Has Your Back Been Hurting?

When you experience back pain you one of your first thoughts might be, “Why is this happening?” and, “What can I do to help ease this annoying pain?”

Even though there can be countless reasons for your back irritating you, here are the most common back injuries that the population suffers from.

Muscle and ligament injuries are the most common types of back injuries. Unfortunately an injury like this can happen by doing everyday things. For example, Raking leaves or moving furniture in your house can sometimes overstretch the muscles or ligaments. A person is most likely to end up with a strain or sprain. Most of these injuries heal in a few days to weeks with proper rest.

Disc injuries are not as common as muscle and ligament injuries but are still likely to happen. Discs act as a pad that cushions between the bones of your spine, as if they were shock absorbers. When you’re being physically active you can cause stress or injury to usually one (or more) disc(s), breaking them open and are no longer attached making it a ruptured or herniated disc. Ruptured discs can cause inflammation and pressure on nerves, causing pain, and making it difficult to walk or stand for long periods of time.

Arthritis can affect the joints in the spine also, these joint are called facet joints.  As you age the discs age as well. The discs can break down and deteriorate over time. The facet joints in your spine may be rubbing against one another causing painful friction. This is painful because they do not have that cushioning from the discs there anymore to help with the shock absorbing. If you have arthritis your back may be feeling rather stiff when you wake up or hurt after standing or walking for longer periods of time.

There are 5 basic exercises that are used to prevent those three injuries and of course prevents other back related injuries. For each of these activities it is best to do 3 sets of 10 for a complete light back workout. It would also help if you have a yoga mat, towel, or a padded rug to do these on so you do not have to do these on the floor. (Unless you’re already doing this on carpet!)

  • 10 Bottom to heels Stretch
    • Start on your hands and knees, torso parallel to the floor.
    • While keeping hands and knees in place, lower your butt to rest on your heels.
    • Hold for a 5 Seconds
    • Then return to starting position.
  • 10 Opposite Arm/Leg Raises
    • Start on your hands and knees, torso parallel to the floor.
    • While raising your right hand parallel to the floor, raise your left leg also parallel to the floor, at the same time.
    • Hold for 2-3 seconds.
    • Return arm and leg to the body.
    • Repeat with opposite arm and leg for one 1 rep.
  • 10 Back Extensions 
    • Lay with your stomach flat on the floor.
    • Bring in your arms, elbows tucked into either side, forearms laying flat on the floor with the palms of your hands aligned with your head.
    • Push yourself up using your arms and while engaging your core and keeping your hands placed firmly on the ground
    • Hold for 5 seconds
    • Lower yourself and repeat
  • 10 Bridges 
    • Lay with your back on the floor and bring your feet, while bending your knees, closer to your bottom. Arms on either side of you.
    • Engage the glutes, legs, and core to bring your hips up towards the ceiling.
    • Hold for 5 seconds
    • Lower bottom onto the floor and repeat.
  • Knee Rolls 
    • Lay with your back on the floor, feet brought up to your butt with knees bent, and arms extended out to either side.
    • With your knees together, lower to the left side of you, bring back to center, and then the right side of you, then bring  back to center.
    • Make sure that your feet do not leave the ground, they can move around to accommodate comfort, but they should remain on the ground at all times.
    • Repeat

Make sure when trying any exercise that you take caution to prevent any injuries. If the 3 sets of 10 are to much to start with, try completing as much as possible and build by adding a little extra each night. Soon you’ll reach your goal of not only completing the workout but having a back that is stronger and less irritated. Keep living the healthy lifestyle!

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