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Back pain can come on at any time in life and whether it was simply sleeping in a strange position, sitting hunched at a desk for too long, or an age-old injury playing up again, back pain can be debilitating.
Preventing back pain can mean sitting in spine-friendly positions, sleeping in positions to ease strain on the back, bending at the knees when lifting, and stretching your back out when you can. Additionally, you could try a few exercises to increase back strength and ease back pain.
We’ve summarised a few back exercises that can be great for your spinal health below.
Exercise 1: Knees-to-chest stretch
This exercise is as obvious as the name sounds. To execute it, you should lie on your back with your knees bent and feet planted flat on the floor. Use your hands to pull one knee up to your chest. Hold this position, making sure to tighten stomach muscles and press the spine into the ground, and then release your knee to the starting position. Repeat on the other knee.
Exercise 2: Rolling the knees
This exercise also begins on the back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Keep your upper body on the floor and slowly roll your bent knees to one side. Hold for 5 – 10 seconds as you twist your spine and then return the knees to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
Exercise 3: Bending and curving the lower back
This exercise is intended to boost lower back flexibility. You should begin on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat. To perform the exercise, tighten your stomach muscles and arch the back into the air, creating a gap between your back and the floor. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then relax. Then flatten your back, pushing your bellybutton toward the floor and hold for 5 seconds. Then relax again before repeating the whole thing five times.
Exercise 4: Bridge
This back exercise looks similar to a glute bridge done to build muscles in the legs and buttocks. You begin on your back with knees bent and feet flat and gradually raise your hips until a straight line is formed from your knees to your shoulders. Hold for at least three counts until slowly relaxing again.
You can begin by only performing a few of these a day but should build up gradually.
Exercise 5: Cat/Cow
A well-known yoga exercise, the cat/cow exercise is intended to stretch the back muscles out. Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. Slowly curve the back upwards, tucking the chin to the chest, and hold for 3 counts. Then, low the chest and curve the spine in the other direction, lifting your head up again.
You should repeat this exercise at least 3 – 5 times twice a day to build strength and flexibility in your back.
Exercise 6: Shoulder blade squeeze
Sitting on a chair without arms, a stool, or standing straight, this exercise involves squeezing the shoulder blades together while maintaining good posture. You should hold the position for 5 seconds before relaxing and repeating 3 – 5 times.
While all of these exercises can help to build strength in the back, improve posture, and ease some mild back pain, if you have severe back pain, or pain that won’t go away, make sure to book in to see a chiropractor. A chiropractor, like Richmond Chiropractor, can help you to find the source of the pain and recommend treatment to soothe and heal the back.
Back pain can make life more difficult so don’t hesitate before booking an appointment.