As you age, back pain can be a hindrance carrying out your daily life activities. And you may also experience muscle pulls from incorrect posture and sitting for long periods.
Back pain can cause a lot of discomfort, pain, and uneasiness that leads to reduced mobility, unwillingness to work or walkabout and a lot of anxiety.
It can occur without warning, and all you can do is hope that it is nothing bad and that it will pass (although you should go get a checkup done when you start feeling pains). There are lots of exercises, which will help strengthen your spine and that will cause immediate pain relief!
Benefits of stretching include:
- Reduces tension in the muscles supporting the spine, the tension in these muscles increases pain from any number of back pain conditions.
- Improves range of motion and overall mobility.
- Reduces the risk of disability caused by back pain
Pain that lasts longer than 3 months requires weeks or months of continuous stretching to successfully reduce pain. Stretches are included as part of physical therapy and are recommended to be done at home daily.
Tips to Avoid Back Pain Problems
The human body can recover from heavy trauma caused due to accidents or sickness or bad positions, but all it takes is bending over to pick up something and back pain returns. It goes away eventually, it is better to avoid it, to save us the trouble of backbone pain.
Luckily, you can avoid back pain. A change in lifestyle is a good start to relieve you from back pain.
Here are some tips to help you do the same:
- Regularly working out or playing sports, with a balanced diet and ample rest is needed. Maintain a healthy weight, which will reduce the stress on your back.
- Stretching is as necessary as working out because it opens up and relaxes your muscles and makes them more flexible. Back stretches help to keep your back healthy.
- Maintain the right posture; it helps the spine stay in its natural curve, which will reduce stress and injuries.
- While lifting heavy objects, ensure that you lift with your legs and not your back. The spine is not meant to handle the weight, it is very easy and safe to crouch and lift with your legs.
- Humans sleep for at least one-third of their lives, it is important to invest in good quality mattresses. It helps align your back while you sleep.
- When going out, try to not carry around a heavy purse or backpack, it usually weighs down your shoulder the entire day or evening. It is not good for your back when constant weight rests on it over long periods.
- The level of stress you put yourself through is directly proportionate to back pain; this makes it a great reason to practice yoga. Reducing stress levels leads to muscles being less tense, which in turn reduces back pains.
- Back muscles are responsible for maintaining spinal integrity. Ensure that you exercise your back muscles with pushups and pull-ups so that they can gain strength to protect the spine against damages while lifting.
Regrettably, there are lots of ways by which you can have back pain, and this also includes genetics.
However, on the bright side, there are stretches, methods, exercises that will help to minimize the chances of injury or back pain so that you can lead a pain-free life.
It’s either you let the back pain control you or you control the back pain yourself and alleviate the symptoms. Just ensure that you exercise, eat well and get plenty of rest and fluids, and your body will do the rest!
8 Stretches for Lower Back
1. Superman Stretch:
While on the ground, lie on your stomach; put your arms and legs in front and behind you simultaneously. Gradually, raise your arms, legs, and chest all in one motion. Hold this position for at least a second then return to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 10 reps each.
2. On All Fours Stretch:
Get down on your hands and knees. Then push your stomach downwards, arch your spine and look up, then arch your spine and look down. Hold each position for at least 4-5 seconds. Do 2 sets of 10 reps.
3. Gluteus Exercise stretch:
Lie on your back and then bend your knees. With your right leg folded over the left leg, grab your left leg from your shin and pull it towards your chest. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Do 2 sets of 3-5 reps.
4. Hamstring Stretch:
Stand upright, bend down and touch your toes while you keep your knees straight. Hold this position for at least 10-12 seconds. Lead with your chest and not your head. Do a set of 5 reps.
5. Pelvic Tilt:
Lie on your back and keep your knees bent. Keep your arms to your sides on the floor. While in this position, lift your pelvis upwards while you contract your glutes and hold this position for a moment before returning to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
6. Back Flexion Stretch:
Lie on your back, pull both knees to your chest while simultaneously moving your head forward until a comfortable stretch is felt across the mid and low back. Do a set of 10 reps
7. Kneeling Lunge Stretch:
Bending on both knees, move one leg forward so that the foot is flat on the ground, keep your weight evenly distributed through both hips (instead of one side or the other). Place both hands on the top of your thigh, and slowly lean your body forward to feel a stretch in the front of your other leg. This stretch affects the hip flexor muscles, which is attached to the pelvis and can impact posture if too tight. Do a set of 5 reps
8. Piriformis Muscle Stretch:
Lie on your back with your knees bent and both heels on the ground. Cross one leg over the other, rest the ankle on the bent knee, then gently pull the bottom knee towards your chest until a stretch is felt in the buttock. Do a set of 10 reps
The above are the most prescribed types of stretches. Most stretches are to accommodate an individual’s flexibility and level of pain and can be done easily by using a wall, door jamb, or chair for added stability during the stretch.