Why Back Pain Is So Common
One of the most common complaints when it comes to body aches is back pain - especially the lower back. In fact, half of all people working today will experience back pain during any given year, and it ranks as the second most frequently cited reason for doctor visits. While the list of reasons for back pain is practically endless – ranging from a sports or work injury to a kidney stone – you can often minimize or reduce the pain with some simple stretching techniques. Keeping those muscles loose and relaxed can go a long way towards granting you some relief.
Stretch One: Gentle Twist
Laying flat on your back, bend both of your knees into your chest, and extend your arms out to your sides. Keeping your shoulders pressed firmly against the ground, slowly rotate your knees to the right bringing them to the floor. If they don’t reach comfortably place a pillow or blanket on the floor so your legs can reach. Hold for 1 – 2 minutes, then slowly lift your knees and rotate to the other side.
Stretch Two: Reclined Hamstring
Lying flat on your back, place both feet on the floor and bend your right knee into your chest. Then place a rolled up towel or exercise band around the ball of your foot and straighten your leg toward the ceiling. Keeping the leg straight and foot flexed hold for 2- 3 minutes. Once complete lower your leg slowly to the floor and switch to the other leg.
Stretch Three: Legs Up the Wall
Find a wall that has enough floor space in front of it to allow you to stretch out your arms. Place your butt all the way against the wall, with your legs straight up in the air against it, and extend your arms out to your sides. Hold for 5 – 10 minutes. This is a great way to relax the muscles of your lower back, and get the blood circulating from your feet and ankles. This is a good exercise if you have been sitting for a long time without being able to get up and stretch, or move around.
Back Pain Relief Through Yoga
A great way to learn proper stretching techniques is by taking a class at a local yoga center with a certified instructor. Look for a beginners or a gentle flow class, and let them know if you’ve been experiencing back (or other) pain.
If your back pain is more intense or chronic, drop by your local AppleCare clinic and consult with one of our healthcare providers for an evaluation before you get started on an exercise regimen.