Got your back: easy tips to treat severe back pain
As we spend countless hours slumped over a desk, severe back pain is a major risk
What separates us from animals? Is it that we walk on two feet? Well, as office work pervades our lives, humans seem not to be practicing their most characteristic trait as we spend more and more hours slumped over a desk.
This can lead to bad posture and could result in severe back pain.
So, here are a few tips that can you apply while at work, at home or at the gym that will help banish back pain by relaxing your muscles.
Learning how to breathe efficiently is a key tool you can try in your daily routine, and it’s an exercise that can be practices anywhere.
The key muscles we are trying to target here are the upper abdominals that have become short and tight from years of sitting down, these muscles’ primary action is to flex your spine pulling you forward (like doing an abdominal crunch). We will also target the lower abdominals, responsible for stabilizing the pelvis.
To start, perform this exercise lying down and after a few weeks you can progress to sitting and standing.
Step 1: Lie down on the floor with your knees bent at 90 degrees.
Step 2: Place your hands on your lower abdominals
Step 3: Start to inhale through you nose slowly and deeply, your focus should be on sending the breath in to your upper abdominals and rib cage, not your lower abdominals.
Step 4: Now slowly exhale again only through your nose.
Step 5: Repeat this sequence at least 10 times in a slow and controlled manner.
Step 6: Once you have mastered this and can breath in for a count of 10 seconds slowly, progress to performing the exercise sitting or standing.
Another tip is to relieve tension in your gluteus medius, a muscle in your bottom.
You will need a hard round ball for this release: a baseball, cricket ball or lacrosse ball would be ideal.
Step 1: Lie down on your side with your elbows and your legs bent at 90 degrees.
Step 2: Place the ball on the side of your bottom, below your pelvis bone (hips). You should feel a tender point right away.
Step 3: Keep the ball there for 2-5 minutes until the pain has decreased.
This release can be done every day if needed.
Activate your core muscles
The plank is one the best exercise for developing strength in your core muscles that are responsible for stabilizing your pelvis.
This exercise, if executed correctly, is extremely beneficial to reducing back pain as once the core muscles are working efficiently, the lower back muscle will no longer take over the role of stabilizing the pelvis, thus reducing back pain in the long run.
Step 1: Lie down on your front on the floor, place your elbows in line with your shoulders, bent at 90 degrees.
Step 1: Keep your feet wider apart than your hips.
Step 3: Tuck your pelvis under, draw your navel in and breathe into your into your rib cage.
Step 4: Rest your elbows on the ground as you lift your upped body, so your upper body is resting on your elbows which are bent at 90 degrees.
Step 5: Keep your hips slightly above your shoulders while holding your plank.
It is good to use a mirror to view yourself from the side to check your hips are in the correct place.
You must not hunch your back in this exercise, keep it as straight as possible.
Step 6: Keep your shoulder blades retracted and keep your navel pulled in.
There is no set time limit for this exercise, simply rest and repeat when your back dips in and you can no longer hold the plank.