Back pain can sneak up on you gradually or have a definite starting point. Once it hits, back pain can limit your mobility and even your joy in life. Back pain is pretty common, especially among those of us who spend their workdays sitting in an office chair. Thankfully, there are things you can do to give yourself some relief. Consider the tips below.
Fix Your Posture
Proper alignment is key to reducing back pain. If you’re recovering from an injury, your posture may have changed without your awareness. According to StrongPosture, to properly assess your posture, you will need some time in front of a mirror and may want to work with a personal trainer to know what proper alignment feels like. Once you’ve studied your posture and know what correct posture feels like, develop a routine to remind yourself. A simple phrase, such as “Heads Up!” can help you remember to stand up straight, lift your chin and keep your spine in order.
Stretch Your Back Out
If your back hurts, the last thing you may feel like doing is exercise. However, stretching your back on a mat or a foam roller is a great way to relieve tight muscles that may be contributing to your back pain. According to Chirp, foam rollers and wheels designed for stretching your back can help alleviate muscle tension and stretch out back muscles. You may also want to use ice or heat. Ice reduces inflammation, and heat releases muscles, so pairing these two is a good idea. Once the spasms have released, you can go to work increasing your strength and flexibility.
Exercises for Flexibility
Yoga offers many who suffer from back pain a great deal of relief. According to Gaiam, this practice both strengthens and stretches your muscles. If you’ve never taken a yoga class, find a gentle yoga class or visit a senior center and check out a yoga class there. Do not try yoga alone if you’ve never done it before. Your moves will be safer and more effective with a qualified instructor keeping an eye on you. Let your instructor know of your injury or back pain history and ask for modifications if a move is too hard or causes you pain. Yoga flows from one move to the next, so you shouldn’t have to hold any pose so long that it increases your pain.
Exercises for Strength
The idea of lifting weights to improve back pain may seem silly, especially if it was lifting something too heavy that caused your back pain in the first place! However, by working with a qualified trainer, you can learn proper alignment as you lift. In addition, building up the musculature along your spine can stabilize the vertebrae and prevent disc movement or bulging in the future. Do not do this alone. According to the Australian Institute of Fitness, having a qualified personal trainer is key. Your trainer can teach you proper form with small or no weights until your body remembers the moves. Then you can add weights to increase your strength.
Improper alignment can lead to back pain, and back pain causes you to change how you move. To get your bone structure back in line, reduce muscle pain and soothe nerve damage, it’s key that you work with a pro to help you get your body moving again.