The American Chiropractic Association reports that 31 million Americans experience low-back pain. One study, reported in the Annals of Rheumatic Disease, finds that 1 in 10 people worldwide are affected by low back pain.
Americans spend at least $50 billion every year to treat back pain. Low back pain is also leading cause of disability in the world.
Back pain one of the most common reasons people miss work and also one of the most common reasons for visiting the doctor.
What Is Back Pain?
Your back is comprised of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles. If you sprain a ligament, strain a muscle, rupture a disk, or irritate a joint, you may experience back pain.
Injuries and accidents can result in back pain and sometimes, a simple activity such as picking up a small child can cause back pain. Arthritis, repetitive activity, being overweight, poor posture, and stress also cause and worsen back pain.
You can also experience back pain as result of diseases affecting the organs, such as kidney infections or stones or a blood clot.
Treating Back Pain
Back health has a significant effect on quality of life so it is important to seek out appropriate treatment to manage your back pain. And while medication may help, its use has mixed results.
One study conducted for the non-profit public education and advocacy group, Research America, finds 58 percent of people experience relief with prescription drugs and another 41 percent found relief with over-the counter medications. And while some medications do offer pain relief, they can also cause side effects; long-term use is associated with variety of complications, including increased risk for stroke and heart attack, stomach bleeding, hypersensitivity to pain, and addiction.
A natural treatment for managing back pain and supporting your lower spine, without side effects and complications, involves stretching the muscles in your back. Many very simple exercises can be done in about 20 minutes as part of a daily routine.
Getting Ready and Warming Up
Everyone can benefit from stretching the soft tissues, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It may take you a few weeks of stretching exercises to get relief for your back, spine and soft tissues, but you find many of these exercises to be beneficial for offering sustained back pain relief and increased range of motion.
There are some things to keep in mind as you start an exercise and stretching routine to help you manage back pain:
- Wear comfortable clothing that allows for easy movement.
- Make sure your stretching routine is pain free. Don’t force your body to do what it cannot.
- Move into stretches slowly to avoid muscle tears.
- Make sure you are stretching on a flat surface where you can move freely.
- Hold your stretches for at least 25 seconds to allow muscles and joints time to loosen up.
- Perform each stretch 5 to 10 times.
- It is also wise to check with your doctor or physical therapist on any additional precautions you should take to avoid injury.