To the extent that stretching and strengthening your body is helpful – and most back pain sufferers agree that it is – simple exercises can be an excellent way to ease back pain. To the extent that stress contributes to back pain – and again, most back sufferers feel that it does – low impact exercise scores again.
The philosophy of never forcing or straining, and of moving in a controlled manner, has obvious value. But this philosophy also encompasses the harmony of mind, body, and spirit – a concept that is foreign to many people.
Many personal instructors achieve the best results with back pain sufferers who are not incapacitated by pain and who are receptive to their training techniques. People who try to avoid philosophical concepts by studying back pain through books, articles and tapes may get some help from this practice – but not nearly as much as those who work with a personal instructor.
“Mind over matter” in particular has helped a lot with all the little aches and pains we suffer secondary to the main back problem. It has can change your mindset from “I cant” to “I can and I -will”.
I do these simple exercises regularly to strengthen my back and stomach muscles and try to listen to what my body says.
A word of caution: many back exercise positions are too difficult (and risky) for back sufferers who are not fully active and functioning reasonably well. In fact, it is advisable not to follow a strenuous exercise program whilst you are experiencing back pain. However, once you are able to perform normal everyday activities, these low impact exercises offer day-to-day help for the rest of your life.
Try this simple form of back pain therapy that works very well for most people. It involves nothing more than deep abdominal breathing that has helped many back sufferers to relax and tone up abdominal muscles. Try it during your peak work hours. Five minutes is optimal; even a few breaths are useful. However, you should take care not to breathe deeply for the entire 5 minute period, as this could cause you to hyperventilate.
To avoid this, you should alternate deep breaths with regular breathing. Sit, stand or lie down in a comfortable position. Start by taking a deep breath from your abdomen (put your fingers on it at first to make sure that it, and not your chest, is expanding). Now inhale through your nose for 6 seconds . . . hold your breath for 3 seconds . . . then exhale through your mouth for 7 seconds. When you exhale let yourself go limp. After a few minutes, you should feel both invigorated and relaxed.
Although the formal research evidence for its success has yet to emerge, these types of exercise provide very effective backache relief for non-incapacitated backache sufferers – with over 75% of people who try it reporting significant long-term improvement.