4 postures to relieve backache

4 good postures to relieve backache

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If you are suffering from back pain, you are not alone. It is a common ailment that many people face. According to Consumer Reports Magazine, 80 percent of U.S. adults have at some point been bothered by back pain.

What causes back pain?

Back pain can sometimes be due to an injury, accident or a chronic condition, but very poor posture in your daily life is a vital factor in causing back problems. Sitting improperly for long periods in an office chair or lifting heavy objects can be contributors to backache.

The Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center recently surveyed that more than 14,000 subscribers experienced lower-back pain in the past year but never had any back surgery. More than half said the pain severely limited their daily routine for a week or longer and 88 percent said it recurred throughout the year.

Mary Ann Wilmarth, DPT, a spokeswoman for the American Physical Therapy Association and chief of physical therapy at Harvard University, says it is critical that people address any back pain or injury right away. “Early intervention can help prevent a chronic problem from developing and obviate the need for medication and surgery,” she says.

A good way to prevent back problems from cropping up due to everyday activities is to practice good posture, according to Dr. Daniel Mazanec, associate director of the Center for Spine Health at the Cleveland Clinic. Holding your body right while standing or maintaining proper posture during sitting and doing tasks ensures that your spine doesn’t get bent out of shape with unnecessary pressure. Here are four good postures to relieve backache:

Straighten your body

Imagine there is a straight rod through your body, passing all the way from the top to the bottom at your feet. Keep this in mind and lineup your body straight. Then think of a cord connected to your breastbone pulling your chest and rib cage toward the ceiling. Keep your lower back steady and stretch your head to the ceiling. Do this in a relaxed manner as opposed to a tensed one.

Shoulder exercise

Sit on a chair and keep your hands on your thighs; don’t perk up or tense your shoulders. Now gradually move your shoulders behind, trying to join your shoulder blades. Keep yourself in this position for five seconds before relaxing and repeat the exercise four times.

Stretch your upper body

Stretch your torso by standing with your body facing a corner. Raise your arms and keep your palms flat against the walls. Your elbows should be at shoulder height. Keep one foot ahead of the other and bending the knee of the leg in front, lean your body into corner and breathe out. Your back should be straight and your chest and head should be held up. Hold this pose for 20–30 seconds, until you feel a stretch across your chest. Then, relax.

Stretch arm across chest

Hold your right arm at shoulder level in front of you. Bend it at the elbow so that your forearm is parallel to the floor. Take your left hand and hold your right elbow. Slowly pull it toward your chest. You should feel a stretch in your right upper arm and shoulder. Hold this position for 20 seconds and then relax both arms before repeating on the other side. Do this three times on each side.

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