Back pain that grips you every moment you stand up is a sign that you need to work on your back and thigh muscles. When you are not paying attention to this warning sign, it can lead to a chronic condition that can prevent you from doing even the daily routine activities.
Performing the right exercises can help you keep back pain at bay, and prevent it turning into a threat to your physical and emotional health.
Partial crunches: This is a core strengthening exercise that helps the lower back and the ab area. People who suffer from spondylitis can find this a great workout to manage pain. To do this, choose a flat surface. Lie on your back with bent knees. Your feet should be flat on the floor. Keep your arms on the chest, crossed. Or you can even place them at the back of your head. Your stomach muscles should be tight and slowly raise the shoulders. Breathe out slowly. You will feel the urge to raise the elbows and neck to ease the movement. But, you shouldn’t try this. Hold for a second, and get back to the floor slowly. Repeat this 8 to 10 times. When you cannot keep ab muscles tight, you will be straining the back muscles and joints again. So, maintain the right posture.
Hamstring stretches: The hamstring muscles at times become inflexible, which leads to the radiating pain from the thighs to the lower back. You need to lie flat and bend your knee. One leg should be unbent. Keep a soft towel and thread it under the ball of your foot of the unbent knee. Slowly straighten the knee and pull back the towel softly. During this, you will feel a gentle stretch in the back of the leg. Stay in the position for 30 seconds. Initially, you will not be able to stay for this long. So you can start with 10 seconds. Do this stretch at least 4 times for each leg.
Press up back extensions: Begin this position by lying down on your stomach. Place your hands underneath your shoulders. Push the hands down. You will feel the shoulders lifting away from the ground. You can also place the elbows on the ground if you feel comfortable. Stay in this position for 30 seconds.
Knee to chest: You can ease your muscles in the thighs and lower back with this exercise. Lie on the back, and your feet should be flat. Now bend the knees. Slowly move one leg to the chest with the knees bent. The other has to be flat on the ground with bent knees. Your lower back should be on the floor. You need to hold for several seconds. Lower the knee. Then repeat with the other leg. Do this 4 times for each leg.
All these exercises can do wonders but give some time to experience the effect and do it regularly. You will feel the changes in due course of time. Do not continue when you encounter severe pain during the workout session. You should also ensure that you stick to the right posture while performing these exercises.
The problem of morning back and neck pain may be due to the position of sleeping or it may be related to inflammatory arthritis which can be familial. Morning back pain is largely related to wrong sleeping posture and less commonly due to arthritic conditions like Ankylosing Spondylitis or Rheumatoid Arthritis. Whatever be the cause- this condition requires attention by an Orthopedic doctor as it may worsen in due course of time and should not be taken lightly.
Some common factors causing this are:
Posture: Not changing your position while sleeping or sleeping on the belly exerts strain on the back muscles, causing pain. On the other hand, sleeping on the back or on the sides causes comparatively less strain on the spine.
Other causes such as strenuous workouts or physical activities or sitting at a stretch during the day might cause pain while sleeping or after getting up from bed.
Remedies for Morning Back Pain:
Fortunately, there are some home remedies to cure the morning back pain.
Switching your mattress is a more expensive remedy for back pain, but may often be the ultimate cure. Most people sleep the best on medium-firm mattresses. Be sure to try out the mattress before you buy it.
For occasional back pain after sleeping, apply heat to your back to relax your muscles before you go to bed and when you get up in the morning.
Massage your back with pain relieving creams and apply heat on it with a heating pad for quick relief.
Specific spinal stretching exercises and Planks (a type of exercise) can greatly help in easing back pain, if done on a regular basis.
If there is a constant ache in your neck, sitting at your desk for long hours may be one of the reasons. Besides this, uninterrupted sitting for a long period of time can lead to a number of health problems.
Dr Naveenchand Dambekodi, consultant orthopaedic and joint replacement surgeon, Columbia Asia Hospital, says that half of the patients that come to him complaining of back problems are corporate sector employees.
Sitting for more than eight hours can lead to postural problems like disc damage, strained neck and swayed back in the long run. It can also lead to some other serious health concerns like:
Sitting for long hours can lead to high blood and increased cholesterol levels. These conditions can lead to various heart problems.
More chances of diabetes
Lack of movement by the body leads to a slower response of cells in the body muscle to insulin produced by the pancreas. Thus, they produce more insulin that can cause diabetes.
Muscle degeneration risk
In order to maintain strength and flexibility of the muscles, it is important to use them or the muscle fibres can weaken and break down. Sitting for long at your desk can lead to developing hyperlordosis, tight hips, and lump glutes.
Elevated stress levels
When the muscles are indulged in movement, breathing quickens that increases the oxygen supply to the brain and blood. This releases mood-enhancing hormones, called endorphins that help you feel happy, thereby reducing stress. However, a sedentary lifestyle leads to elevated stress levels.
Long hours of sitting can lead to imbalances in the spinal structure including disc damage, inflexible spine, strained neck, sore shoulders and back. While physiotherapy is recommended to deal with the pain, some easy exercises can help correct the damage.
Several yoga postures engage almost all the muscles in the body giving them a good work up. Performing yoga asanas in the morning and evening can be beneficial.
Take a stroll
Instead of sitting at your desk the whole day, make sure that you take a five-minute stroll every hour to improve your blood circulation.
Stretch now and then
Make sure to stretch your limbs now and then, while sitting. When you are at home, stretch hip flexors every morning/evening for five minutes.
A number of back problems can be avoided with the right sitting posture. Try sitting in an upright position without crouching and make sure you give your back a good rest.
Performing neck exercises can help relieve the stiffness. While sitting straight, drop the head slowly to one side, then the other. Performing this daily for five minutes can help provide relief.
Riding on horseback not only eases back pain,but also boosts the riders confidence and emotional well being,according to a new study.
The findings contribute to the growing body of evidence that horseback riding and related equine assistance therapy programs for disabled and injured individuals benefit human participants.
Lead author Margareta Hakanson said that the main reason seems to be “that the movements transferred from the horses body to the rider are very like the body movements made by a person walking.”
“There are no excessive movements,but a continuous bilateral influence on postural balance that is enhancing balance reactions and the fine movements in the rider”s trunk,” Discovery News quoted Hakanson,a researcher in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Goteborg University in Sweden,as saying.
For the study,Hakanson and her colleagues analyzed how horseback riding,along with other equine-related therapies,affected 24 patients suffering from back pain and other health problems.
Post treatment,riders were evaluated on both their physical and mental well-being. All participants experienced benefits in both areas.
“For those suffering from back pain,a horse at walk provides relaxing movements. Apart from the movement influence,the psychological effects of managing,communicating with and steering a large animal promote self confidence,” Hakanson said.
The study is published in the latest issue of the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies.
Modern lifestyle lends itself to several problems. The aching back is fast becoming one of the most common complaints.
Practically everyone has faced this problem in their lives. And most health practitioners are in agreement that our sitting postures, lack of exercise and long hours at the desk are all to blame for this ailment.
So, is there a cure, considering that none of those three things are going to change in the near future? Yoga is one of the most highly recommended alternative therapy for several physical and emotional (not to mention spiritual) ailments.
According to Delhi-based Yoga practitioner, Shri Anant, “Yoga can cure most diseases, if performed in the right way and one is guided by the right guru”. He meets several people who complain of back-aches. He insists that each individual person has a separate and unique need, and with the help of a trained yoga instructor, develop a yoga regimen to suit their individual need, but there are some common easy exercises that everyone can try.
For back aches, Shri Anant recommends the bhujangasana or the Cobra pose (in Sanskrit bhujanga means snake). Here’s how to do it right: First, lie flat on your stomach, keeping your hands level with your chest and your elbows pointing upwards. Inhale slowly and deeply as you hoist your body upwards, arching your back and lifting the front of your body upwards from the abdomen, until your arms are straightened out. Raise your head as much as possible. Hold the pose and your breath and count to ten. Now slowly lower your body and return to the initial pose as you slowly exhale. Repeat and gradually increase the count.