Back pain can be really bothersome and if not treated might lead to long term problems. Sitting in your office chair and choosing the wrong mattress are some of the most common causes of back discomfort. Others might be injuries, arthritis, pregnancy, and even stress and smoking are considered risk factors. Fortunately, there are many remedies that one can follow and if practiced on a regular basis they can help to ease and even treat this annoying pain.
At Bright Side, we did some research and selected a set of exercises that will strengthen your torso, build up your muscles, and stop back pain from interfering in your daily life once and for all.
1. Practice the cobra pose.
Cobra pose is a backbend that helps to relieve lower back pain, strengthen the upper back, and stretch the muscles between the ribs.
Just lie on your belly, keep your legs straight back slightly apart, and come onto your forearms keeping your shoulders down and your hands parallel. Press your palms down to lift your chest up. Take several breaths in this position, then lie down. Repeat 10 times.
2. Try the knee-to-chest exercise.
The knee-to-chest exercise is used in many forms of practice, but most notably in yoga. This position stretches the back muscles, hips, and lower back.
Lie back, bend both knees or one leg at a time, and then gently pull your bent knee or knees toward your trunk, using your hands. Hold for a few seconds, relax your back and legs on the floor, and repeat 10 to 15 times.
3. Get into downward facing dog position.
Downward facing dog is a great position not only for relaxation of the whole body, but mostly for decompressing the entire spine, stretching the hamstring muscles, and easing lower back pain.
With hands fixed on the floor create a pyramid with your body. Keep your shoulder blades pressed down in order to give the upper back the stability it needs to stretch and strengthen all the back muscles. For a modified version, and to feel more comfortable in this position, it is suggested that you keep the knees bent at first until you progressively work your way into the final pose with straight legs.
4. Alternate lifting your legs while lying on your belly.
The alternate leg lifting exercise in the prone position is a great way to strengthen your back muscles, hamstrings, and hips as you feel the pain going away.
Lying on your stomach with your legs open slightly, use your arms to support your head, or if you feel comfortable simultaneously extend one leg and reach forward with the opposite hand. Inhale, alternately lift each leg, and hold a few seconds. Lower on the exhale. Repeat 10 times. Physicians suggest using a pillow under your pelvis to feel more comfortable.
5. Rest in child’s pose.
Child’s pose is a very easy yoga pose to perform to achieve relaxation of the whole body. It stretches and strengthens the abdominal muscles, the back muscles, and it helps with flexibility, stress relief, and eases back pain.
Sit on your knees and drop your torso forward. You can either extend your arms in front or roll them by your side to provide better support and comfort for your shoulders. You can also use a folded towel or a pillow between your thighs and lower legs to lessen the tension in that area and feel more comfortable.
6. Twist your spine with a supine twist.
This is a really helpful stretching exercise that relaxes the muscle tension on the upper and lower back by twisting your spine.
Lie on your back, open your arms straight on both sides, bend both knees, and roll them slowly to one side. Stay in this position for a few seconds and then return your legs to the center of the mat in a natural position, and repeat on the other side.
You can even practice this stretch while in bed. As physicians suggest, never push too hard. If you cannot tolerate the pain, use a pillow under your bended knees to find comfort and complete the twist.
7. Stretch your hamstring muscle group.
Hamstring muscles are located on the back of our thighs and are responsible for bending and flexing our knees. Treating them right, prevents and relieves lower back pain.
Sit on the floor with both legs straight in front of you and extend your arms reaching for your toes. Count to 30, relax in a natural position, and then repeat 3 times.
8. Alternate from cat to cow pose.
The transition from a cat to cow yoga pose in a favorite suggestion of doctors to their patients with back pain. It’s a great stretch for the hips and pelvis and the upper back and spine.
Take a kneeling position on the mat, lift up your chest and tailbone toward the ceiling while inhaling, and press through the shoulder blades, drop your head and arch your back while exhaling. Move slowly between the 2 positions, breathing in and out, and repeat from 10 to 15 times.
9. Perform the plank.
The plank exercise is a perfect way to strengthen the whole body that flattens the stomach, builds up the arms and legs, and it can also reduce back pain.
To perform the plank correctly, it’s important to keep your elbows directly under your shoulders. Then push your body up and hold your chin close to your neck while hovering on your toes. Keep the abdominal muscles tight and breathe. Stay in this position for as long as you can, but no less than 20-30 seconds, rest and repeat 3 to 5 times.
A personal trainer suggests dropping to your knees in the beginning in order to feel more comfortable in this position and progress up to the final pose.
10. Exercise walk to improve your back health.
Last but not the least, the most common and underestimated type of exercise is walking. Physicians suggest walking as a truly beneficial and low-impact form of exercise for lower back pain.
Walking can do magic as it strengthens the torso, leg, and hip muscles, and increasing the stability of the spine. Our body forms a straighter position with less back pain. Also, regular walking is a great way to control our weight, which alone is a huge risk factor for back issues.
Have you experienced any problems that were treated with exercise? Do you have a workout routine that you follow to improve your well-being? Share it with us in the comments.