Back pain is a common issue for many people largely resulting from a poor sitting posture, and strain on the back muscles and spinal ligaments. People tend to slouch and slump while standing, sitting or even when walking; some may experience muscle stiffness, and all this could contribute to the degradation of the health of the spine over time. It is important to keep your spine strong as it is vital to keep the entire body in alignment. The spine also houses the nervous system that is responsible for proper communication between the body and the brain. Therefore, taking care of your spine and maintaining its health is important. Following are some of the exercises you can follow to have a healthy spine.
- Knee to chest stretch: Rest on your back and put both your heels on the floor, bending at the knees. The next step is to take both hands and put them behind one of your knees and bring it close to your chest. Repeat the same on the other leg.
- Back flexion exercise: Lie on your back and pull both your knees up to your chest and push your head forward until you feel a gentle stretch. This will stretch the area from your lower back till your neck and strengthen your spine.
- Ear to shoulder stretch: This can be done in a sitting or standing position. Bend your neck to the side, trying to touch your ear to your shoulder. But do not stretch too far, stop when you feel a gentle stretching.
- Chin to chest stretch: This is similar to ear to shoulder stretch, and can be done while sitting or standing. Gently tilt your head forward until your chin touches your chest. This is a great stretch for anyone who works at a computer, as it can be performed throughout the day to alleviate neck strain.
- Hip stretch: Stand with your feet wide apart and then take a half-step back with your right foot, bend your left knee and shift your weight to your right hip. Make sure to keep your right leg straight and reach down to your right leg until you feel a gentle stretch in your outer hip.
- Use a medium to firm mattress: Use a mattress that is firm enough to support your spine. This helps you relax and rejuvenate. Old and soft mattresses can make your spine sag. A mattress with excellent support, and a good sleeping position can improve your spine health.
- Keep your spine naturally aligned: If you sleep on your back, place a pillow beneath the knees to reduce stress on the lower back. If you sleep on your side, use a pillow between the knees to keep the hips balanced. Some people may use a neck pillow that supports the cervical spine. Experiment with a few different types of pillows to find out which one is more comfortable.
- Use shoes that support your spine: Wearing the right type of shoe would support your spine and help body remain in alignment.
- Exercise to strengthen your abs and back muscles: The core muscles situated in your lower back and abdomen should be strong and supple in order to support your spine and take the pressure off your lower back. But the truth is, most people rarely use the core muscles. It is important to tone the core muscles, and it also helps to reduce back pain.
- Get a good back massage: Getting a good massage on your back once in a while helps to improve your spine health. It has therapeutic benefits like increasing blood flow, loosening tight muscles and connective tissues, and boosting feelings of relaxation. Make sure not to massage vigorously as it can cause damage to your back.
All the above-mentioned tips can help you maintain a healthy spine. Apart from all these tips, it is also important to maintain a good sitting posture to support the natural curve of your back.