Exercising regularly is a great way to reduce pain. In order to maximize the effects of exercise, stretching beforehand is always recommended. While stretches and other warm ups are helpful, some may actually cause unintended back pain. Here are seven back-friendly stretches and other warm up techniques:
A simple, brisk walk is a great way to warm up for a work out. When walking, focus on maintaining good posture by keeping your head up and your back and neck straight. Walk for 20 to 40 minutes.
Instead of high impact aerobics, get a similar workout by swimming a few laps. Muscle actuation while swimming helps strengthen your neck and back, enhancing spinal column support. For the best results, perform the back or breast stroke, as those require less twisting.
Avoid the inclined treadmill and use the stair-climber instead. It works the same set of muscles, but it allows you to maintain better posture. In addition, it strengthens muscles that promote better posture, like the quadriceps.
Get in a push-up position but support yourself with your forearms rather than just your hands. Your legs should either be supported by your toes or your knees, whichever is most comfortable. Then, simply hold for at least 30 seconds. This is a good way to exercise your core without crunching.
Supported hamstring stretch
Find something that you can rest your foot on, like a chair or railing. Raise one foot and place your heel on the support. Ideally, your leg should be parallel to the ground. While keeping your toes pointed up, bend forward as far as you can, trying to touch your toes. When doing this, bend from the hip and keep your back as straight as possible. When you've bent over as far as you can go, hold that position for about 30 seconds, then switch legs.
Side quad stretch
Lie on one side with your bottom arm stretched straight about your head. Bend your top leg back and, with your top hand, grab that foot and bring it as close to your tailbone as possible. Hold for 30 seconds and then turn over to the other side and perform on the other leg.
Reverse curl ups
Lie on your back with your arms stretched out to either side, palms down. Bend at your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Then, bring both knees to your chest, lifting your hips off the floor. Your arms help for stability. Hold for several seconds, return to rest and repeat.
If you've been suffering from chronic back pain and are looking for some relief, schedule an appointment with a professional chiropractor right away.