Chronic back pain can dictate your life on a daily basis. Back pain determines how you feel in the morning, your daily productivity, and the quality of your sleep at night. If you are experiencing back pain, the concepts of taking potentially addictive pain medication or having invasive back surgery are scary options that you probably don’t want to consider. Fortunately, there are approaches to alleviating back pain that don’t involve narcotics or invasive back surgery.
There are a variety of noninvasive treatment options for back pain that include physical therapy, spinal cord stimulation, injections, and daily exercise. If you are exercising regularly, but are not finding relief from your back pain, you may want to consult a doctor who specializes in noninvasive treatments for back pain. However, if you have not given exercises for back pain relief a try, here are four exercises that you can practice daily that can make your pain more manageable.
Exercises for Lower Back Pain
Partial Crunches: Although you don’t want to engage in full sit-ups, partial crunches are one of several exercises for lower back pain relief. To begin, lie flat on a yoga mat with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Cross your arms over your chest and tighten your stomach as you lift from your shoulders off of the floor. Don’t use your arms to pull you up, as that may exacerbate your pain. Do three sets of 8 to 12 crunches to tone stomach muscles that support your spine. Make sure to keep your neck and head aligned with your spine so that you do not strain your neck.
Leg Butterfly Stretches: The leg butterfly stretch often provides immediate lower back pain relief. Start by sitting upright on the mat and bending your knees so that the bottoms of your feet are pressed together. Then, gently press your knees toward the floor with your hands. The goal is to get your knees as close to the floor as possible without discomfort. Repeat this 10 times, with 10-second intervals of rest.
Exercises for Upper Back Pain
Arm Butterfly Stretches: The arm butterfly stretch is one of several exercises for upper back pain relief. Begin by standing or sitting upright on the mat. Place your hands palm down on your shoulders, with your elbows extended sideways. Slowly, move your elbows toward each other until you feel a good stretch, but no discomfort. Hold the stretch for five seconds and repeat 10 times.
Bridge Pose: Bridge Pose is one of many yoga poses that stretch the entire back and provide relief for upper back pain specifically. To begin this stretch, lie flat on the mat with your knees bent and your arms comfortably laid out parallel to your sides, palms up. Dig your heels into the floor and slowly raise your buttocks, core, and shoulders until you feel a comfortable stretch. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
Treatment of back pain does not have to require a surgical solution. Some treatments, such as exercise, can be performed by yourself and, in many cases, pain is reduced immediately or to a manageable level.