Having a good posture is essential for good health and prevents from many ailments. One of the most common discomforts is back pain due to bad posture. The cause can be genetic, work-related, or simply lengthy sitting/standing/sleeping in an unhealthy way. While there are many treatments available, simple stretching can be an easy and effective way to improve posture and reduce pain.
The Benefits of Stretching
Stretching has many benefits, including:
- Improvement in body alignment and flexibility
- Reduce risk of injury
- Release of stress and tension
- Reduce inflammation and swelling
- Increase energy and performance
10 Simple Stretches
Here are 10 simple stretches that you can use to improve your posture and reduce back pain:
- Neck Release: Stand or sit tall with your shoulders back and chin parallel to the ground. Gently lean your head to one side for 8 to 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
- Torso Twist: Sit up straight in a chair. Place your left hand on the back of the chair, and twist your body to the right. Hold the position for 10 to 12 seconds. Reverse the position and do the same on the other side.
- Windmill: Stand straight with your feet apart and arms extended on both sides like a windmill. Turn your torso to the left and hold for 10 to 12 seconds. Reverse the position and do the same on the other side.
- Back Bend: Stand with your feet apart and gently arch your back. Hold for 8 to 10 seconds and release.
- Cobra: Lie on your stomach and place your hands flat on the floor beside your chest. Lift your chest and head off the floor and hold for 10 to 12 seconds. Release and repeat.
- Butterfly: Sit on the ground with your feet together. Gently press your knees down towards the ground. Hold for 10 to 12 seconds and release.
- Shoulder Circles: Stand tall with your arms relaxed at your sides. Make small circles with your shoulders, first in a clockwise direction, then counter-clockwise.
- Hip Circles: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Make small circles with your hips, first in a clockwise direction, then counter-clockwise.
- Tricep Stretch: Reach your right arm across your body and hold your upper arm with your left hand. Gently pull your elbow towards your chest for 8 to 10 seconds. Reverse the position and stretch the other arm.
- Wall Squat: Stand with your back against a wall. Lower your body into a squat position, with your knees no lower than 90 degrees. Hold for 8 to 10 seconds and release.
These stretches are simple and easy to do, and can be done regularly to improve your posture and reduce back pain.
What are the best stretches for back pain relief?
1. Child’s Pose: Start in a kneeling position with your buttocks resting on your heels. Extend your arms in front of you and lower your chest to the ground. Hold the pose for up to one minute.
2. Cat-Cow Stretch: On your hands and knees in tabletop position, start by arching your back up towards the ceiling in the Cow Pose. Then curl your back downwards in the Cat Pose. Alternate between the two poses for up to one minute.
3. Seated Spinal Twist: Sit on the floor with legs outstretched in front of you. Cross your right leg over your left, resting your right foot just outside your left knee. Twist your torso to the left and hook your left elbow around the outside of your right knee. Hold for up to one minute and then repeat on the other side.
4. Cobra Pose: Lie flat on your stomach with legs extended behind you. Place your hands flat on the ground beneath your shoulders. Lift your chest and head off the ground and hold for 10-30 seconds.
5. Standing Forward Bend: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and your arms at your sides. Bend forward at the waist and reach your hands towards the ground as you relax your whole body. Hold the pose for up to one minute.
What type of exercises can help reduce back pain?
1. Strengthening exercises such as bridge, planks, and supermans
2. Stretching exercises such as hamstring stretches, hip openers, and twists
3. Low-impact cardio exercises such as walking, swimming, and using an elliptical machine
4. Yoga poses such as chair pose, mountain pose, and downward dog
5. Isometric exercises such as a core press, isometric lateral flexion, and back extension
What type of stretches should I do to reduce back pain?
The following stretches are great for reducing back pain and increasing flexibility:
2. Hip flexors
3. Piriformis stretch
4. Child’s Pose
6. Lower back rotational stretch
7. Gluteus stretch
8. Reclined Twist
9. Standing Forward Bend
10. Hamstring stretch.
What are the benefits of stretching for back pain?
1. Improved Posture: Stretching your abdominal and back muscles helps to correct poor posture and can reduce back pain.
2. Increased Flexibility: Stretching increases flexibility and range of motion in the spine and surrounding muscles, which helps to ease back pain.
3. Improved Circulation: Stretching can improve circulation to the soft tissues in your back, which helps to reduce inflammation, soreness and pain.
4. Reduced Stress & Tension: Stretching increases relaxation and decreases stress, both of which can be beneficial when dealing with back pain.
5. Improved Function & Mobility: Stretching can help to improve and maintain the normal functioning of your spine and reducing discomfort.