Back pain occurs when muscles are tight. They can be chronically tight, tight from being still for prolonged periods, or tight from stress. When at your desk all day; shoulders, back, and fronts of hips can become tight and cause pain.
Continued sitting may even cause our muscles to be in long-term contraction and set up patterns that can be difficult to change.
To counteract tightness try these 3 moves to provide relief from back pain and stiffness. Please remember to breathe in and out through the nose while performing them.
- CEO (chief-executive officer) stretch. Keep feet flat on the floor with back straight. Place on ankle of the other knee. Allow the elevated leg to relax into the ground.May slightly forward bendif additional stretch is needed. Hold for as long as needed. Also this is a good sitting position throughout the day.
- Chest stretch. Grab the back of your chair with one or two hands. Keep the back straight and the chin and chest elevated. Squeeze the shoulder blades together.
- Upper back stretch (lead image). Raise one elbow and place it over the elbow reaching for back for the hands. Keep the thumbs toward the face. Slowly squeeze the hands and elbows together. This one is difficult but with continued practice you will get it.
Practice these moves throughout the day and your body will be more supple and in less pain. The most important key to relieving pain and stress up your body is breathing. Practice your breathing daily and try this method.
Steve Butler is a health expert specializing in chronic pain and rehabilitation – Back Pain Vancouver.