When You See How Easy It Is To Relive Your Back Pain Without Leaving Your Couch It Will Change Your Life!
Back pain is not only uncomfortable, but also annoying especially to people who experience it on a daily basis. This pain can be caused by a number or reasons from genetics to injury. If you are suffering from back pain then you should know you can relieve the same without leaving your couch. The following are simple exercises you can do to relieve back pain while on your couch.
Lower back pain
To relieve lower back pain, begin by sitting forward in your chair. Grab the back of your thigh after bringing one knee to your chest. The thigh should be then pulled gently towards your body and held for half a minute. Follow by slowly raising the leg and gently lowering it. Repeat the same motion using the other leg.
The shoulders should be brought towards your ears after taking a deep breath. Hold the pose for approximately 3 seconds, then exhale while releasing the shoulder. The movement should be done for ten or more times to be effective.
Chest muscle pain
To relieve this kind of pain, begin by placing your hands on the back of your head. This should be done in a fashion whereby the elbows will be wing-shaped. Move your elbows toward the wall and try to squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold the position for about half a minute and finish by slowly returning the shoulders to the starting position. Repeat the movement at least ten times.
Start by sitting forward in your chair. Now place the right ankle on the left knee then lean forward. As you lean forward, you will feel a stretch in the glutes. Avoid pushing too hard. Hold the position for a minimum of thirty seconds before sitting back up slowly. The movement should be repeated using the other leg.
Upper/middle back pain
Hug yourself while placing the left hand on your right shoulder and your right hand on your left shoulder. Take a deep breath and hold it in for at least thirty seconds before you slowly release. The movement should be repeated more than ten times for maximum effect.
With your back straight and feet planted firmly on the ground, sit forward in your couch. Tilt you head to one side while bringing an ear to your shoulder. Hold the position for about half a minute and bring the head back to its original position. Repeat the same motion using the other side.
4 Exercises That Prevent A Hunchback And Tech Neck
You’re starting to see it everywhere. It’s those people that are slouching around with caved-in chests and heads that look like they’re about to fall off.
This is known as Tech Neck: the mid and upper spine hunching over from sitting down for long periods of time and leaning over a desk. Maybe you even have it yourself! If you do, or even if you don’t, it’s important to know how counteract this so that YOU don’t end up living in a cathedral bell tower (or unable to look up or lift your arms…). Remember, by ages 70-79, 21% of all adults are hunched, and nearly two thirds of the population will suffer from degenerative cervical spine conditions– don’t be one of them.
First, an anatomy lesson: your mid to upper spine already has a natural bend in it that curves towards your back. An abnormally large, permanent curvature is called hyperkyphosis, or in the old days, “hunchback.” In the sitting position, the spine naturally wants to curve a little bit more, which is fine… unless you do it for several hours every day. Eventually the body adapts to this position– the chest, front shoulders and abs tighten while the back and neck muscles relax, which literally pulls your spine and shoulders further forward, out of their proper alignment. The head falls forward, out of its neutral position, weakening posterior erectors and causing pain. These conditions not only make the entire body weak and unaesthetic, they can result in horrific injury and costly hospital bills.
It takes consistent effort to fix these issues and maintain proper posture, but thankfully it’s simple: stretch your tight chest and ab muscles and strengthen your weak back muscles, then keeping your head neutral.
For those so inclined, that could mean hitting the weights. Any back exercise, such as pullups, rows, and deadlifts, will tighten the back and pull your spine back into proper alignment.
Most of us don’t have the time or will to lift the weights though, and that’s fine. For the rest of us, here are four exercises that will fix you right up!
1. The Superman (or Y Stretch)
-Lay face down on the floor, with your arms in a Y shape.
-Then, slowly lift your arms up off the floor, maintaining the Y shape, and keeping your shoulder from lifting.
-You should feel your shoulder blades retract together and your back muscles activate.
-Optionally, you may lift your legs up as well to stretch your abs and tighten your lower back.
-Hold this position for at least 20 seconds, working your way up as you get more flexible.
This exercise pulls your spine back into alignment by pulling it the other direction. It uses the posterior deltoids, latissimus dorsi, and trapezius to pull your arms up and back, which opens up your chest and allows your overly-tight pectoralis and anterior deltoid muscles to relax.
2. The Bow Stretch
-Wear loose clothes, and stand with your feet a little more than shoulder width apart, firmly planted.
-With your arms up and over your head and your thumbs pointed behind you, slowly bend backwards at the knees, hips, back, shoulders, and neck (relax your head backwards, don’t force it). Let your jaw hang open and breathe deeply and slowly through your mouth.
-Lean back as far as you can and hold it for at least 10 seconds, working your way up as you get more flexible.
This focuses primarily on using what’s called full body extension, which relaxes all anterior (frontal) muscles, including the neck, chest, shoulders, and hips (another muscle group that becomes unbalanced with excessive sitting!). This stretch takes work, especially if you’re not very flexible or mobile, but keep working at it! Eventually you’ll be able to lean back farther and hold it for longer.
3. Neutral Position Head Placement
-Stand up as straight as you can.
-Pull your shoulders down and back.
-Pull your neck up and back, bringing your ears directly above your shoulders
Think of this movement as trying to pull your whole upper body back and then making your ears as far apart from your shoulders as possible. This isn’t an exercise or stretch per se, but more a habit to get into. Try to do this every time you’re standing up. Don’t worry, you won’t look weird, you’ll look confident.
4. Mid-back Foam Roller Stretch
-Buy a hard foam roller. These are cheap and incredibly useful.
-Place the foam roller on the ground, and then lay across it perpendicularly (the roller and your body should make a “t” in other words), resting on the foam roller just under your shoulder blades.
-Plant your feet on the ground, bending your legs and keeping your butt off the ground, then place your hands behind your head and relax.
-Do this for at least 30 seconds, working your way up as you become more flexible.
This exercise follows the same trend the others do: by relaxing, you’re reversing the over-arching of your spine and opening your chest cavity.
One last piece of advice: do these things daily! Make a ritual out of it, and if you keep it up, you can say goodbye to “tech-neck” forever and say hello to your new healthy and confident posture.
Curling up in bed with a heating pad may sound like a great idea during one’s period, and it’ll be difficult to leave, but most health experts say that’s the wrong way to go. A half hour of aerobic exercise will help relieve bloating, cramps, and mood swings, as well as a lot of other symptoms of PMS.
During menstruation, most people experience fatigue and a loss of interest in exercise. Working on your regular workout with moderate intensity is the best way to go. One’s menstrual cycle does not hamper performance – in fact, they call it the female advantage. At the same time in the cycle where cravings and cramps spike, those same hormonal changes give you a boost in muscle recovery and pain tolerance.
So, what should you do once you get your gear on?
Even those who are against a hardcore workout can agree that walking will get you moving without any injury or danger. Walking isn’t a huge calorie burner, but you’ll feel better about getting out and about and more energized. Don’t stress the calorie count, just get moving!
If you’re feeling up to it, feel free to go for a jog. Endorphins that are released during an intense workout can help knock out those period blues you’re sporting. Don’t forget to stay hydrated before, after, and during as researchers say it’s easier to dehydrate when you’re having your period. Even if it’s not true, may as well err on the side of caution.
Yoga is a great choice for exercise, as long as you avoid the inverted poses, as they may do more harm than good. Yoga alleviates stress, tension, and increases the flow of oxygen and blood around the body. It’ll also provide time to focus on yourself and your emotions.
Weightlifting is also a viable option, as long as you use lighter than usual weights and lower reps. Work all major muscle groups and if you start to feel weak or fatigued, stop immediately.
Listen to your body, though, if going to the gym seems too daunting – stay home and rest. One or two days of rest should be part of every workout plan, regardless. During the commercial breaks, feel free to shake your tailfeather to whatever music you like or plank (get down on the floor, put your arms and elbows under your chest, raise your body with your forearms and toes, hold). Planking can be intense, so start by holding the plank during every other commercial and work up to holding through an entire commercial break.
Working out from home is always fun. You can throw in an exercise DVD or OnDemand workout. There’s no need for workout gear and quitting early isn’t embarrassing if it’s just you in your living room. Your period isn’t an excuse to skip your workout routine, but if you need the break don’t be afraid to take it. After all, women are two to ten times more likely to get ACL injuries than men and most of them occur just before or at the start of menstruation.
In order for your shoulder to function optimally, you need good thoracic (upper back) mobility. Too many people have poor upper thoracic mobility (the area between your shoulder blades) due to spending many hours at the computer; poor posture; not being active enough etc. This can impact your shoulder health, we all need good extension through our upper backs in order to complete overhead movements without compromising our structures in the shoulder joint. Often, problems with impingement; bursitis or rotator cuff issues at the shoulder joint are due to poor thoracic mobility as your shoulder blade cannot move efficiently over your ribcage.
In order to improve your upper back mobility, I have put together a couple of exercises that can be carried out at home on a daily basis.
1. Foam Roller Extension:
This will help improve your thoracic mobility into extension.
If you are fortunate enough to have a foam roller at home or access to one in the gym then try this.
Sit comfortably with knees bent and bottom touching the floor. Place foam roller below shoulder blades, hands behind head.
Keeping your bottom in contact with the floor, slowly breathe out and let your back gently extend over the foam roller. Hold for a count of 3-5 seconds and slowly rise back up to start position. Repeat this twice and then gently roll the foam roller an inch further up the spine, repeat the extension movement twice again and keep doing this until you reach the top of the shoulder blades.
Ensure you do this correctly by watching the video below:
2. Side-lying thoracic opener:
This will help improve your thoracic mobility into the rotation.
Lie on your side with your head supported, raise the top hip to 90 degrees and rest the knee on a foam roller or a firm pillow (this protects your lower back). Arms outstretched and hands stacked on top of each other.
Start to raise the top hand up and slowly bring it over to the other side of your body, letting your eyes follow that hand all the way, until you can’t go further, let your arm fall out at a 45 degree angle, make sure your knee stays in contact with the foam roller/pillow and your resting shoulder in contact with the mat, otherwise you’ve gone too far. Ensure you can still breathe comfortably and hold for 3-4 breaths, return hand to start position and repeat. Do this 10 times on each side. You will find that by the last few reps you have reached further than the start.
3. Thoracic Rotation (advanced exercise):
Only attempt this if you have relatively good shoulder and core strength. This is a good follow-on exercise for pain-free shoulders that require strength building.
Hands should be in line with shoulders. Spine (including neck) should be neutral and bum tucked under to engage the glutes, feet just wider than shoulder-width apart.
From the start position, gently push one hand into the floor, keeping the body aligned and raise the other hand off to rotate around and reach up to the ceiling, shoulders should be stacked (wrist; shoulder; opposite shoulder; opposite wrist all in one line) and no sagging at the hips. Eyes to follow the moving hand at all times. Return to start position and rotate with the opposite arm. Repeat 5-10 times on each side.
Mary is the director of free ur body based in Adelaide, a gym based rehabilitation service which gives you results you may not have thought possible. With a background in Physiotherapy and a broad array of post-degree qualifications, she helps get people out of chronic pain through thorough assessment and movement-based rehabilitation. We believe education is the key to health & wellness and pass our tools on to our clients to ensure they can independently maintain their health & wellbeing to the highest level.
Now this is awesome, and something that people request from us quite often. Eight foods that help with pain, what an awesome thing! Tart cherries, olive oil, thyme, ginger, red grapes, even cookies! Most of these foods have anti-inflammatory properties that naturally ease pain, cookies just plain increase your happy level, no wonder I love them so! Consider having a cup of ginger tea at bedtime, maybe with a cookie, relaxing, delicious, and you may have less pain and sleep better. Tart cherry juice is delicious alone or in a smoothie, consider having some before or after your next workout. So here’s to life with less pain, I’ll drink some cherry juice to that! Here they are in a convenient format for you: