Does back pain haunt you? If so, you’re not alone. Eighty percent of the population of the US, at some point in their lives, with suffer from chronic or acute low back pain.
That’s a frightening statistic. About 2% to 10% of people who experience low back pain develop chronic low back pain.
The first thing most people do when low back pain strikes is reach for the pain pills. Advil and other over-the-counter medications can have numerous side effects and will lose their effectiveness when used in the long term.
Instead, let’s use your own body to help heal your pain. Here is a list tried and true tricks that I’ve used throughout my years of suffering from LBP.
Stand up straight and put the palms of your hands on your low back. Arch your whole back while feeling a stretch in your abdominals and shoulders. Return to starting position and relax. Repeat this five times.
When you’re on your feet all day
Do the static back. Lie on your back, with both legs bent at right angles with your feet resting on a chair or couch. Rest your arms at shoulder level and let your low back settle in to the floor. Breathe into your belly letting your stomach rise and fall. Do this for five to ten minutes.
When you’re sitting down on it
Sit on your sit bones. To find your sit bones, feel with your hands underneath your bottom and find the two boney protrusions at the base of your pelvis. Once you have done that, rock your pelvis slightly forward to bring yourself into neutral spine. This helps reinforces good posture whenever you’re sitting down for long periods of time.
When you’ve feeling tight and achy
Stretch those hips. Get in a half-kneeling position, front ankle underneath your front knee and back knee underneath your back hip. Stand up nice and tall, engage your gluteus muscle on the back leg and feel a stretch in the front of your hip. Lean forward slightly and repeat on other side. Do two sets of 30 seconds.
When it’s bed time
Sleep on your back. This will improve your posture because your spine gets support from the bed, and it also puts your shoulders in a better position, helping to minimize your back pain.
So next time your back is bothering you, refer to this list (which you are going to keep handy, right?) rather than reaching for the pain pills. Oh, one last thing. Remember to sit up straight, stand tall and protect your back!