Pain relievers, hot and cold packs, trying to rest – usually these are the things we do when we have a bad back pain. One other important thing you can do is, exercise. Surprised? Well, by exercise I don’t mean lifting weights or an intense workout. Some simple stretches can relax your muscles and relieve you of your pain.
But before we get to the exercises, lets understand what can be the causes for a backache:
- Improper posture while sitting, standing or sleeping
- Lifting weights incorrectly
- Sudden twisting
- Repeatedly using the same muscles and straining them
- Slipped disc
- Having weak muscles that cause pain even with simple movements
The reason for your back pain can be any of these but if you have frequent back pain, it definitely means that you need to keep working on your muscles and making them strong. In this case, the saying that applies is- ‘If you don’t use it, you lose it.’
So, regular exercising and stretching will keep your muscles active and when you do use them while lifting weights or during any other activity, they will respond not with a back pain but an easy and smooth movement which means – no back pain!
One important thing to take note of here is that your back is connected to your spinal cord. So, if something is bothering your back, most probably, it is hurting your neck, shoulders, sometimes arms as well.
That’s why the exercises that you do should not be centred only around your back. Your neck, shoulders and the complete spinal cord also need to be activated so that the entire system functions smoothly.
Here are a few exercises you can do to keep yourself away from back pain:
1. Neck exercises to relieve back pain
The best way to start your exercises is by stretching out your neck. It’s a good warm up, doesn’t take much effort and sets you up perfectly for the back exercises.
Move out your neck gently from side to side, up and down and then, gently rotate it clockwise and anticlockwise.
Remember! Take your time to do these. Do them slowly and carefully. Doing them vigorously or even very fast can cause more harm than benefit you.
2. Superman Pose
This is one of the best exercises that you can do to set your posture right. This exercise strengthens your neck, spine, back, shoulders- all in one go!
This is a super simple one and you need to lie down on your stomach for this.
Once you find yourself comfortable, lift up your neck, shoulders and feet. Basically, the way you see superman flying. ?
Once you feel a little comfortable in this position, you can also pull your hands back and intertwine your fingers like you see in the picture below.
Doing this gives an additional stretch to your shoulders and gives you that stretch which your body needs.
3. The Pelvic Bridge
The exercise might look difficult but it is pretty simple to do.
Lie down on your back and push up your hip to raise it above the floor. Keep your feet on the ground and make sure you get a firm grip so that you don’t slip.
Hold this position for a few seconds or till you feel comfortable and gently come back to the floor.
It’s very important to bring yourself back to the floor gently. Sudden falling to the ground can hurt you.
4. The Sphinx Position
You’ll be thankful to know about this exercise when you do it. It’s a very relaxing exercise to perform and gives you a good stretch for your entire back – upper as well as lower.
Lie down on your stomach and put your palms down on the floor. Now, gently put pressure on your palms and pick yourself up till your torso is upright.
Hold the stretch for a few seconds and return to the floor. Practice this a few times to get the best results.
Practicing just these few exercises will keep your muscles working and keep you away from back pain. It’s also important to understand the severity of the situation. So, please seek the help of a doctor before practicing these exercises.
In the case that back pain persists, please take the help of a doctor and physiotherapist to get relief. Ayu Health Hospitals have well-established doctors and world-class hospitals equipped with the most advanced medical equipment. Call 08069489584 to know more.
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About the Author
Dr. S. Goel
Dr. S. Goel is a renowned Internal Medicine Specialist currently practicing at Ayu Health Hospital, Bangalore. He is a Specialist in Internal Medicine, Diabetes HTN, Paediatric Care, and Family Medicine.