Back pain never happens when it's convenient. You're all set to go to a very important engagement or you're already prepared to do your daily activities when back pain strikes. According to statistics, about 31 million Americans suffer from back pain, specifically lower back pain. This is one of the most common reasons why most people skip work, and costs $50 billion in health care costs annually. This is a type of pain that costs people in more than one aspect of life.
Maybe you are using a few prescription medications for your back pain or doing some stretching exercises to feel relief. But even if you already know how to relieve the pain through the use of medication and/or topical ointments, here are some exercises with some helpful tips to make it less of an ordeal.
Warming Up: Dynamic Stretching or Dynamic Warm-Up
Dynamic stretching is an effective way to warm up before your workout as it gets your muscles and joints stretched and prepped for more intense movements. One example is the Dynamic Lat Stretch or the Latissimus Dorsi Stretch, the widest muscle in the human body.
You can use a resistance band to get a better lat stretch.
1. Attach the band to a fixed object that is higher than your shoulders, then grab the band with one hand.
2. Lean over with your butt back and maintain a flat back with your arms straight.
3. Look under the arm that is holding the band and turn your body toward it.
4. Return to starting position and complete the steps with the opposite arm (30 seconds each arm)
This exercise helps develop upper back strength and helps improve posture.
1. Secure the band to a sturdy object at stomach height.
2. Facing the anchor, stand away until the band is taut. Position your feet with either a wide stance or a staggered stance. Start with your palms facing in and arms straight out in front. Keep your back and head straight.
3. Pull the handles back until your elbows are right below your shoulders. Keep your arms in tight to your body.
4. With control, slowly return to starting position and repeat.
This exercise helps maintain good posture and strengthens the muscles in the lower back. This in an invaluable exercise since we spend most of our day sitting or slouching, which weakens our glute muscles. This exercise also strengthens your core and gives your butt the perfect shape and tone. This is a great alternative to people who cannot do squats due to back or joint pain.
1. Lie on the floor with your feet flat on the ground shoulder-width apart and knees bent.
2. Driving through your heels, raise your hips up off the ground and squeeze your glutes at the top.
3. Slowly lower your hips back down and repeat.
There are a plethora of stretching exercises to relieve back pain but you can start with these three exercises. Now it's time for you to try these simple exercises and start being kind to your back. You can check out our post about back pain to help get you started.