Do you suffer from recurring and extremely uncomfortable back pain? Here are some of the best ways you can ease your pain. Back pain is a serious issue that can be really uncomfortable and painful to experience, not to mention detrimental to your health, and it’s not something uncommon. Studies show that more than 100 million Americans suffer from back pain. There are a lot of reasons why you might be experiencing back pain: poor posture, weak bones, not getting the proper nutrition, genetic conditions, stress, and other causes. Back pain can range from a mild twinge in your back, to something very painful that can hinder your abilities to function. People who suffer from back pain usually feel fatigued much more quickly than those who don’t suffer from it. Dealing with back pain while going about your everyday life can get hard. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can ease your back pain. Incorporating these tips and tricks into your life can not only provide immediate relief, but also aid long-term back relief, as well as prevent any other issues that may arise from it:
Exercises for Upper Back Pain
Pectoralis stretch: Your pectoralis major is a muscle in your chest, commonly known as “pecs.” Exercises relieving this muscle can also help with the upper back. Stand in an open doorway or a corner with both hands pressed slightly above your head in the doorway or corner. Gradually press forward until you feel your upper back stretching. Hold 15 to 30 seconds. Do it for 3 repetitions.
Thoracic extension: This exercise will help your thoracic spine, the section from your upper to middle back. Sit in a chair and clasp both of your arms behind your head. Slowly arch your back and look to the ceiling. Feel your back stretch. Do this for 10 reps for several times every day.
Arm slide on wall: Sit or stand with your back against a wall. Press your elbows and wrists against the wall. Slide your arms upward over your head while keeping your elbows and wrists pressed against the wall. Do this for 2 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions.
Scapular (shoulder blade) squeeze: Sit or stand with your arms by your side, then squeeze your shoulder blades together and arch your back. Do 2 sets of 15 reps and hold it for 5 seconds.
Mid-trap exercise: Lie on your belly on a firm and flat surface then place a folded pillow under your chest. Stretch your arms outward on either side while holding a thumbs up position. Raise your arms slowly toward the ceiling, arch your back, and squeeze your shoulder blades together, then lower yourself slowly. Do 3 sets of 15 reps. As you develop a tolerance and the exercise gets easier to do, try doing it with some small weights in your hands.
Thoracic stretch: Sit on the floor with your legs stretched out to the front. Hold your thighs with your hands then curl your head and neck toward your belly button. Hold it for 15 seconds and do 3 reps.
Quadruped arm and leg raise: Go on your hands and knees. Tighten your abdominal muscles, breathe normally but hold your belly in to stiffen your spine. While keeping your ab muscles tight, raise your left arm and your right leg straight and away from you. Hold for 5 seconds. Slowly lower your arms and legs and do it on the other side. Do this 10 reps for each side.
Rowing exercise: You will need an exercise elastic for this. Wrap your elastic around a door or immovable object. Hold 1 end of the elastic in each hand. Sit in a chair, and bend your elbows with your hands level to your head. Keep your elbows bent, pull the band back, and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Do 2 sets of 15 repetitions.
Mattress for Back Pain
Sleeping on the wrong kind of mattress can make your back pain worse, so make sure that you have the right support your back needs. If you like to sleep on your back, pick a medium-firm mattress that will support your back but still be soft enough to contour the curves of your body. If you like to sleep on your side, pick a mattress that’s soft enough to contour and cushion your hips and shoulders. People who sleep on their stomach should opt for a firm mattress. However, a majority of people like to sleep in different positions. You may want to try a memory foam mattress that will support your back but will also have the right amount of give when you need it. Make sure to rotate your mattress every 3 months to keep it fresh. And if you’ve had your mattress for longer than 7 years, it may be time to make a new purchase for the good of your back!
General Exercise for Back Pain
It’s been proven that instead of constant bed rest, moving your body and getting regular exercise is the best way to improve back problems. Constant rest and lying still can worsen your back condition and lead to other complications. It may be uncomfortable at first, but find time to regularly get some exercise. A little bit of pain and discomfort is fine as your body adjusts to the new exercises. If the pain is too much or persists, consult your doctor. Start with some low-impact exercises - even taking a long walk every day can greatly improve the pain in your back. Your back will feel better in the long run, as well as your overall health and well-being.
Ice and Warm Packs
For some instant back relief, try wrapping an ice pack in a thin towel and placing it on your back for 20 minutes several times a day. This will reduce pain that you may be experiencing because of inflammation. Do this for a few days, then switch to heat. The heated pack will help relax your muscles and increase blood flow.
Now, if you love getting pampered and massaged, you’ll love this trick for back relief. Massage parlors and spas are all over the place, but it’s best to go to a licensed specialist if you’re dealing with serious back pain. Studies show that having a massage at least once a week for 10 weeks straight can help reduce the pain and improve functionality of your back.
Back problems usually stem from having bad posture. However, the very reason people with back problems hunch or slouch is because the pain gets more noticeable when they straighten their back. Just like an exercise, practicing good posture can be uncomfortable at first, but try to keep your back straight throughout the whole day. Eventually, it will get easier and it will gradually improve your back pain. The long-term results will be worth it and you’ll be feeling more relieved soon.
Got Your Back
Back pain is definitely not fun to deal with. It can take a toll on the quality of your life if you’re constantly feeling pain, stress, and fatigue just from your back problems. Help improve your overall health and well-being by taking care of your spine and back muscles.