Exercises to ease back pain
I’ve always been a money-saver When I was younger, my mom looked in wonder as I handed her my birthday money and asked her to put it in the bank for me. I might not have had a Razor scooter like all of the other kids, but hey, I was able to pay off a third of my college loans before I even graduated. This frugal attitude has lead me to believe that I can save money in any situation, even when it comes to my health.
I still go to the doctor when I have to (broken bone, the flu, etc.), but if I ever see a chance to avoid a trip to the doctor, I’ll take it. A couple of years ago I hurt my upper back when I was playing in a rugby match (poor choice of sport), and now I have a tight muscle that flares up every now and then. When the injury initially occurred, an athletic trainer told me that I could get an MRI, but that it wouldn’t do much for me. In a nutshell, the MRI could possibly reveal what was wrong with my back, but even if it did, the doctor would probably recommend the same thing that I could have come up with on my own: exercise.
According to an article on Health.com, having an MRI for back pains has several flaws: they often reveal nothing, they may lead too quickly to surgery, and they’re expensive. In the end, basic solutions like exercise, over-the-counter painkillers, and time are the way to go.
Here are some money-saving exercises for back pain from the Columbia University Medical Center:
1. Pectoralis stretch – Stand Stand in a doorway or corner with both arms on the wall slightly above your head. Slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your shoulders. Hold 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
2. Thoracic extension – While sitting in a chair, clasp both arms behind your head. Gently arch backward and look up toward the ceiling. Repeat 10 times. Do this several times per day.
3. Scapular squeezes – While sitting or standing with your arms by your sides, squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for 5 seconds. Do 3 sets of 10.
1. Cat and camel – Get down on your hands and knees. Let your stomach sag, allowing your back to curve downward. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Then arch your back and hold for 5 seconds. Do 3 sets of 10.
2. Quadriped Arm/Leg Raises – Get down on your hands and knees. Tighten your abdominal muscles to stiffen your spine. While keeping your abdominals tight, raise one arm and the opposite leg away from you. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Lower your arm and leg slowly and alternate sides. Do this 10 times on each side.
3. Double knee to chest – Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles and push your lower back into the floor. Pull both knees up to your chest. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 to 20 times.