How to fight a “Back Attack”
Did you know that the most effective way to relieve back pain is with exercise? It’s ironic, of course, because when one suffers from back pain, the mere thought of exercise hurts.
Why? First, exercise stimulates endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. Second, exercise improves blood flow to discs, joints and muscles, relaxing painful spasms and accelerating healing.
Home exercises To relieve back pain, try these exercises that will increase flexibility and restore the lordosis, or natural curve, to your back.
1. Knees to Chest
Lie on back, lift one knee, then the other, to chest. Hold for ten seconds, (for a variation, try this exercise lifting one leg at a time, leaving the other leg stretched out in front of you).
2. Hip Flexor Stretch:
Place left knee on towel, place hands on right thigh. Keep back straight. Slid hops forward until you feel a slight stretch on upper left thigh. Hold 10 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
3. Lumbar Rotation:
Lie on back, shoulders flat, knees bent, feet on floor. With knees together, slowly let knees drop to one side, hold for 10 seconds, and repeat to opposite side. (for a more advanced version of this exercise, extend your top leg while leaving your bottom leg bent, and move your arms in the opposite direction as shown.
4. Press Up:
Lie face down. Using your arms, try to press up and back as far as possible. Relax your back as you press up. Hold for 10 seconds.
When to see a doctor
While slight muscle soreness with any new exercise is normal, your back pain should not increase with these exercises. Follow this rule: If your back hurts worse with a specific exercise, stop doing it. If after three days your condition hasn’t improved, play it safe and see a spine specialist. Persons with serious symptoms, such as foot drop – when foot drags because the leg muscles cannot raise it – or loss of bladder or bowel control, should seek immediate attention because of the risk of paralysis.