Exercises You Can Do to Relieve Back Pain

exercises relieve back pain strengthen core stretch low back muscles

First and foremost, nearly 80 percent of Americans, at some point in their lives, try to get relief from back pain. Moreover, back pain not only affects their everyday activities but also their sleep. Furthermore, there are many reasons and remedies for back pain

The good news is that exercise is one of the remedies. In fact, exercise helps strengthen the back and may be able to help relieve back pain. However, it’s important to consult with your medical provider to ensure exercise is appropriate when you are having back pain or other medical conditions, but also if you have any doubts. 

When your back hurts, the natural reaction is to rest, especially bed rest. However, inactivity slows down the healing process and makes your muscles weaker, tighter, and more painful. In fact, the best thing to do is to stay as active as possible. In that spirit, below are a sampling of stretches and exercises that can help your back get better. 

Stretching 

Stretching is an effective treatment for back pain because stretching relaxes tight muscles and improves circulation, which, in turn, nourishes the spine. A sampling of some popular stretching exercises follows. 

Rotate Your Trunk 

This stretch improves spine mobility while relaxing muscles on both sides of your trunk. 

1. Start by laying on a mat with knees bent. 

2. While keeping the upper back flat on the floor, rotate both your legs towards the floor on one side until you feel the stretch. 

3. After holding for 10 seconds, repeat the stretch on the other side. 

Repeat the above sequence ten times. 

Child’s Pose 

This stretch improves spine mobility while relaxing muscles in the lower back. 

1. Start by laying down with knees and hands on the floor, like a dog. 

2. Next, move your buttock back so that they touch the back of your feet. 

3. Meanwhile, stretch out your arms forward as your body moves to the floor. 

4. After holding the stretch for 10 seconds, return to the starting position. 

Repeat the above sequence ten times. 

Back Stretch 

This stretch improves spine mobility while strengthening back and abdominal muscles. 

1. Start by laying down with knees and hands on the floor, like a dog. 

2. Next, arch your back towards the ceiling and hold for 10 seconds. 

3. Next, arch your back towards the ground and hold for 10 seconds. 

Repeat the above sequence ten times. 

Hamstring Stretch 

This stretch improves hamstring flexibility. Consequently, stress in the back is reduced when you are involved in bending or lifting activities. 

1. Start by sitting on the floor with one leg straight and the other bent at the knees. 

2. While keeping the back flat, lean forward at the hip until a stretch is felt behind the thigh. 

3. Hold for 10 seconds. 

4. Repeat the above steps using the other leg. Repeat the above sequence ten times. 

Hip Flexor Stretch - Standing 

1. Stand with your feet hip-wide apart and toes pointing forwards. 

2. Next, bend your right knee and bring your right heel up towards your butt. 

3. Next, hold your right foot with the right hand and gently pull to point your knee toward the floor. 

4. Meanwhile, you can hold on to a chair with the left hand for support. 

5. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat with the other leg. 

Hip Flexor Stretch - Prone 

1. Lie on your back on the floor with your legs straight and toes pointing toward the ceiling. 

2. Next, while keeping your right leg straight on the floor, bend your left knee with your foot flat on the floor. 

3. Next, grab your left leg below the knee and pull the left knee towards your chest. 

4. Meanwhile, keep your back, hips, and right leg on the floor. 

5. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side. 

Exercises 

Partial Crunches 

This exercise strengthens your back and stomach muscles. 

1. Lie with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. 

2. Put hands behind your neck. 

3. Tighten your stomach muscles and raise your shoulders off the floor. 

4. Use your arms to pull your neck off the floor. 

5. Hold for a second and the lower your head back down. 

6. Most of all your feet and lower back should remain in contact with the floor. 

Repeat the above sequence ten times. 

Hamstring Stretches 

1. Lie on your back and bend one knee with the foot on the floor. 

2. Either use a rubber exercise band, rope or some other means to loop around the ball of the other foot. 

3. Holding the other end of the exercise band, straighten the knee of that leg and slowly pull the leg toward your head. 

4. Hold for 30 seconds and return foot back to the floor. 

5. Repeat the sequence with the other leg. 

Wall Sits 

1. Stand about a foot away from a wall with your back towards the wall. 

2. Then lean back so that your back is flat against the wall. 

3. Next, slowly slide down until your knees are slightly bent while pressing your back against the wall. 

4. Count to ten and then slowly slide back up. 

Repeat the above sequence ten times. 

Bird Dog 

1. Start with your hands and knees on the floor like a dog. 

2. Lift and extend one leg behind you. 

3. Lift and extend forward arm on the opposite side. 

4. Hold for 10 seconds. 

5. Repeat the above sequence with the other leg and arm. 

Repeat the above sequence ten times. 

Knee To Chest 

1. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. 

2. Bring one knee towards your chest while keeping the other foot flat on the floor. 

3. Keep your lower back pressed to the floor. 

4. Hold for 10 seconds. 

5. Then lower you knee and repeat with the other leg. 

Repeat the above sequence ten times. 

Bridging 

1. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor. 

2. Squeeze your buttocks and lift your hips off the floor until shoulders, hips and knees are in a straight line. 

3. Hold for 10 seconds and then slowly lower your hips to the floor. 

Repeat the above sequence ten times to help reduce back pain.

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