back pain, Back pain at home

4 STRETCHES TO EASE MIDDLE BACK PAIN

  • (A) Child’s Pose

To perform the Child’s Pose:

  1. Start in a kneeling position, with the hips and buttocks resting on the lower legs and feet.
  2. Spread the knees apart to a comfortable point. Then fold the body forwards, bringing the chest down towards the knees.
  3. If possible, bring the forehead to the floor, with the arms stretched out in front. The hands should gently rest on the floor, keeping the arms straight.
  4. Rest here for 20–30 seconds.
  5. Use the hands to gently return to an upright position.
  • (B) Cat-Cow Pose

To perform the Cat-Cow Pose:

  1. Start on hands and knees, with the knees below the hips and the wrists below the shoulders. Spread the fingers wide and press them through the fingertips to evenly distribute weight. The spine should be in a neutral position.
  2. Breathe in. Let the stomach drop toward the ground, and stick the buttocks out. Lift the head and shoulders, push the chest out, and look forward. This is the Cow Pose.
  3. Breathe out. Arch the back upward like a cat. Tilt the pelvis toward the ribs, drawing the shoulder blades away from each other and the belly away from the ground. Let the head drop toward the floor.
  4. Shift between these two poses 5–10 times.
  • (C) Thread the Needle

To perform Thread the Needle:

  1. Start on hands and knees, with the knees directly below the hips and the feet in line with the knees.
  2. Keeping the hips, knees, and feet still, walk the hands out in front until they are below the shoulders. Keep the arms straight, so that a slight stretch is felt down the sides.
  3. Take the right arm and pass it under the left arm while rotating the chest. The right hand should rest on the floor, palm up.
  4. Try to lower the right shoulder as far as possible, while gently placing the right side of the head onto the floor. Look past the armpit, toward the ceiling.
  5. Hold this position for 20–30 seconds.
  6. Push upward, using the right arm to gently return to the starting position. Then, repeat the stretch using the left arm.
  • (D) Seated twist

To perform the seated twist:

  1. Sit on a chair or the floor, with the legs crossed or straight out in front. Make sure to sit tall, while pulling the shoulder blades together and down.
  2. Slowly twist to the left side. Place the right hand on the outside of the left knee and place the left hand behind the back to provide support.
  3. Hold the twist for 20–30 seconds, then return to center.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

Repeat this stretch three or four times on each side. When working at a desk, practising this and similar stretches throughout the day can help relieve tension in the middle back. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/treatment/

back pain, Back pain at home

4 EXERCISES TO RELIEVE MIDDLE & UPPER BACK PAIN

Stop immediately and consult your doctor if any of the exercises below increase or cause pain.

(A) Cat-cow pose

The cat-cow pose is a gentle stretch that can help ease the pain in your middle back.

  1. Get down on all fours with knees and hands on the floor. The back and neck should be in a neutral, straight position.
  2. Slowly tighten lower abdominals, rounding the back towards the ceiling and tucking your chin. You should feel a stretch along your spine.
  3. Hold for 5 seconds.
  4. Release and return to a neutral position.
  5. Slowly lift your head, chest and tailbone toward the ceiling, letting your spine and stomach sink toward the ground. This should also produce a comfortable stretch in your spine.
  6. Hold for 5 seconds.
  7. Release and return to a neutral position.

(B) Prone cobra

The prone cobra is an advanced back extension exercise that targets your upper back muscles:

  1. Lie on the floor face down. You may place the forehead on a rolled-up hand towel for comfort.
  2. Place the arms at the side, palms down on the floor
  3. Pinch the shoulder blades together and lift the hands off the floor. Keep shoulders down and away from ears.
  4. Roll the elbows in, palms out and thumbs up.
  5. Gently lift the forehead about an inch off the towel keeping the eyes looking straight at the floor (do not tip the head back and look forward).
  6. Try to hold the position for 10 seconds.
  7. Aim to complete 10 repetitions.

To increase the intensity slightly, you can lift your legs off the ground, too.

(C) Opposite arm/leg raise

This exercise, sometimes called the bird-dog pose in yoga, strengthens your abdominals and back muscles.

  1. Get on your hands and knees. Keep your spine straight, with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees aligned directly under your hips.
  2. Slowly reach out with one arm while extending the leg on its opposite side. Keep both straight and level.
  3. Hold for a few deep breaths, then gently lower your arm and leg to starting position.
  4. Repeat this exercise with your other arm/leg.
  5. If you had a tissue box balanced on your lower back it should remain in place throughout the exercise.

Try for 10 to 15 repetitions on each side.

(D) Press-up exercise

This press-up or back extension exercise targets your back extensor muscles, which are attached to the back of your spine.

  1. Lie on the stomach with your hands under your shoulders.
  2. Raise your upper body onto your elbows while keeping both forearms and hips relaxed on the ground. Breathe out and allow your chest to sink toward the ground. You should feel a comfortable stretch in your mid back.
  3. Hold for 5 seconds, then slowly return to the floor.
  4. Aim to complete 10 repetitions. Gradually build to hold the position for 20 seconds.

A more advanced Step 2 involves raising your upper body onto your hands (rather than forearms) while still keeping both hips relaxed on the ground. In yoga, this is called the cobra pose. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/back-pain/treatment/