Did you know that around 80 percent of the American population will suffer from lower back pain at least once in their life? The worst part is, it’s a type of niggly pain that can be challenging to get rid of or alleviate without help.
While you can head to your local doctor, massage therapist or chiropractor, did you know you can also put your wallet back in your pocket and help yourself?
There are tons of exercises you can do in the comfort of your home to alleviate back pain – all the while contributing to your overall health! Now’s the time to get started. Just be wary about doing numbers six and nine within watching distance of your neighbors if you don’t want to put on a show!
1. HAMSTRING STRETCHES
Hamstring stretches are one of the most beneficial exercises for back pain. What’s more, it’s one that you can do in many different ways. Whether you want to improve your thigh muscles or take care of sciatica pain, give hamstring stretches a try.
Sit on the edge of your chair, straighten one leg in front of you with your heel on the floor and push your stomach toward your thighs without moving your body. Hold for 30 seconds with each leg, repeating three times each.
2. SHOULDER BLADE SQUEEZES
f your back pain is getting so bad and regular that not even your partner wants to hear you complain anymore, then it might be time to take action with shoulder blade squeezes.
This discrete yet effective exercise is one you can do from the comfort of your chair. Start with a decent posture, then pull your shoulder blades together from the back (as if you were pinning a chicken’s wings back). Hold this position for about ten seconds, then release.
3. LIFTING WEIGHTS
Lifting weights is an exercise that you may want to check out with your doctor first. It’s not going to be useful for everyone – and could end up doing more harm than good – especially if you have acute back pain.
However, when you lift weights correctly, it shouldn’t hurt your back, but rather help to relieve any chronic pain you are suffering. Find out from your doctor whether it’s something you should try along with other exercise types.
4. KNEE TO CHEST STRETCHES
Did you know that exercise can be about more than working up a sweat and feeling terrible? When it comes to back pain and relieving it, you can rely on activities such as knee-to-chest stretches to be of assistance.
This exercise involves you lying on your back (so, not even difficult), with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Bring one knee toward your chest with your back pressed into the floor, then hold it. Repeat with your other leg.
Bridges help to work out a range of muscles, which benefit more than only your back. It’s also an exercise that can be fun while building up muscles you thought were no longer any good!
Lie on the floor with your knees bent and heels flat on the ground, digging into the floor. Squeeze down on your bottom, lifting your hips up until, along with your knees, shoulders, and hips, you’re in a straight “bridge-like” shape. Hold it for around five seconds before resting and repeating.
6. CAT STRETCH
You might want to close the curtains for this one as you may get a few funny looks from your neighbors! The cat stretch, while a little unusual, is very beneficial for back pain. We can describe it below, or why not just check out what your cat is doing right now?
Get on your hands and knees, arch your back upward, then let it return to the floor. Repeat twice a day for up to five times.
7. PARTIAL CRUNCHES
There are many things you can’t do when you have back pain, such as put your socks on, or even jump out of bed with as much enthusiasm as you used to. Partial crunches, however, are something you can do – and can be helpful for strengthening stomach and back muscles.
Lie on the floor with your feet flat on the ground and your knees bent. Cross your arms over your chest and move your body upward, so you feel the pressure in your abdomen. Repeat 10 times then rest.
8. KNEE ROLLS
If you want to take care of back pain without the need to dose up on medication, then it might be time to try knee rolls. While it isn’t the most elegant looking exercise, it’s one that’s effective.
Lie on your back with a rolled towel under your head. Put your knees together, bent, and tuck your chin under your neck. Roll to one side with your knees bent and together, then back to the center. Rinse and repeat!
9. PELVIC TILTS
If you have blinds or net curtains in your house, now’s the time to use them. Now, you will be trying out pelvic tilts to help with your back pain, but it’s an exercise that doesn’t look to be the most…refined!
Lie on your back, bend your knees with your feet firmly on the ground, and tighten your stomach. You will then need to tilt your hips and pelvis upward, breathing in and out. Try ten times, twice daily.
10. WALL SITS
Wall sits may look easy to do, but they are harder than you think! You will need to stand around 10 inches away from a wall, and lean against it. Bring your body down until you are in a sitting position against the wall, holding yourself by your back and knees.
The best way to carry out this exercise is by pretending there is a chair behind you. Hold the position for 10 seconds before taking a rest.
Back pain is a real…pain. There is no doubt about it. It can hit when you least expect it, with everyday tasks being either the instigator or the aggravator. However, you don’t have to rely on a ton of pills, potions, and voodoo magic.
Instead, you can try out a range of back exercises that work to strengthen your muscles and alleviate pain. While you’ll get no points for elegance and class when you’re mastering the pelvic tilt, you will feel much better for doing so!