it only during the first trimester)
The upper back crunch
This helps relieve upper back pain.
Seated on the edge of a chair with feet flat on the floor comfortably apart, keep your back straight and abs pulled in. Now extend your arms out to your side at shoulder level, palms facing backward. Now move your arms back slowly, as if you want to squeeze those shoulder blades together. Repeat.
(If you are pregnant, this is good for your second trimester as you can do it sitting)
Remember that posture plays a key role in preventing and eliminating back pain.
P.S.: If you happen to be pregnant, all the more reason to follow these precautions – why stress yourself out with managing back pain when you can enjoy this glorious journey into motherhood? In fact, pregnancy can be really tough on the joints and muscles as your body is working harder. Back ache is common during this time. Stretching and exercising regularly can minimize the back pain by making you more flexible, stronger and improving muscle tone.
It goes without saying that if you suffer from any health condition, you must first consult your doctor before you attempt any exercise for back pain relief.