Banish Back and Neck Pain With Natural Home Remedies and Exercises
Back and neck pain can stem from simply sitting at your computer, like you may be doing now, back hunched, shoulders slumped forward and abs relaxed. Back pain can stem from a trauma or injury, sleeping on the wrong or old mattress, stress, a physically demanding job, or many other circumstances. Lower back pain and neck/shoulder pain are very common. Understandably, back pain caused by bad posture will affect people’s ability to do back pain relief exercises.
How can people relieve and banish back pain for good? The most popular remedies are:
✓ pain medications
✓ physical therapy
✓ epidural shots
There are simple home remedies that do not include any of the above that can help toward a pain-free and better healthful lifestyle without the back drama. No matter what the cause is, there are foundational base remedies which could ease the soreness associated with simple back anguish. Doesn’t hurt (too much) to try them!
✱ Massage therapy
Massage therapy matchless from the basic remedies because back pain is a temporary symptom pacifier therapy, it can help a lot. Whenever people experience pain that includes muscle tightening, pain and soreness, a massage could be really effective. Call a home masseuse or have your partner give you a massage. Almost all massage chairs today are designed to mimic human massage, which is quite effective in dealing with back pains.
Exercising is a great way to ease back and neck pain, though sometimes the thought of moving your body may seem strenuous. Start slow and listen to your body. Consult a physical therapist or exercise professional before starting any new routine with back pain. Exercising helps to circulate the blood in the body. When muscles fail to get proper nutrients and oxygen due to a lack of circulation and movement, they weaken and leave people susceptible to chronic body stress and pain. The back muscles do not frequently get a good flow of blood circulating to it, therefore exercising is the best way to amend blood circulation to the back.
Strengthen the “right” abs
The abdominals consist of four separate muscles. The deepest muscle, the transverse abdominus (T.A.), runs horizontally and serves as a girdle for the internal organs, and it also supports the back. Learning to isolate the T.A. is very important. One way to do this is to stand with your back against a wall. In a neutral position, there should be a slight space between your lower back and the wall. When you tighten the T.A., your stomach will flatten, but your back should remain in neutral. Do not suck in the gut or shrug your shoulders. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds. A more advanced version of this back pain exercise is performed in a quadruped position (on your hands and knees). Performed correctly, this ab strengthening exercise can help you banish back pain.
The cat-cow stretch is a good exercise to help banish back pain; it loosens the hips and relieves tension and stiffness in the back. On your hands and knees, lift your head and make your back concave for the cow pose. Then arch your back, tighten your abs and tuck your hips underneath you for the cat pose. You might find you have more hip motion in one direction than in the other. Perform this exercise often, but be careful not to strain yourself. Make the motions smoothly and slowly, and don’t snap your hips in one direction then the other.
Stretching because stressed muscles are more susceptible to being torn or tweaked, increasing the flexibility and stretch-ability of muscles, particularly after prolonged assumption from a single posture (sitting at a desk or performing the same movements for a long duration of time) will help to ease back and muscle pain. Stretching exercises can assist in keeping the muscles more flexible and help people avoid strains which could cause severe discomfort in the upper and lower back.
Tight hamstrings are a common cause of back pain because they attach to the pelvis and any tightness affects the low back. The hamstrings become inflexible and weak if you’re stuck at a desk all day, if you sit during a long commute or are an person who just does not stretch as often you should. A good exercise to banish back pain is to stretch the hamstrings lying supine. A seated stretch can cause strain on the lower back if performed incorrectly. Using a towel, belt, stretch cord or dog leash, hook one foot in the cord and keep the other foot flat on the floor. Pull the involved leg straight up in the air, until a stretch is felt in the back of the thigh. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat this three times for each leg. Extend the opposite leg if you can for a deeper stretch. Again, this isn’t a motion that can be performed harshly and you shouldn’t be overextending your leg or causing pain. You should only feel a slight burning in your thigh indicating a good stretch, not pain.
Hip flexor stretch
When your quadriceps and hip flexors are tight, in conjunction with weak abs, they pull your pelvis forward, causing pain in your lower back because the quadriceps crosses the knee and hip joint. Kneel on your right knee with your left leg bent and your left foot flat on the floor in front of you. Lean forward and squeeze your right buttock as you do so. You should feel the stretch down the front of your thigh, and into the front of the hip. Switch sides. Kneel on a pillow or towel if your knee bothers you. This stretch to banish back pain can also be done while you lie on your stomach.
As you’re reading this, drop your shoulders. Did you realize they were up? Many people hunch their shoulders due to stress, tension or just as a learned posture. A constant slumped-over posture puts the trapezius muscle in a constant stretch position, which over time causes the muscle to tighten up to protect itself.
Stretching the trapezius on a regular basis will help relieve some tension and help prevent headaches. Attempt to bring the right ear to the right shoulder, keeping in mind that your shoulder should not come up to meet your ear. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat it 10 times. Hold onto the edge of the chair with your left hand for a deeper stretch, and remember to do both sides.
Open your chest
The pectoral muscles, or “pecs,” tighten up when the shoulders are carried forward all the time, and as a result of doing too many bench presses and pushups. In a corner, put your forearms against the wall. Lean forward, pushing your chest toward the wall. Feel the stretch across the front of your chest and shoulders. Hold this position for 30 seconds and repeat three times. If you do not have an empty corner, the stretch can be performed one arm at a time in a doorway. Don’t lean too far forward; it should be a stretch, not painful.
The muscles between the scapula (rhomboids) are most responsible for keeping the shoulders in proper alignment. In a seated or standing position, squeeze your shoulder blades together. A maximum contraction will make the shoulder blades touch. Do not shrug your shoulders and do not arch your lower back. Try this exercise to banish back pain in a prone position as well. Place a pillow or a rolled-up towel under your forehead to keep your neck and spine in a straight line. Lift your shoulders off the surface, squeezing your shoulder blades together, and then reach for your feet with your fingertips. Squeeze for five seconds and repeat 20 times. This exercise is the precursor to seated or bent-over rows performed in the gym.
These stretches to banish back pain can be performed every day, at any time. After about three weeks of consistent stretching, people should begin seeing an improvement in their posture and experience less back pain. However, if back pain continues, visit your doctor or physical therapist.
Sources: womansday.com, prevention.com, askmen.com, menshealth.com