From a young enough age, I accepted that chronic back pain will always be an issue for me. I first became accustomed to lower back pain around the time when I started menstruating and it has since then became such a normal part of my life. I have now gotten into the habit of practising my own stretches and exercises at home to ease up any tension whenever I feel a bit crampy.
Of course, I am no fitness expert (please see disclaimer below). Being a regular gym goer and attending fitness classes has helped me pin down which exercises work best for my back pain so here are some of the simple exercises that I do at home whenever my back starts to act up:
- Lie flat on the floor with your tummy facing down and both legs extended.
- Tuck your hands and elbows at the side of your body and the push your torso upwards while taking in deep breaths.
- Ensure your hands are placed directly under your shoulders and only arch your back as much as it’s comfortable.
- Hold for about 15 seconds or more and then slowly lower yourself back down while exhaling.
Bird dog stretch
- Position yourself on your hands and knees while keeping the spine neutral (no arch).
- Extend one leg back and the opposite arm straight ahead.
- Hold for about 10 second, or as long as comfortable.
- Repeat five or six times on each side.
- Lie flat on your back with your legs straight.
- Using both hands, pull one knee up towards your chest while keeping the other foot flat on the ground.
- Hold your knee firmly against your chest and keep your lower back pressed to the floor.
- Hold for about 15 seconds and then repeat with the opposite leg.
- Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and your arms by your side.
- Slowly raise your hips off the floor keeping your feet flat and contracting your glutes as you go.
- Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and then slowly release.
- Repeat about 10 times or more.
Wall plank (yoga pose)
- Start standing facing a wall.
- Reach the wall with your straightened hands and slowly bending them forward and downwards.
- Lengthen your spine as much as possible and if you feel any pain, slightly bend your knees.
- Maintain this pose for about 30 seconds while breathing deeply.
Disclaimer: This is not a substitute for professional medical advice, I am simply sharing some of the exercises that I tend to find helpful for myself. Always seek advice from a health professional or physician before trying any exercise at home because no two people are the same, if it works for me that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for you!