Updated: May 14, 2022
Back pain often occurs from habitual postures and movements such as prolonged sitting, repeated bending, twisting and lifting. It commonly comes on after trauma such as a car accident, fall, or work or sports injury. Other times it is the result of a dysfunction in another part of the body, such as the foot, knee or shoulder blades and the back pain is simply a reaction and not the originator.
Here are 6 often-overlooked strategies for relieving back pain.
1. Low drooping shoulder blades
If you find your shoulders drooping and your collar bones are horizontal or sloped downwards toward the shoulders, slightly lift your shoulder blades up and out, like ladybug wings.
2. Tight and tense spinal cord
Stretching the dural (membrane) covering of the spinal cord will help lengthen and decompress the spine. You can sit on the floor with your legs straight and try to reach your toes or bring your nose to your knees. However, please do not perform this exercise if you have disc problems, for instance, if you have a hernia or prolapse.
3. Short hamstring muscles
Hamstring stretches, holding for 15-20 seconds at a time and repeating 3 to 5 times regularly, especially when warmed up, will reduce hamstring tightness. You can also visualize the hamstrings lengthening and be aware of any tension in the muscles. This tension can be relieved through imagining the muscles softening and by massage.
4. A compressed rib cage
If your upper ribs are compressed or too close together and your rib cage is sagging down toward your hips, think about growing taller, lengthen the torso and suspend your ribs above your head. This can help to unweight the lumbar spine. You can also open up the rib spaces by stretching up to the sky and bending to the side, front or back.
5. Knocked knees or bowed legs
Having knees too close or far apart will either shorten or lengthen the hip and pelvis muscles which also have attachments or connections to the spine. This creates imbalances of muscle and tissue tensions. By correcting hip and knee posture so that the legs are straight from hip to knee to ankle, this will improve hip, pelvis and low back stability.
6. Collapsed inner foot arches
Foot arches that collapse have a similar effect of knocked knees, where the hip muscles start to lengthen and weaken, compromising hip, pelvic and low back stability. It is possible to correct this by consciously lifting the arches. Imagine the arch is a cave in which lives a little bear. You would not want to squash him, would you? Arch exercises can be combined with custom orthotics for good and consistent arch support.
You won’t know which of these strategies may work for you until you try it and find that your back is feeling better or there is no change in symptoms. Please stop immediately if the symptoms are worsening. Of course, it is always best to get assessed by a physiotherapist to pinpoint exactly the remedy that would be the best fit for you. Call (65) 67340245 for a physiotherapy appointment.