Back pain and its radiating symptoms can be an almost constant companion to modern-day life. Experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives. Back pain accounts for more than 264 million lost workdays in one year—that's two workdays for every full-time worker in the country.
As back pain suffering has increased, so has the high-end industry surrounding promises to relieve the suffering. According to some estimates, back pain relief is now a $100-billion-per-year industry in the U.S., and many unscrupulous vendors market back pain relief merchandise or procedures without evidence of their efficacy.
Most of us don’t have the time, energy, or money to follow rabbit trails of high-end pain relief promises. The good news is that there is much at our disposal that offers hope for freedom. In fact, stretching to relieve pain can be among the cheapest and most effective practices. At-home pain remediation can start as quickly as, and be as cheap as, rolling out your yoga mat.
Get Immediate Relief: Half Lord of the Fishes
This pose is gentle yet highly beneficial. It offers an incredibly effective tension-reliever for the entire back and neck. It’s a relaxing pose that you do sitting down, all while improving spinal mobility.
- Begin seated on the floor.
- Extend your legs in front of you, arms resting at your sides.
- Bend your right knee and tuck your right foot in near your left buttock.
- Inhale and bring your right arm straight up beside your right ear.
- Exhale and twist your torso to the left, bringing your right elbow to the outside to your left knee and the left palm to the floor just behind your sit bones.
- Take your gaze over your left shoulder, but don't strain the neck; the twist comes from your belly, not your neck.
- Release the legs and switch their position as you prepare to twist to the other side.
Relieve Stress and Restore: Sphinx Pose
This gentle backbend, suitable for beginners, strengthens your spine and gluteal muscles while also lengthening abdominal muscles and soothes the nervous system, relieving stress.
- Lie on your stomach, your legs extended behind you.
- Engage the muscles of your lower back, buttocks, and thighs.
- Bring your elbows under your shoulders with your forearms on the floor, palms facing down.
- Slowly lift up your upper torso and head.
- Lift and engage your lower abdominals to support your back. Ensure that you’re lifting up through your spine and out through the crown of your head, instead of collapsing into your lower back.
- Keep your gaze straight ahead as you fully relax in this pose, while at the same time remaining active and engaged.
- Stay in this pose for up to 5 minutes.
Strengthen and Prevent Pain: Locust Pose
This is another gentle backbend that may help relieve lower back pain and fatigue. It strengthens the back torso muscles, arms, and legs.
- Lie on your stomach with your arms next to your torso and your palms facing up.
- Touch your big toes together and turn out your heels to the side.
- Place your forehead gently on the floor.
- Slowly lift your head, chest, and arms partway, halfway, or all the way up.
- You may bring your hands together and interlace your fingers behind your back.
- Look straight ahead or slightly upward as you lengthen the back of your neck.
- Remain in this pose for up to 1 minute.
Along with being your own best advocate to find the pain relief plan that’s right for you, one of the best approaches to solving your pain issues is to work with a team of trusted experts that has your health and wellbeing as its main goal. If a holistic alternative medicine approach appeals to you, Carlson Chiropractic is ready to work with you in creating your own plan to relieve lower back pain and its symptoms.
If you need relief from back pain, we can help.