Moving For Back Pain
Dec 29, 2021
Back pain – many have felt it, many feel it everyday. It can vary from sharpness, to prickly sensations, to dull, achy feelings; but, no matter what it is, it isn’t fun.
Obviously, if you’re experiencing back pain you should talk to your doctor. There could be a lot of reasons for your pain, and you want to rule out anything dangerous. The good news is, if your pain is a result of a sedentary job, stress, lack of strength, etc, exercise and movement can really help to alleviate it! The important thing is to stay calm and keep moving. Realize that back pain is common and you’re probably going to be okay. Also realize that often times NOT moving actually hurts more than it helps. That said, here are a few moves you can do to strengthen and stretch your way to a calmer back.
- Cat Cow - Start with your back in a neutral position with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. On an inhale, arch your back so that your stomach is dropping towards the ground, your head is angled towards the ceiling, and your tailbone is pushing up. On an exhale, round out your back, shrugging your shoulders in, tucking your pelvis, and sucking your stomach in. Repeat six or so times.
- Mini Cobra Push Up - Lie on your stomach on a soft surface. Place your hands underneath your shoulders and extend your arms until they are slightly bent and hugging into your sides (do not extend all the way up to straight arms). Slowly lower down. Repeat to comfort 10-20 times.
- Bird Dog - Begin with your hands underneath your shoulders, your knees under your hips and your back in a neutral position. Lift your left arm and right leg out straight, keeping your other limbs planted. Tighten your core here to avoid twisting. If you find you are twisting, try either doing one limb at a time or placing a stability ball under your stomach. Repeat to comfort 10-20 times total.
- Child’s Pose - Start on all fours. Bring your toes together behind you with the tops of your feet planted on the ground and lean back onto your heels to your comfort. If it feels tight, feel free to not go all the way down. Stretch your arms forward and pull your tailbone back. Take deep breaths. Widen the knees if needed. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
- Lunge Stretch - Start on both knees on a soft surface. Bring one leg out to the front and lean forward with your hands either at your sides, on your hips, or above your head. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
- Seated Figure Four - Start sitting with your back straight, shoulders back. Bring one foot up towards the opposite leg just above the knee. Gently place your foot above your knee and push down the bent leg to try to square it to the ground. Lean forward to add intensity. This pose can be done lying down if it is difficult to get into this position seated. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
- Knee Tuck Traction - Start lying down with your back pressed into the soft surface below. Suck your stomach in. Bend your knees and use your hands to pull them into your chest. Breath here. Then, place your hands on your knees and allow the legs to fall forward as you support them with your hands. You should feel a nice release in the low back here.
- Clam Shells - Lie on your side on a soft surface. Bring your knees and feet together. Open up at the knees to extend your top leg back as far as your hips allow while keeping your toes touching, then close your legs back together. Repeat 20 times each side.
- Bridges - Lie on your back on a soft surface. Suck your stomach in and press your back into the mat. Tuck your shoulders into the mat, keep your chest proud. Lift your hips up towards the ceiling, squeezing your glutes at the top. Hold for a couple of seconds before lowering down and repeating. Do these about 20 times.
- Yoga Block Release - Lying on your black, slide a yoga block or any solid, sturdy object underneath your tailbone. Release the rest of your body for a nice release in the low back. Hold to comfort.
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