Lower back pain is one of the most common discomforts felt across America, affecting thousands if not tens of thousands of people. It can happen any number of ways, which is the easy part. The hard part is getting rid of it.
There are various techniques that you can use to relieve your sciatica pain, and even prevent any future flare ups from occurring. I’ve assembled a quick routine that you can do every morning, first thing after rolling out of bed. It will only take a few minutes, and easy for all levels of fitness.
Morning Back Strengthening Routine
In order to relieve the pain in your lower back, we need to have a combination of stretching movements and muscle-strengthening techniques. Here’s what you need to do
This might seem a bit out there, but meditation is actually very helpful when it come to dealing with pain. By meditating, you can help your body release endorphins – much like when you do exercise. Endorphins are produced naturally in the body and are as powerful as any manufactured pain medication.
When endorphins are released into your system, they work to block pain signals from registering in your brain. Meditation is the longest part of this routine. Position yourself comfortably and focus on a sound or image in your mind for 2 minutes, always going back to this sound or image if your mind begins to wander.
Now we’re going to move on to the more physical aspect of this routine. Your core consists of the muscles in your abdomen and back, and they work to support your lower spine. Strengthening them is important, as a weak core leads to chronic lower back pain and lower back problems.
The first exercise is called a trunk curl. Start by lying on a mat or carpeted area on your back with your feet flat on the floor, knees bent, and arms across your chest. Using your upper ab muscles, raise the trunk of your body off the ground slightly. Make sure you raise your chest and don’t pull through the movement with your head or neck. Your shoulders should be slightly off the floor. Hold the top position for 5 seconds and lower your trunk slowly. Repeat for 1 minute.
The second exercise is called a leg lift. Continue lying on your back, but stretch your legs out on the floor so your whole body is straight. Flex your abs so that your lower back is touching the floor. Slowly lift one leg until you form a 90 degree angle, then slowly lower it. The whole process should take 6 seconds, 3 seconds going up and 3 seconds going down. Alternate legs and repeat for 1 minute.
The first back exercise is the prone arm-leg raise. Lying on your stomach with your legs straight and your arms stretched overhead, raise your right arm and left leg off the ground slowly and hold for 5 seconds. Lower them slowly and repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Repeat this exercise for 1 minute.
The second back exercise is a lower back extension. We will be using the same position as the prone arm-leg raise, but you will have you hands gently resting over your ears. Keeping your head and neck straight, slowly lift your chest off the ground, focusing on the muscles in your lower back. Hold that position for 5 seconds and lower slowly, repeating for 1 minute. If the exercise is too difficult or painful, skip it until your back muscles have strengthened enough.
The last part of this morning routine is the hamstring stretch. There are different methods you can use to stretch your hamstring, but will start with the easiest one. Standing straight, with your feet together, slowly bend at the hips until you begin to feel tension in the back of your legs. Hold the position for 30 seconds, stand up slowly, and then bend again holding for another 30 seconds. Repeat this movement 4 times.
With this 7-minute routine, you should begin to feel less lower back pain throughout your day. And you don’t have to perform this routine just once, it can be done any time throughout the day. As the movements begin to get easier, try performing them for longer periods of time, holding stretches longer, or looking up more advanced core exercises. Don’t let sciatica pain dictate your life any longer than it already has!