No matter who you are, what you do for a living, or where you live, if you haven’t had back pain yet, there’s a good chance that you will. Experts estimate that at least 80 percent of American’s will experience back pain at some point in their lives.
“Oh, my aching back” or “My back is killing me” is quite common phrases. If you or someone you care about suffers from tight muscles or back pain, in many cases, you can find relief from simple stretching exercises that you can do at home.
Why Does My Back Ache All the Time?
Backaches and pain occur for a variety of reasons, but some of the most common include:
- Long periods spent sitting
- Lack of exercise/stretching
- Bulging or herniated disc
- Poor posture
- Pinched nerve
Of course, there are also more serious health issues that can cause back pain, including spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, tumors on the spine, and arthritis.
Best Stretching Exercises for Relief of Back Pain
Many people must sit for most of their days due to desk jobs. Combine this with poor posture while sitting, and you get backaches that simply don’t go away.
Try some of the following stretching exercises every day for 2 weeks. I’ve seen a great many back problems “cured” when patients began a regular stretching exercise program, such as yoga.
- Child’s Pose
This is an easy to do, super relaxing stretch that works the entire spine.
Get down on the floor and sit with your legs under you. Spread your knees apart and bend at the waist, putting your arms out in front of you. Go as low as you can. Keep your head down and look at the floor. Breathe deeply in and out two or three times, then return to start.
You can repeat this pose as often as you wish.
- Standing Hamstring Stretch
The hamstrings are located on the back of the thigh. When these muscles are tight, they will pull on the lower back, causing backaches. Doing this stretch at least twice a day will relieve back pain in seconds.
Be sure you have something you can grab onto in case you lose your balance, such as a chair.
Stand up straight and cross one leg in front of the other, keeping your feet together. Bend at the waist and let your hands drop down towards the floor. Don’t worry if you can’t touch the floor, just feel that pull on the back of the thigh. Hold for a count of 30, then switch legs.
- Piriformis Stretch
A small but particularly important muscle in the buttocks is called the piriformis. This important muscle helps the thighs move outwards. When the piriformis becomes tight, it often causes low back pain and/or hip pain.
To stretch this muscle, sit up straight in a chair. Put your left ankle on top of your right knee. Push down slightly on the knee and then bend forward at the waist. You will really feel this one in your buttocks. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat with the opposite leg.
Stretches for sciatica include some of the stretches above, but there are others that can also help to relieve sciatica pain, such as the sitting pigeon pose.
If you are still experiencing pain after stretching for several weeks, consult with your primary care physician or your chiropractor.
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About the Author:
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. His practice has treated thousands of Alaskan patients with physical therapy, chiropractic care, and massage therapy designed to help give long-lasting relief.
Dr. Wells is also the author of over 700 online health articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe, Organic Facts, and Thrive Global. He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.