Dealing with back pain can not only be difficult, but it can be a costly affair as well. Lots of people today suffer from several aches and conditions. Some of the most common ones are related to the back. Sciatica, herniated discs, arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and other spinal issues are some of the examples of these problems.
According to NIH, “Men and women are equally affected by low back pain, which can range in intensity from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp sensation that leaves the person incapacitated. Pain can begin abruptly as a result of an accident or by lifting something heavy, or it can develop over time due to age-related changes of the spine. Sedentary lifestyles also can set the stage for low back pain, especially when a weekday routine of getting too little exercise is punctuated by strenuous weekend workout.”
Most of the times, the back trouble of people may also represent their lifestyle problem. For example, you may have the habit of prolonged sitting, incorrect working posture, and performing repetitive tasks, which may add to this pain or trigger it. These poor postural habits can affect and reduce your spinal mobility, and can also lead to atrophy in the muscles that play a significant role in supporting the spine. These muscles are the core, glutes, and hamstrings.
Fascia is another vital part of the structure of the spine. It is a connective tissue that covers our muscles, bones, and organs. Also, it helps in maintaining postural alignment and ease of movement.
When you have weak muscles, stiff fascia, and lack of mobility, you start to develop back pain. However, you can heal this pain without undergoing any medications or surgeries. Stretching and mobility are the key solutions for relieving back pain.
Stretching can help you relieve the stiffened muscles immediately. Also, it promotes mobility and flexibility.
Let us take a look at some of the stretching exercises that will help you alleviate your lower back pain effectively.
You can perform this stretch by sitting on the floor with feet wider than your hips. Now, lower your head forward and bend with the hips hinged. Breathe normally. While going down, bring your chin into your neck. You will feel like you are rolling down the discs of your spine.
Performing this stretch will lengthen your para-spinal muscles. As a result, you may feel the effect in your hamstrings, calf muscles, and bottoms of the feet. It is to be noted that your hands should not go beyond your toes. Moreover, you should not feel a pull in your spinal ligaments. When you feel a stretch in your lower back, then slowly return to the starting position.
Get down on your knees and hands on the floor with a flat back. The shoulders should be over the wrists and hips over the knees. Now, round the spine and press the back towards the ceiling. Hold this position for one breath, and come to the original position. Then, arch the spine in such a way that the chest and tailbone should point towards the ceiling. Hold this position for one breath. It is advisable to carry out ten repetitions.
Supine Cross-Leg Spinal Twist
Lie down on your back, bend your knees with feet on the floor. Stretch your arms out to your sides with palms facing down. Breathe throughout the stretch; inhale and exhale four seconds each. Now, cross your right knee over the left one, as if you are sitting on a chair with one leg over the other. Now, shift your hips to the right about two inches, and drop your knees to the left. Note that you do not need your knees to touch the floor. Come to a natural stop when your range of motion finishes.
Low-Back Rotation Stretch
Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Now, twist your upper body in such a way that your shoulders rotate to one side. You can take the support of the chair for a deep muscle stretch. Move to the range of motion comfortable to you. Do not push yourself much. While doing this stretch, you will feel the pull from your lower back. You can also experience a painless crack in your spine due to the opening of the joints. But, it is normal. Hold this stretch for 20 seconds and return to the starting position. Repeat it on the other side in a similar way.
According to Dynamic Rehab Physical Therapy, “Research has repeatedly proven that physical therapy is highly effective for sciatica and back pain relief. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended physical therapy for non-invasive pain relief.”
Stand with your legs wider than your shoulder width apart. Turn the toes slightly outward. Now, tighten your abs and buttocks, and lower your body, bending on the knees in such a way that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Place your hands on both the knees and lift your pelvis. Inhale while keeping good posture as you press your right hand on your right knee. Now, exhale and turn your shoulders to your left. Breathe in and out three times. Return to the standing position and repeat the stretch on the other side.
Extended Puppy Pose
Sit on your knees and place your hands on the floor, keeping your back flat. Take this position in such a way that your shoulders are over the wrists and hips over the knees. Now, lower your chest towards the floor and reach your arms forward. Draw your navel to the spine and breathe deeply. Hold this position for 4-8 breaths. Now, sit back and rest on the heels like in child’s pose. Repeat this as many times you feel comfortable.
Seated Forward Bend
Sit on the floor, keeping your legs straight out in front of you. Now, hook a towel or something stronger around the bottoms of your feet. Now, inhale and reach your arms up to the ceiling. Exhale and start to bend forward gently by hinging at the hips by bringing your belly down to the thighs. Now, grasp the towel and keep your back straight. Lengthen the spine and keep your neck in line with your body. Take another breath and try to bring your body closer to your legs, holding the towel. Hold this position for around 30 seconds. Go far as much as you feel comfortable and gradually increase it.
Stretching is highly beneficial when you want to relieve the stiffened muscles and ligaments of the back. Moreover, it is also helpful in increasing the flexibility when you incorporate it into your routine workout.