A significant amount of people with chronic pain or occasional discomfort complain about back issues. Whether it’s the result of an uncomfortable sleeping position, sitting in an uncomfortable desk chair all day, or a health issue, lower back pain is a near-universal problem. Fortunately, it’s also relatively easy to treat by yourself in most cases.
Relax Your Back
While some severe cases of back pain can be traced to a specific medical issue, quite a few are simply sore muscles or joints and can be soothed with a few simple stretches. Try a couple of these exercises and poses to help your back:
- Knee-to-chest stretch
- Child’s pose
- Seated spinal twist
- Cat-cow stretch
- Pelvic tilt
- Sphinx stretch
1) Knee-to-Chest Stretch
Lay on your back with both feet flat on the floor. Grip underneath your thigh on one leg and carefully draw that leg onto your chest, keeping the other relaxed. Carefully stretch your spine without lifting your hips. Hold this post for 1-3 minutes and repeat with the other leg, going back and forth as many times as necessary.
Pro Tip: Most back pain is easily resolved with a little activity. However, if you have a history of chronic pain or health issues that could be the underlying cause, consult your doctor about what to do.
2) Child’s Pose
Get on your hands and knees and slowly push your hips back to rest on your heels. Reach as far forward as you can with your hands. Breathe deeply and hold this pose for up to a minute before relaxing.
3) Seated Spinal Twist
Sit on the edge of a cushion and cross your legs, pulling the leg on top so that your foot is even with your thigh. Lift your arms and, keeping the palms facing each other, twist from the base of your spine in the opposite direction from your crossed legs. Bring your arm to the outside of the thigh you’ve positioned on top and hold that pose for about a minute, then repeat on the other side. (This is the pose pictured at the top of this article.)
4) Cat-Cow Stretch
Get on your hands and knees again and inhale as you look up toward the ceiling. As you exhale, tuck your chin under your chest and arch your spine upward. Repeat this pattern for 1-2 minutes.
5) Pelvic Tilt
Lie on your back, bend your knees, and keep your feet flat against the floor. Lift your hips slightly and press your back against the floor. DO NOT hold your breath while you do this. Hold this position for about 10 seconds, then relax for 2-3 seconds before repeating. 1-3 sets are likely all you’ll need.
6) Sphinx Stretch
Lie on your stomach and, using your back and rear muscles, lift yourself from the waist so your extended arms are supporting your torso. Continue engaging your back and rear muscles as you do this. Press your hips into the floor and keep your gaze straight in front of you. Hold this position for 1-3 minutes.
Take Control of Your Comfort
In most cases, back pain is easily managed with a little effort on your part. Don’t let back pain cripple your day and cause you constant discomfort! Try these stretches first thing in the morning and throughout the day to keep your back feeling flexible and pain-free.
Connect with us to learn more about daily exercises and stretches for pain relief.