Chronic back pain can affect even the healthiest of people. Even in my prime, I was often struck with intense and sometimes debilitating back pain.
Whether it is injury related or the result of prolonged stress and strain, nobody wants to be limited by back pain.
Although a large majority of health problems can be prevented with proper diet, the tension and pain of the muscles in the back need the support of daily strength and stretching exercises.
Sure, food can help support the healthy growth of these muscles, but a sedentary lifestyle will only make matters worse.
Here are 4 simple and safe exercises which can be done every day to help erase back pain and prevent further damage:
1. Child’s Pose
For those who practice yoga, you may be familiar with this move. Yoga is a great way to relax tension and relieve the stressors that can trigger muscle spasms. The child’s pose is a great way to stretch out the lower back and calm the nerves supporting your spine.
Start with your knees on the ground and your bum rested on your feet. Stretch slowly up towards the ceiling to start, inhaling deeply in through your nose and exhaling out your mouth as you release your body down towards the ground.
Lower your torso to sit between your thighs, stretching your hands out straight in front of you. Be sure to keep your head down, relaxing the muscles in your neck and shoulders.
Breathe deeply for 3 minutes and repeat for increased strength.
2. Back Crunches
From your child’s pose position, you will want to lay flat on your tummy with your feet and hands splayed out in line with your body. This exercise is less about stretching and more about strengthening the muscles in you back.
Your core strength is vital to supporting your spine and this will tone both your abdominal muscles and lower back. Keeping your neck long, slowly lift both your feet and hands about 5 inches off the ground in unison.
You should feel your lower back engage. Hold for 3 seconds and repeat for 10 repetitions.
3. Half Lunge Stretch
Picking yourself up off the ground, stand with one foot in front of the other and your front knee bent at just under 90 degrees. Slowly push your back knee towards the ground. You should feel a nice stretch through your hip.
Hold this position for 20-30 seconds before switching to the other hip. You may be wondering how a hip stretch will alleviate back pain, but your back pain could be a response to stiffness in your legs and poor posture.
4. Forward Fold
This move is a great transition from the half lunge. Standing with legs shoulder width apart, slowly bend your body forward at your hips. You will need to stick your butt out to support full movement towards the ground.
Once your head is upside down and your hands hanging loose towards the ground, breathe in deeply and press your face towards your knees to feel a full stretch through your back.
Keep in mind that all these exercises are meant for moderate exertion and if at any point you feel pain or severe discomfort, stop the exercise.