Beating The Back Pain Pandemic
In America, and the world at large, back pain is a debilitating issue. At some point, 8 in 10 Americans will feel severe back pain. The health sector spends $86 billion per year on treatment. Some cases are muscle-related, while others are mild to severe spinal conditions. At the core, correct posture could be the reason behind chronic pain.
Why posture matters
Posture is the position of the body while standing, sitting, or lying down. While specific positions may feel comfortable, there is a correct posture in each instance. For proper posture, weight must feel equally distributed, using back and leg muscles effectively. The wrong posture puts stress and strain on the spine and surrounding tissues. The right position releases tension, relieves pressure on joints, and even helps with confidence. Try these 4 exercises to improve posture in short order.
1. Try the child’s pose.
Poor posture causes back pain in the upper and lower back. The child’s pose helps stretch the supporting muscles like the glutes, back, and hamstrings. Start in a kneeling position on a yoga mat, with feet and knees together. Drop the hips down to the feet until the hips touch the feet. Extend the arms and torso out as far as possible. Hold the position for 3 to 5 minutes while breathing deeply.
2. Seated row
Rows also help with rounded shoulders, a key reason for upper back pain. The row move pulls the shoulders back while strengthening the back muscles and core. Most gyms have seated row machines. However, a resistance band, dumbbells, kettlebells, or even a towel works well. Sit on the floor with the legs together and extended. Keep the torso upright, core tight, and head straight. For bands, secure the device to an anchor point for maximum resistance. Pull the weight toward the belly button in a smooth, steady motion, squeezing the shoulder blades together. Then extend to the starting position to complete one rep. Try 10-15 reps for 3 sets.
3. Plank into better posture
Planks are a powerful exercise. This handy move targets the core, obliques, and glutes, giving stability to the lower spine and improving hip strength. Assume a push-up position on all fours. Keep the back straight, hips raised and head centered. There should be a smooth line from head to heel. Maintain the pose for 60 seconds. Increase the intensity by going down on the forearms or balancing on one forearm at a time.
4. The halo
The halo move is a simple exercise with excellent results. Halos improve the shoulders while helping the core stay nice and long. To perform the exercise, get a small medicine ball, light kettlebell, or dumbbell. Stand tall with a straight back and shoulders. Rotate the weight around the head in a clockwise direction for one rep. Then perform an counter-clockwise direction for another rep. Complete 10 reps for 3 sets with 30 seconds of rest between each set.
Add these steps to your treatment.
Exercise serves multiple purposes. In addition to correcting posture, movement increases blood circulation, strengthens muscles, and relieves stress. All these are factors that cause poor posture and the resulting back pain. But that’s not all one should do to prevent back pain. Follow these extra tips:
- Invest in the right ergonomic chair at work
- Wear the right shoes as often as possible
- Invest in a supportive mattress
- Incorporate more yoga moves to help with pliability and flexibility
- Reduce smoking and alcohol, which prevents oxygen-rich blood from going to the spine
Feel amazing again
More and more Americans need to be concerned about posture. Jobs and everyday tasks require hours of standing and sitting. The excess strain in these positions means that many are prone to back pain. With regular exercise, correcting the posture is possible. The right stance can evenly distribute weight and relieve back pain. Speak with a doctor for a back assessment and any potential treatment to improve the quality of life.