When your back is hurting, maintaining active habits by exercising help relieve the pain. Stretching and exercise keep your lower back loose and flexible so it can handle pain more efficiently.
Depending on the severity of the pain, you can try different stretches to fit your skill level and ability. Whether you are able to handle more strenuous activity, or can just perform simple exercises, there are several options that can fit your needs. However, if you experience any pain or discomfort while performing any of these exercises, stop the exercise immediately and seek medical attention.
Here are five stretches and exercises that can give you back pain relief and leave you feeling refreshed:
Back stretches can hit the source of your back pain. One such stretch is commonly known in yoga as Cobra. To do this, lie on your stomach and lift your upper body straight up using your arms. This position is ideally done with straight arms and relaxed shoulders while keeping your legs and hips on the floor. You can lean your head back for an even better strecth. Hold the pose for roughly thirty seconds, relax your back then repeat the process as many times as necessary.
This form of stretching is very gentle and isn’t strenuous on your back or the rest of your body and should be performed throughout the day.
The piriformis is a small muscle located in the pelvic region and can cause pain when aggravated. Stretching your piriformis muscle will alleviate a significant amount of this pain and maintain a regimen to prevent it from returning. This is another passive stretch that doesn’t take up a lot of your energy, but still helps your back.
In order to exercise your piriformis, you will need to lay down with your face up and legs crossed, then grab one leg up to so your knee meets your chest. After that, you will hold in that position for roughly thirty seconds, then repeat with the other leg. This exercise can be repeated for three times in one session, and you should have multiple sessions per day.
Hamstring stretches, while known to stretch the hamstring muscles, can also help your back muscles and keep them flexible. Like the previous two stretches, these hamstring exercises are more gentle than most other exercises, creating a calm stretching experience.
To begin these stretches, lay backside down and lift one leg straight up in the air while leaving the other bent near the ground. Hoop a towel or rag around the elevated foot, then pull on the cloth to add tension. Keep the position for thirty seconds then alternate between the legs so that both legs get the same amount of stretching. This will strengthen your hamstring as well as alleviate the pressure from your back.
Like the previous stretches, these active exercises also help your back. However, the following exercises are a tad more strenuous than the previously mentioned stretches and focus more on movement rather than just stretching your muscles.
Leg Raises: Leg raises involve laying stomach down and lightly lifting your leg up and down by an inch or two, then alternating with the other leg.
The Pointer: For the pointer, you will need to get on your hands and knees, then slowly raise your left arm and right leg. Hold them up for thirty to sixty seconds, then return them back to the ground and alternate hands and legs to evenly distribute the pressure.
Weight Loss and Cardio Activity
One factor leading to your back pain is weight gain. The weight adds a large amount of pressure that can cause back pain and keep your back out of alignment. Cardiovascular activities aid in burning calories and losing weight, thus reducing the pressure on your back.
If you can handle gentle stretches as well as the more motion-based ones, then you may be ready to take on some cardiovascular exercises such as walking, riding a stationary bike and many other forms of activity that get your heart going. However, take things slowly so you don’t overexert your body and strain your back more.
All of these exercises and stretches are meant to strengthen your muscles so they can handle the pain in your back. However, if you feel any discomfort when performing these exercises, stop the move at that moment so you don’t strain any muscles.