Hi everyone, i felt it neccassary to write an article about back pain and how to relieve symptoms as back pain can literally halt you in your tracks and you need ways of reducing the problem (Although i will always advise to seek Proffessional Chiropratic help first). I personally have lower back problems and therefore it is crucial for me to stretch and loosen my back by doing exercises like the following. I didn’t feel like i was in a great position of authority to explain a lot of exercises in the this field of needed high expertise, so Melissa Cameron a part of the team at Otto Chiropractic in Wisconsin has kindly written this article to explain the exercises in more detail. There are some exercises that i have never come across here which i’m very grateful to learn.! Over to Melissa…
Treatment options for back pain range from surgical interventions and nerve blocks to simple back exercises at home. The treatment selected is determined by the cause of the problem and the severity of symptoms. Spinal stenosis is very different from facet syndrome and therefore must be treated differently. Here are some ways on how to stretch the lower back, and upper back. You can
Shoulder rolls are very useful for reducing upper back and neck stress and pain. They are quick, easy, and require no special equipment. They provide a nice release for the upper back and neck especially for people who spend a lot of time in front of a computer.
- Sitting up straight on the edge of a chair begin rolling shoulders backwards in large circles, repeat 10 times
- Reduce the size of the circles and again repeat 10 times
- Begin in the same position as before and roll shoulders forward 10 times
- Reduce the size of circles and repeat 10 times
This exercise may look silly but it is fantastic stretch for the muscles of the thoracic area of the back. It requires no special equipment and only a few minutes of time.
- Place palms or fingers on the shoulders of their respective sides.
- Sitting up straight bring elbows together in front of the chest until a stretch is felt in the back hold for several seconds.
- Return to starting position and repeat 10 times.
While not specifically designed for relieving back pain, aerobic activity is crucial to maintaining the health of the cartilage disks between vertebrae. Aerobic activity works to improve blood flow and circulation throughout the whole body, back and spine included. Blood flow is necessary for any tissue health.
Supine Knee Hug
The supine knee hug is a great way to treat lower back pain by releasing the tension and stress stored in the lower spine. This exercise does not require fancy equipment or a lot of time but it may be best to keep this stretch to home or the gym. Laying on the office floor may look a little silly and be rather dirty.
- Lying on your back with the legs extended, bend the knees and draw them to the chest.
- Gently rock side to side to provide a subtle massage to the muscles and soft tissues of the lower back. This also stretches out tension stored in the lower back.
- Slowly extend back out.
Expecting women should not lay on their backs past the first trimester for any extended period of time, so if expecting do not remain supine for more than a few minutes.
Cat/Cow stretches are fantastic for treating back pain. The increase the mobility of the spine and gently tone and strengthen the abdominal muscles.
To do a cat/cow series:
- Begin on all fours, wrists below shoulders, knees below hips.
- Inhale and release the spine downwards creating a hollow shape looking upwards.
- Exhale and round the back, think of curling your body downwards, look downwards.
- Repeat 5 or 10 times
- Return to neutral spine
This stretch is particularly helpful during pregnancy and labor.
The pelvic tilt gently increases the mobility of the spine and stretches the lower back gently. Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on floor and palms down on either side. Tighten the belly, abdominal and buttock muscles so as to flatten the small of the back against the floor. (the hips will naturally tilt upward.)Hold for three to five seconds and release. Repeat five times.
- The Cobra is a yoga pose that focuses on stretching and strengthening the back muscles. It is done from a prone (lying face down) position so it is not suitable for everyone, especially expectant mothers.
- Lie prone on the floor. Extend the legs back, and place the tops of the feet on the floor. Spread fingers on the floor directly under the shoulders. Squeeze the elbows back into the body.
- Press the tops of the feet and thighs and the pubis firmly into the floor.
- Inhale, straighten the arms to lift the chest off the floor, going only to the height at which a connection can be maintain from the pubic bone through legs. Press the tailbone toward the pubic bone and contract the pubic bone toward the navel. Narrow the hip points. Firm but don’t harden the buttocks.
- Pull the shoulder blades against the back away from the ears, extending the side ribs forward. Lift through the top of the sternum but avoid pushing the front ribs forward, which only hardens the lower back.
- Hold for 10-15 seconds breathing easily, release back to prone position.
These are a few of the exercises that are often recommended to reduce, relieve, and treat back pain. The best treatment is prevention so maintaining a healthy active lifestyle can go a long way towards eliminating back pain.
About the Author:
Melissa enjoys researching various topics. At present she is working at Appleton Chiropractors and is writing a series of articles about the importance of an ergonomic work space in reducing back pain. She is married and a mother of two.
Thanks again Melissa and thanks for reading!