Back pain can be debilitating and seriously impair our day to day life. Fortunately, even moderate regular exercise can prevent and even cure back pain! According to the NHS website, you don’t have to exercise for hours, nor do you have to be a pro athlete!
Coupled with a healthy diet and the right nutrients like protein and collagen, your body can do amazing things when you exercise frequently - leaving you feeling youthful and revitalised!
Symptoms of lower back pain
Spot the signs! Do you have any of the following symptoms?
- Tight feeling in the lower back, hips, pelvis or legs (particularly your hamstrings and hip flexor muscles)
- Pain, spasms, cramping, dull aches
- Stiff and tense upper back which feels contracted
What causes lower back pain?
- Strenuous exercise or injury from lifting something heavy
- Prolonged sitting or a sedentary lifestyle
- Bad posture
- Obesity and arthritis
How should you take care of your back?
Regular exercise and a healthy diet are the most beneficial for healthy bones, joints and muscles. By avoiding sedentary behaviour and taking on a more active lifestyle, you can massively improve your posture, flexibility and strength, making you feel and appear more youthful than ever!
You should fuel your healthy lifestyle with essential nutrients such as protein, vitamin C and collagen to boost your vitality and give you the energy you need. Read our blog to find out why protein is so important for your body!
Try these simple 5 exercises to relieve tension in your lower back
These exercises can be done from the comfort of your own home and require no equipment!
- Start on all fours on a mat or carpet - you can use a towel or blanket to pad your knees. Keep your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Draw your shoulders away from your ears and keep your back straight - as if you were a table! This is Tabletop position.
- Inhale deeply as you drop your belly towards the floor and open up your chest and pelvis. Radiate your heart forwards, raise your chin and look ahead. Hold this Cow Pose for 5-10 seconds.
- Exhale as you curl your tailbone under, tuck your chin to your chest and arch your back like a cat. Pull your belly button up towards your spine and gently push away from the mat with your hands and the tops of your feet. Hold this Cat pose for 5-10 seconds.
- Slowly return to Tabletop and repeat this process 5-8 times.
2) Child’s Pose
- Start in Tabletop position on all fours as described above. Focus on lengthening your neck and keep your shoulders away from your ears. Think about keeping your shins on train tracks - parallel behind your knees.
- Open your knees to the edges of your yoga mat and point your toes inwards so your big toes are touching.
- Whilst keeping your hands planted, tuck your chin into your chest, send your hips backwards so you are sitting on your heels and your shoulders are extended. Rest your forehead on the floor and relax your jaw. Hold this Extended Child’s Pose for at least 30-60 seconds.
3) Windscreen Wipers
- Whilst lying on your back with your arms extended out to the sides, bend your knees so that the soles of your feet are in contact with the floor.
- Keeping your knees together, exhale as you slowly let your knees fall to your right hand side, taking care not to let your left shoulder lose contact with the floor. Turn your head and look over your left shoulder. You should feel a twist and stretch in your lower back. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds.
- Inhale and slowly bring your knees back to centre, then exhale and let your knees slowly fall to the left hand side in a windscreen wiper motion. Turn your head to the right and make sure to keep your right shoulder in contact with the floor. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times on each side.
4) Knee to Chest
- Lie on your back with legs outstretched. Keeping your shoulders in contact with the floor, exhale as you slowly bend your left leg and hug your left knee into your chest using both of your arms. You should feel lengthening at the base of your spine. Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds.
- Gently rock from side to side to massage the muscles at the base of your back, then slowly lower your leg back to the starting position.
- Repeat this stretch with the right leg. Repeat this process 2-4 times with each leg, focussing on deep breathing throughout the stretch.
- To challenge yourself, bring both knees towards your chest simultaneously.
5) Pelvic Tilts
- Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, arns by your sides.
- Engage your core as you tilt your pelvis upwards and draw your naval down to the floor. You should feel your pelvis and lower back press into the floor. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds.
- Return to the starting position, then slowly push your belly upwards and gently arch your back. Your pelvis should tilt down and not leave the floor. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, then relax.
- Repeat these steps 10-15 times.
Can Collagen Alleviate Back Pain?
Collagen is a naturally occurring nutrient present in all parts of the lower back including bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments! Boosting your intake of collagen has been shown to improve flexibility, act as a lubricant for stiff joints and even ease the symptoms of arthritis!
A high quality collagen supplement such as our Reverse Life Marine Collagen Supplement may help ease lower back pain and improve your quality of life. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose - there’s even a 30-day money back guarantee!
This blog post was guest written by Holly Everett. Holly holds a BSc in Exercise and Sport Science along with an MA in Exercise and Sport Science: Coaching Studies. Look out for more great exercise and mobility tips from Holly coming to the Reverse Life blog.