When it becomes a pain in the back…
Whether we’re reaching, sitting or lifting, our backs are constantly in motion, which makes them more susceptible to injury. We force ourselves to grab out of reach items off the top shelf. Poor posture when sitting leaves our backs stiff. Improper lifting can sprain our back muscles.
The simplest of tasks can put tremendous strain on our back without us realizing until we become hurt. At one point, we all encounter it. Although back pain is unavoidable, there are ways to lessen and improve on the discomfort. The following stretches can help alleviate pain and get you back to your daily routine.
The Crocodile Pose – This yoga pose is great for stretching your back. To begin this stretch, first lie down flat on your stomach then bend your elbows so your hands are at your armpits. Gently push yourself up off the ground until your chest is a few feet off the ground.
Single/Double Leg to Chest Stretch – To perform this stretch, lie flat on your back with your body straight. Then lift your leg/legs up to your chest and hold for 15 – 30 seconds; do 2-3 repetitions. You should feel your lower back when performing this stretch.
Stand up and touch your toes – This simple stretch effectively stretches your lower and upper back and can be done at work. Start by standing up straight then bend over and reach for your toes. Don’t worry if you can’t touch your toes – the point here is to stretch your back, not touch your toes. Be sure to keep your knees locked and hold the stretch for at least 10 seconds. Repeat this stretch five times and avoid lifting your body back up too quickly – you might become light headed.
Stretching is a great way to alleviate back pain. Also follow these tips to help ease back pain.
- Stretching should be pain free, don’t force the body into difficult positions. Be sure to hold positions for 20-30 seconds.
- Stretch slowly and avoid bouncing; this could tear muscles.
- When your back hurts, fight the urge to lie down. This can cause a habit of disuse when our bodies are meant to be used.
- Practice good posture whenever sitting or standing, and remember to lift with your knees, not your back.
- Do strengthening exercises for muscles that support your back. Be sure to work out your abs; a stronger core has benefits to the back.