More and more people are suffering from back pain, some as a result of sitting in a chair all day without adequate support, while others aren’t exercising with the proper form. If you have back pain, you know it’s, well, a pain. It’s hard to get comfortable, and often makes it hard to sleep. Back pain can also lead to pain in other parts of your body as well.
Remember, you should always talk to your doctor or physical therapist before starting a new exercise program. They may be able to recommend specific exercises that you can do, depending on where your back pain is located and what is causing it.
Note: If your back pain is acute, avoid sit-ups, lifting heavy weights, and touching your toes while standing. These exercises and stretches all put extra stress on your back and can aggravate back pain.
The Benefits of Stretching
Stretches are one of the most common ways to ease muscle aches and pains. However, certain stretches will help with back pain, while others may aggravate it. The following stretches are great for easing tight muscles:
- Seated spinal twist
- The “happy baby” pose
- Child’s pose
- “Cat” pose
If you have done yoga before, these stretches will be familiar to you. Since yoga focuses on breath and balance, it is great for easing muscle aches without overstraining them. If you’ve never done yoga, these stretches are simple and easy to do. If you prefer following along with a video, just get on amazon.com and type in “yoga video,” and you’ll have a big variety to choose from.
The Effective Spinal Twist
For an easy and simple spinal twist, simply sit in a chair with both feet on the ground. Keeping your spine straight, gently twist your upper body to the right and look over your right shoulder. Make sure you keep your feet on the ground; you can also place one hand on your knee and the other on the back of the chair for support.
The Happy Baby Stretch
In the happy baby pose, you lie on your back and bring both knees to your chest. Hold your legs gently at the knees or ankles, and let your spine relax. You can also rock slightly back and forth or side to side to further ease any pain you may feel in your back.
The Refreshing Child’s Pose
Child’s pose is a great way to help lengthen your spine. Simple kneel on the floor and bend forward until your head is touching the ground, with your arms stretched out in front of you. You can widen your legs a little bit if you need to. Stretching your arms forward helps to stretch your back.
The Infamous “Cat” Pose
The “cat” pose has a lot of different names, but it involves getting down on your hands and knees. Gently, alternate arching your back upward with your head down, and arching your chest and head upward, so that your back is concave. This stretch can help loosen tightness in your back muscles. If you do find a yoga video on amazon.com, most of these stretches will probably be shown, though they might have different names.