My Achy Breaky Back
If you’ve got one of those excruciating knots in your back, look on the bright side--everything is working as it should. According to the Mayo Clinic, that muscle spasm is “your body's way of immobilizing the affected area to prevent further damage.”
Gee, thanks. Regardless of where your back pain originates--a spasm, a strain or the ever-popular act of throwing your back out--once it’s there, all you care about is relief. Don't try to get it by tucking yourself into bed for a couple of days. The general consensus now is that lying around causes weakness and stiffness, leading to further damage, while staying mobile and continuing light exercise keeps muscles strong and loose. In other words, get up and get moving. The same goes for prevention--it’s all about strength and flexibility.
Yoga is a great way not only to get in touch with your spiritual side, but to build strength and flexibility, for back pain and in general. A light exercise that can help relieve back pain is called Child’s Pose (see photo). First, kneel and sit on your feet, with your knees spread at the width of your hips. Then lean forward, lay your head on the floor and swing your arms out in front of you. Lean in and feel that stretch, but don’t force it--you should only feel a mild discomfort, not pain.
Remember to talk to your doctor before starting yoga or any other kind of exercise routine and if your back pain continues or seems abnormal.
What do you do to treat and prevent back pain?