Back pain arises as a result of physical injury, incorrect posture, and misalignments that are neglected, pulling muscles out of place. If you are one of the 65 million Americans reporting lower back pain and discomfort on a regular basis, it’s no wonder that we seek relief from this additional stress and strain.
Lower back pain treatment is solved in a number of ways, but not all of these options are accessible to everyone. For those experiencing mild to moderate pain on occasion, all that might be necessary is a simple pain management medication. Other options might be surgical relief or a chiropractic protocol for moderate to severe pain. If cost is an option and you find yourself in need of pain relief in between medical and chiropractic appointments, however, it might be beneficial to try some simple exercises at home to get the blood flowing and those vertebrae moving.
Doing these exercises regularly has proven to ease lower back pain and provide some relief from the stress that chronic pain can bring to your daily life. Practice these on a consistent basis, and you’ll be feeling better with each repetition.
Here are 8 exercises that will give you relief from lower back pain:
Good Posture Stretch
Sit up straight in a chair, with spine extended fully from hips to the base of the skull. Bend your head down so that your chin touches your chest, or at least as close as you can get without straining. You should feel a stretch, but no pain. Hold the fully extended position with the chin touching the chest for 30 seconds, then release the head back up until you are looking straight ahead. Repeat at least three times to feel a loosening of the neck muscles, upper back, and mid back region.
Extend arms out fully to the side so that your arms are parallel to the ground. Perform a circle with the wrists while arms are fully extended, ten times forward, ten times back. Lower arms back down to your sides and repeat another full set forward and backward.
Reach arms upward, clasping hands and fingers together over your head. Pull left arm to the right as you stretch over to the right, leaving arms fully extended overhead. Hold for five to ten seconds, then release and go over to the left side, pulling the right arm with your left. Hold on that side as well. As you leave the fully extended position, put both hands on top of your head as you fully extend “chicken wings” out to the side on either side of your face. Twist your spine one way, looking left, then right as you perform the twist with hands atop your head. Release your arms back down by your sides.
Wall Toe Touches
This is a slow, deliberate stretch designed to relieve lower back pain if done correctly. Stand with your back against the wall. As you slowly bend forward, reaching your fingertips toward your toes, pull your navel to the spine and curl yourself into a C as much as possible until you are touching your toes. Stay in contact with your toes for as long as possible, arms fully extended, then slowly roll back up until you are in contact with the wall again. If you need assistance returning to a standing position, put your hands on your shins, then your upper thighs, to support you. Repeat five times slowly for best results.
Lie on your stomach on a firm surface. Slowly extend arms out as if you were Superman, then work to raise arms and upper body off the ground as much as possible, using the strength from your lower back and torso. Hold for 2-3 seconds, then return to the floor. Repeat ten times with upper body, then lift the legs and buttocks the same way, holding for 2-3 seconds and returning to the floor.
As a culminating move, and if you are strong enough, combine the lower body extension with the upper body extension, hold, and then return to the floor. Tightening that core will reduce lower back pain and strengthen your whole body from the inside out.
Lower yourself to your hands and knees. Start by inhaling, releasing your belly toward the floor, and flexing your back so that its surface looks like a bowl. As you exhale, band your head toward the ground, arch your back like a cat, and fully extend your spine into what resembles a C curve. Combine breathing with the concave, convex motion of this exercise and you will increase the mobility of the vertebrae and loosen up the joints along the spine.
We can’t say enough about this yoga-inspired active stretch; it truly works all of the muscles in the neck, upper back, lower back, and legs. Lower yourself to a V position, with your hands and feet pushing away from the ground and your head in neutral position. Hold this position as long as possible, feeling the muscles in your back and along the backs of your legs lengthen and strengthen while your neck muscles rest in a neutral position, allowing for the release of additional tension. Drop down into child’s pose, a prone position where knees are bent and body is tucked in along the tops of legs while arms are extended forward away from the rest of the body. Relax in this position, taking deep breaths and deepening the stretch as you are able.
Proactive Stretching For A Healthier Life
Lower back pain doesn’t have to plague your life; combining conventional methods of lower back pain treatment with daily stretching and physical activity will allow you to remain mobile and active well into your golden years. Enjoy your newfound flexibility, youth and strength by renewing yourself with these exercises; when done regularly, they will turn back the clock and improve your health and vitality.