Whether you wake up with back pain that eventually dissipates as you move through your day or you carry it with you constantly, the discomfort can impact your mood and your spirit just as much as it does your ability to perform your basic daily tasks, and there’s a good chance that things have gotten worse during the pandemic as you’ve been unable to report to your ergonomically-correct office or to go to your weekly yoga class.
If you’ve been struggling with aches and pains, there are things you can do to help yourself, and one of the most important is to make a point of stretching every single day. By adding a five-minute work-out you can help to loosen up while strengthening the muscles in your core, providing yourself with greater stability. Doing these five exercises, or any combination of them, will make a very big difference.
- Half roll-down – This exercise strengthens the front of the body while engaging the muscles in the back. Sit up tall with your legs in front of you, arms extending in front of you at shoulder height. Spread your legs so your feet are as wide as your hips, pull in your navel and then roll down forward with your back straight. Roll back up to a seated position. Repeat ten times.
- Plank – This exercise engages the back and supports proper positioning of the spine. Put yourself on your hands and knees with hands as wide as your shoulders and your knees as wide as your hips. Step your feet back until your body is straight, pulling your abs in and keeping your back straight and flat, with shoulders over wrists. Hold for ten seconds and repeat three times. Work to increase time and repetitions.
- Superman – This exercise engages the back while training your muscles to work together. Lie on your stomach with your arms outstretched forward and your legs extended back. Open your legs so that your feet are hip width apart and your hands are shoulder width apart. Reach your arms up off the ground at the same time that you lift your legs off the ground, contracting your abdominal muscles and engaging your back muscles. Hold for a count of three and repeat ten times.
- Swimming – No, not swimming in a pool, this exercise starts in the same position as superman, but instead of lifting both arms and both legs at once, lift your right arm and left leg at the same time and then switch to left arm and right leg at the same time as though you’re swimming. Contract your abdominal muscles while doing it and continue for thirty seconds.
- Marching Bridge – Start lying flat on your back with your feet planted about hip width apart, close to your bottom. Lift your hips up off of the ground so that your back forms a bridge, then lift your right foot off of the floor. Return it to the ground and then repeat with the left leg, alternating ten times on each side.
Adding these five exercises to your daily routine will take you less than ten minutes and should make a significant difference in how you feel. If you need greater relief, contact our office to make an appointment to come in and see our back pain specialist.