As we all know, back pain can be miserable and can happen to any of us. Back pain is all too common, with eight out of 10 people experiencing it in the US.
If you’re suffering from back pain, you’re not alone, and there are ways to help reduce the possibility of back pain worsening or even experiencing it in the first place.
Taking care of your back is beneficial to your health since back muscles are a huge part of what keeps us able to move. Take control of your future by implementing easy stretches and workouts, practicing good posture, and eliminating stress.
Let’s go over how to execute each tip to give you a strong, reliable back.
Stretch and Strengthen Your Muscles
Having a strong, flexible back is vital to keep your back more resilient against future accidents or injuries. There are a lot of different stretches and exercises you can do to keep your back in tip-top shape, many of which you can even do in the comfort of your house. Here are a few stretches to take your flexible back to the next level:
- Knees to chest: Lie flat on your back and lift your knees to your chest, then hold your knees in place with your arms.
- Prone bridge: Lie flat on your stomach while placing one hand on each side of you and pushing up until your arms are fully extended.
- Cat-cow: Position your body to stand on both knees and hands. Raise just your back up, and then lower it as far down as you can.
Strengthening your muscles is just as important as keeping them flexible and adaptable. While you are doing your stretches, add a couple of strengthening exercises:
- Resistance pull-aparts: Place one side of the resistance band in each of your hands. Stretch your arms out straight in front of you and pull them apart.
- Wood chop: Grab a weight that you can comfortably hold in both hands. Start by raising your arms above your head, then shift your hips back and forth as you lower your arms and bend your back to touch one of your knees. Switch back and forth between sides.
- Forearm plank: Lie flat on your stomach and raise yourself up with your forearms and feet. Leave your back straight and hold as long as possible.
Incorporate a few simple stretches and exercises a couple of times a week to build a durable back that you can count on.
Practice Good Posture
We have all fallen into a trap at one point or another where we find curving our back forward to feel more comfortable. Having bad posture is OK and sometimes necessary on occasion, but it’s imperative that you don’t make a habit of it. Keep these few tips in mind as you go about your day-to-day tasks:
- Stand tall and keep your shoulders back.
- Engage your core.
- Keep your knees slightly bent.
- Let the balls of your feet hold most of your weight.
- Allow your hands to relax at your sides.
Having a good posture may take some time to get used to. You can dedicate specific times throughout the day when you concentrate on your posture and gradually add more time as you start to feel comfortable.
Did you know that our muscles can store stress? Your back is a prime spot to hold stress, especially unexpressed anger. This can cause your muscles to tighten and build up tension, causing your back to ache. Release some of your emotions by talking out your feelings and finding physical activities that you enjoy.
It’s well known that back pain can keep you from doing what you love. Reduce your risk by doing simple exercises and stretching every day, taking the time to practice good posture, and decreasing your stress levels.
A version of this article was published by The Daily Herald. It has been republished here with permission.