Back pain relief and treatment


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Can you touch your toes without yelping in pain? If flexibility is not an issue for you, then this sudden pain could mean many things. But constant back pain is another issue altogether.

It is a common problem for office goers, bikers, and those who rarely exercise. We dig up an interesting selection of back pain treatments to give you relief. Time to say ciao to back pain!

Expert speak for back pain treatment

Strength and conditioning - Arnav Sarkar suggests you consult your General Physician before engaging in back breaking exercises. He says, "The first thing to do is consult a specialist and he will guide you on the appropriate exercises. When someone has back pain, they must first consult their doctor to know which exercises are completely off limits and which are the ones that they can follow."

Exercises to avoid for back pain

"In general, there are some exercises that should be best avoided for those with back pain. These would include situps, lying leg raises, standing toe touches, long distance jogging, etc." says our fitness guru, Arnav.

Exercises for back pain relief
After listing out exercises that one should avoid, Arnav reiterates the importance of exercise for back pain relief. "However, it should be noted that avoiding exercise altogether is not the solution for back pain. Strengthening your body and developing your cardio system is a very efficient way to combat back pain. Core strengthening exercises and stretching will help to reduce back pain, similarly aerobic activities like walking and swimming are also a reliable option for those with back pain."

What causes upper back pain?
Aches, muscle cramps, knots are some of the signs of upper back pain that you may be familiar with. But what are the reasons for upper back pain?

Jivesh Shetty blames the most obvious habit that we all follow, "The most common reason for upper back pain is poor posture. Years of ignorance on how to maintain natural gait and most growing teenagers unsure about their fast growing bodies develop a posture representing their state of mind.

For most healthy individual a good posture involves keeping the chest high, back naturally arched and standing upright and firm on both foot. This posture must carry us in all our day to day activities including the sport we participate in."

Expert on upper back pain exercises
Arnav shares some exercises for developing your upper back, "There are some good exercises to build strength and muscle in the upper back, but these would not be considered rehab exercises for upper back pain. The good strength exercises would be seated cable rows, cable scarecrows, bentover lateral raises, shrugs."

Exercise for stronger upper back
- Pull ups
- Lat Pulldowns
- Seated Row
- Bent Over Barbell Rows
- Shrugs (For Trapezius)
- Deadlifts (strong lower back). Building a foundation with Deadlift should be crux of any weight training regime which strengthens the lower back and hence improves our posture.

Yoga exercises for lower back pain
Yoga artist, Dr. Surakshit Goswami, takes you through yoga exercises that will relieve you from pain. Many people complain of slip disc and lumbar spondylitis. If it is not diagnosed, treated and preventive measures are not implemented in time, then lower back pain can relapse later on and can, literally, become a constant pain in the 'neck.'

Improve back pain with yoga
"Practicing yoga to improve posture or to improve back pain is completely safe," says Dr. Sunita. She adds, "If a person suffers from chronic back pain, then it is best to consult a doctor before starting yoga. Consult a doctor not because yoga is dangerous but in order to prevent internal injuries from certain yoga poses."

She states further: "Yes practicing yoga is safe and can help to releive back pain. But if your doctor has advised some medication, do not replace medication with yoga; instead, continue using both for best results."

How does yoga help poor posture and back pain?
Yoga helps cultivate proper and perfect balance between flexibility and strength of the muscles. Wondering how this relates to back pain? Flexibility and strength of the muscles are the major culprits in back pain. Back pain occurs due to less flexibility or being stiff in areas like the hips or shoulders.

Simple stretches for back pain
When you are suffering from back pain, you tend to lie down on a flat surface like a soft bed or sofa. But Dr. Surakshit Goswami tells us that if you want the most improvement from your yoga exercise, you must stretch it out.

Good Posture for back pain relief
Good posture entails holding your body in a position, which is ideal when standing, walking, sitting, or lying down - posture that doesn't put any strain on the supporting muscles or ligaments.

It is important to keep bones and joints in straight alignment so that muscles are used effectively. Right posture aids in keeping the abnormal wearing of joints at bay. Especially when sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time, right posture helps in keeping the spine stress free and prevents muscular pain and backache. Apart from contributing to better appearance, good posture helps in keeping muscle fatigue at bay, allowing the body to use less energy.

Back pain relief for office goers
For starters, you must sit straight with your back straight and your shoulders perfectly stable. Your buttocks should ideally be touching the back of your chair.

Use a small lumbar cushion or a rolled-up towel, which might help in maintaining the normal curve of your back. In order to find a good sitting position, sit at the end of your chair and slouch completely in the front. Now, straighten the curve of your back as much as possible. Hold yourself in this position for a few seconds. Release this position by 10 degrees, by distributing your body weight evenly on both the hips.

Sit at arm's length from the screen and regulate the space for your vision. Bend your knees at right angles and avoid sitting crossed legged. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your eyes at a firm level with the computer screen - neither too low nor too high. Rest your arms and elbows on the chair or desk and keep your shoulder relaxed.

Breaks are important
Avoid sitting in the same position for more than 30 minutes. Perform simple neck exercises when you feel you have worked for a long stretch. Tilt your head slowly from front to back, from side to side. You can also practise forward resistance and backward resistance exercises by placing both your hands on the back and holding yourself in this position for one to two minutes.

Cat Asana for the lower back
While exhaling, bend your back in a backward direction creating a sharp curve in your spine. Now bend in a forward direction with the point between the shoulder blades and inhale. Do it for 5 breathing cycles to relieve your body of long hours at the desk.

Pilates for Back Pain Relief
Pilates is a body conditioning routine that seeks to build flexibility, strength, endurance, and coordination without adding muscle bulk. In addition, pilates increases circulation and helps to sculpt the body and strengthen the body's "core" or "powerhouse" (torso). People who do pilates regularly feel they have better posture, are less prone to injury, and experience better overall health.

Benefits of pilates
- Provides a greater awareness of posture.
- Tones and builds long, lean muscles.
- Strengthens deep abdominal muscles.
- Helps with motivation by engaging our mind and enhancing body awareness.
- Reduces stress, relieves tension and boosts energy.
- Promotes recovery from strain or injury.
- Offers relief from back pain and joint stress.
- Compliments sports training and develops functional fitness for daily life.

Back pain relief for bikers
The correct posture for biker and pillion: While riding a bike one should sit with the back straight, and the head nearly over the hip. The handle of the bike should be adjusted in such a manner that no bodyweight rests on the hands, and kept at such a height that its easy to maneuver a bike without straining the shoulders and wrist.

How to avoid back pain on a bumpy road

How to tackle bumpy roads: When it comes to riding the bike over bumpy roads the speed should be as slow as possible and one needs to keep the back in an erect posture so that the jerks can be absorbed by the buttocks or the seat and not the spine.

Weak core can cause back pain
Core muscles include much more than the famous six pack abs. Arnav Sarkar tells us what a weak core is and how it shares a dynamic relationship with the muscles around our abdomen (front, back and sides): "The core muscles involve not just the muscles in front of the body commonly known as 'the 6 pack', they also involve the muscles of the lower back, and the oblique. If these muscles are weak, then it is known as a weak core."

Arnav explains the importance of core muscles, "The core muscles are very important to maintain a proper posture, avoid lower back pain, and be able to play sports and/or do daily activities with no risks of injury."

Strengthening your weak core
Arnav's tips for strengthening a weak core:

- "In fact one of the common reasons for a weak core is the hunched over posture we tend to sit in for hours in front the computer.
- Make sure that you try to stay as tall as possible and don't let the stomach stick out when you stand.
- Besides that, in the gym you will do well to train the core muscles directly anywhere between 1-3 times a week and give them a chance to rest and grow stronger."
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