Those who experience ongoing back pain are reluctant to exercise. Normally, exercise is a good thing, yet it can be disastrous for those with upper and lower back pain, making things worse rather than improving one’s state. However, there are ways for those with tenacious back issues to seek relief. Rather than high impact methods of exercise, stretching, yoga, and Pilates delivers effective and painless relief.
Various stretch poses help those with back pain seek relief. The half lunge starts with placing one foot in front of the other and bending the front leg into a 90 degree angle. Gently lift the hip forward as you feel a stretch in the lower back region. Hold for a 20 second count and then switch legs. Another stretch is called a child’s pose. Kneel down and rest your posterior on the heels of your feet. Slowly stretch your hands outward across the ground as you begin to feel a gentle stretch in your lower back. Hold for 20 seconds (or longer if you can). The more often you try the pose, the longer you’ll be able to stretch outward and hold the stretch.
Stand with your feet about shoulder distance apart. Bend at the knees as you shift your hips backward as if you’re about to sit in a chair. Lift both arms outward to balance your body and accentuate the stretch in the lower back. Hold the pose for a couple of seconds and then return to a normal standing position. Repeat the process for 12 repetitions.
Next, lie on the floor with your back down while raising your knees and placing bottom of your feet on the floor. Place your arms to your side, raise your chin, and begin to move your hips upward for a gentle stretch. Try and complete 10 repetitions, but pay attention to your body. Don’t overexert yourself or complete the motion if it is too painful on the back.
Yoga is similar to stretching, and some poses are particularly helpful in strengthening and stretching the back. You’ll need an exercise band or yoga belt, which helps with stretching and achieve poses despite a limited range of motion, to perform this first pose. While on your back, place the strap or belt round the bottom of your foot as you raise it toward the sky and straighten it out. You should feel a stretch in your hamstring as well as your lower back. Try to hold the pose for 10 to 20 seconds as comfort allows.
Another position, has you on your back and curling your legs into a 90 degree position. Keep your shoulders to the ground as you shift your legs to one side while forming a T-shape with your hands straight out. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds and shift your knees to the other side of your body. Increase the time of the pose for up to two minutes as you become more flexible.
These basic poses you can learn online yet you’ll deepen your understanding of yoga and how to treat your body well by going on meditation and yoga retreats. Lie facedown on your stomach as you lift yourself up on your elbows and place your hands face down on the ground. Raise the top half of your body off the ground and keep your chin facing slightly upward. Press your pelvic bone forward as you feel a gently stretch in your lower back. Begin by attempting to hold the pose for 30 to 60 minutes. After some time, try to hold it for up to three minutes.
Another pose has your back on the floor while you raise one knee and bend it while folding the other leg across and on top of that knee. Then loop and hold your arms around the knee on the bottom and hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds. As with the other poses, gradually increase the amount of time you hold as you feel more pliable and comfortable.
Pilates is similar to yoga with an increased emphasis on stretching and building leaner muscle. ‘Kneeling rear leg raises’ target the lower back and help strengthen the entire core of the body. Get on your hands and knees and then drop the front of your body to your elbows and stretch one of your legs out and towards the sky. Those who are new to Pilates will have a bit of difficulty in maintaining balance and getting their leg higher up. Raise your leg as high as it can go without arching your back and keeping your hips level and stationary. There are studios that tailor Pilates classes to suit your needs, click here to learn about their services and what studios such as this one have to offer.
Sara is a journalist, blogger and full-time yoga teacher with a thriving personal practice. Having trained in India, she now teaches the noble art of yoga and meditation around the world. She regularly travels through South-East Asia and beyond spreading the knowledge of yoga to empower people to find a connection to a deeper meaning within their lives – which is her greatest passion.
Image credits – https://i.ytimg.com/vi/bW0v9YZ1c38/hqdefault.jpg
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