If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from back pain, you know how debilitating it can be. Even the simplest tasks can be a challenge when your back is acting up.
But there’s good news: There are some movements that can help ease your pain. Here are three essential stretches to try if you’re dealing with pain in your back.
1. The Cat-Cow Stretch
The cat-cow stretch is a simple but effective way to help alleviate pain in the back. The stretch is performed by first assuming a four-point position on the ground, with the knees and hands supporting the body. From there, the spine is arched upwards into a “cat” position, before rounding downwards into a “cow” position.
This stretching and lengthening of the spine helps to relieve tension in the muscles and ligaments, and can also improve range of motion. Additionally, the cat-cow stretch can help to increase circulation and promote proper alignment of the spine.
To do this stretch, start on your hands and knees with your back in a neutral position. As you inhale, arch your back and tilt your pelvis up toward the ceiling. Then, as you exhale, round your back and tuck your chin toward your chest. Repeat this sequence 10 times. For best results, the stretch should be performed slowly and deliberately, with deep breathing throughout.
2. The Child’s Pose
The child’s pose stretch lengthens the muscles in the lower back, which is especially helpful for relieving pain in the lower back. By lengthening the spine and hips and releasing tension in the shoulders, this stretch can help to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
To do this stretch, start by sitting on your heels with your knees hip-width apart. Then, lean forward, resting your forehead on the floor and extending your arms in front of you. You should feel a stretch along your back and spine. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat the stretch three times.
3. The Sphinx Pose
The sphinx pose is a gentle backbend that can help to stretch and strengthen the muscles of the spine. This can help to relieve pain in the back by lengthening the front of the body and relieving pressure on the lower back.
To do this pose, start by lying on your stomach with your legs straight behind you. Then, prop yourself up on your elbows, keeping your forearms parallel to each other. Slowly begin to arch your back, lengthening through the front body. Hold this pose for a few deep breaths, then release back down to the starting position.
These movements can help to alleviate pain in the back and improve mobility. However, if your pain is severe or chronic, be sure to talk to your doctor or visit an urgent care center like Hillsboro Urgent Care before trying these or any other exercises.