The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has released data stating that 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time and that as much as 80% of the American population will experience back pain at some point in their lives.
With these problems among the most common problems that the American population may face, even the healthiest of us need to be aware of the possibility that we, too, may experience it someday. Our lifestyles promote a lack of activity, sitting down for longer periods of time, or, on the other extreme, heavy lifting and straining as part of our daily routines. Both situations can cause a significant amount of damage to your back health.
Rather than waiting to deal with the problem down the road, there are steps that can be taken today to prevent injury and strengthen your spine. These exercises do not require a great deal of equipment, a trip to the gym or a lot of your time.
Prevent back pain spending just 5 minutes a day, doing these exercises:
Lie flat on your back, stretching your right arm out straight, 90 degrees from the body and stretch your left leg straight out. Pull your right knee to your left side, so that it nearly touches your left hand. Hold this position for 20 seconds. Switch arms and knees, and repeat the exercise.
Bend your right knee at a 90-degree angle, stretching your left leg out behind you on the ground. Being careful to ensure that your right knee remains bent, hold this position for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat the exercise.
Stand up arm’s length away from a table or high bench. Bend at the waist, reaching forward towards the table, bending your knees slightly in the process. Continue to bend forward until such time that you can touch the edge of the table with both hands. Stretch out your arms and head to your shoulder level. Hold this position for 10 seconds. When you stand up from this position, bend your body to the left, then to the right, stretching out the body. Repeat the exercise.
Lie flat on your back and bend both your knees, planting your feet on the floor. Take hold of your left leg by the knee, pulling it towards your torso while keeping the knee bent. Hold this position for approximately 20 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
Lie flat on your back and bend your left knee. Cross the lower half of your right leg across your left thigh, pointing your knee directly out to the side at a 90-degree angle. Grasping behind your left leg, pull your leg towards your head. Hold this position for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat the exercise.
Lie down on your right side and bend your left leg at the knee. Using your left hand, firmly take hold of your left ankle and gently pull up. You should feel this stretch along your left thigh. Make sure that you keep your spine straight throughout this stretch, and hold it for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat the exercise.
Lie flat on your back. Bend your right leg at your knee, planting your foot on the floor. Attempt to stretch out your left leg so that it is in the air above your head, keeping the right knee bent. Clasp both hands behind the left knee. Firmly, but carefully, pull your left leg towards your torso and hold this position for about 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.