Many people in the workforce find themselves facing the dilemma of being unable to sit comfortably, lift or even move because of excruciating back pain. That leads to one of the biggest reasons for disability claims. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can exercise to prevent and relieve back pain. There’s a lot of reasons for the surge of this painful condition. One of them is prolonged sitting. Lack of activity and functional fitness is at the top of the list. Your muscles need to stretch and move to be at their healthiest. Improved circulation, strength and flexibility help tremendously. At one time, muscle relaxers and pain medication were at the top of the treatment list. With the high rise in pain medication addiction and more understanding of the problem, that’s no longer true.
Prevent back pain before it starts.
Even if you don’t suffer from back pain yet, if you’re in a sedentary job and have no active outlet when not at work, the odds of suffering from it in the future are great. Your muscles need regular activity to be at their strongest and prevent tightening. When you sit at a desk, or even on the couch, for prolonged periods, the muscles in your lower back start to shorten, until eventually, you have a full-blown case of back pain. Exercising on a regular basis can reduce the risk of back pain, even in people who have episodes already.
Stretching is an effect way to prevent and manage back pain.
When your back hurts, you just want to lay down until the pain subsides, but that’s the worse thing you can do. One quick exercise that can help lower back pain does require you to lay on the floor. It’s the hamstring stretch. Grab a towel before you lay down. Put your feet flat on the floor with knees bent. Hold one end of the towel in each hand, creating a loop. Lift one leg and put the loop around the sole of the foot, still holding onto the towel ends. Try to straighten that leg by slowly pulling on the towel. While you may not keep pulling until it’s perpendicular to the body, you will feel the stretch at the back of the leg. Hold that position for about a half minute. Lower the leg and put the towel loop around the bottom of the other foot.
Laying on your back with another exercise can also loosen muscles.
Lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Put your arms straight out to help maintain position. You should rock your knees from side to side a bit, to get your muscles warmed up and looser. Lower your legs to one side, trying to keep your shoulders flat to the floor at the same time. Try to get the outer knee on the side you’re twisting toward to touch the floor. Slowly lift your knees back up and twist them to the other side of your body.
- Try the cat pose. If you watch cats, they’re constantly stretch. Get on your hands and knees. Inhale, and when you exhale, arch your back, head facing downward. Inhale, but this time as you do, allow your belly to drop and raising your head, creating a concave curve.
- Create a bridge. Lay on the floor, knees bent. Lift your bottom off the floor, while pushing with your heels and squeezing your buttocks muscles. Hold, lower and repeat.
- Pull your knee to your chest while laying on your back. You can do one at a time, keeping the other extended to slowly stretch the back muscles. You can also do the same thing pulling both at the same time, holding for a few seconds and then lowering the legs.
- Build stronger stomach muscles. Your back is supported by both the abdominal and back muscles. That’s why building a stronger core is important.