Don’t Let It Hurt – a Set of Simple Back and Neck Exercises
Everyone has experienced back pain at least once in their life. WHO experts claim that the number of cases has, in fact, increased. Today, 80% of the planet’s total population suffers from such pain.
Why does the back hurt?
There are plenty of reasons why your back could hurt: going from joints and intervertebral disc diseases to circulatory disorders and diseases of the abdominal organs. But there is a group that mainly suffers from back pain, and it’s people of working age from 30 to 50 years old. Disruption of their musculoskeletal system causes the so-called “office syndrome” – that is, the work environment.
Factors causing neck or back pain can be divided into four groups. Physical factors include a long static position of the body – for example, sitting in front of a computer, head inclination while watching a tape on your smartphone, and the position of the wrist. These can cause muscle cramps under the shoulder blades, lower back, and neck. Clinical factors – poor fitness, scoliosis, anomalous mobility of the vertebrae. Psychological factors – high levels of stress or frustration with some aspects of our own lives, and eventually individual factors, such as being overweight or regular lack of sleep.
Only a doctor can determine what caused the pain and prescribe a treatment to eliminate the cause (not the symptom).
What beginners need to know
Physical activity plays a crucial role when it comes to the prevention of back and neck pain. Some sports, more than others, help strengthen muscles and take care of joints: swimming, yoga, Pilates, walking, and running. Running and yoga are best done individually with an instructor – especially if you have never practiced or are overweight: a compressive load can increase pressure on the spine and lead to knee problems. Moreover, it is not ideal for beginners to perform complex yoga moves on their own – incorrect “twisting” often causes additional back problems.
If it is impossible to consult a trainer, the best choice for prevention is to walk at a comfortable pace and stretch. Here are some simple exercises that will help strengthen the neck, shoulders, and lower back muscles, as well as keep the joints healthy.
Exercises: turn, clasp, tilt
- Start with simple movements: turn your head to the right, return to the starting position, and then left. Keep your chin in line with your shoulder. Tilt your head and move your chin to the left and right to increase the tension. Then extend your arms in front of you to feel the stretch between the shoulder blades.
- Clasp hands, put them on your forehead, and push them towards your head while trying to keep your neck straight. This exercise will strengthen the front side of your neck. To strengthen the back of the neck, place your hands on the back of your head and try to push with your hands while resisting pressure simultaneously.
- Work with your shoulders: lower your chin to the right, and reach down with your left hand. Change sides and repeat the exercise several times. Pull your shoulders forward, then pull them back while keeping your elbows bent, as if lifting a dumbbell. Then loosen up. Bring your elbows to the sides, put your hands on your shoulders, and rotate your joints – forward and backward.
- Simple inclinations are useful to strengthen and stretch the spine. Stand against the wall at a fairly limited distance so you can rest against it, arms outstretched in front of you. Separate your feet shoulder-width, lean forward as if detaching from the wall, and tilt for about 30 seconds.
All these exercises can be performed in a sitting and standing position – no sports equipment required and not much time needed, even in the busy work schedule.
It’s crucial to do pain prevention exercises regularly.
Learn more about Bone & joint health, Health Goals
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