Whether you're young, old, or somewhere in between, chances are you've experienced the sensation of your back tightening up. Perhaps when you stand, reach down, or otherwise stretch, your back makes cracking or popping noises. The sensation of back tightness can come from lack of movement, age, or poor posture, but a massive life change isn't required to improve the problem. If your back feels tight or stiff, try these simple steps to loosen yourself up.
If your knees are in good enough shape to do it, crouching, or "asian squats," are a great way to give your back a nice, gentle stretch. As you crouch down, your tailbone and lower spine curve (like they do when you sit down normally), and you can lean forward with your upper body to really ease into a lengthy stretch. If your tailbone or lower spine feel tight, you may experience some light popping sounds, and a loosening sensation as you crouch down. This is normal; your vertebrae are loosening up and moving back to a healthy position, rather than being compressed together.
Stretch While Sitting
If crouching is too hard, you can try a variation of it that has similar effects. Sit down on a chair, then slowly lean your upper body forward. Go as far as you can while still remaining comfortable. If you're fairly flexible, you should be able to almost touch your nose to the level of your knees. This will not only put a great stretch on your lower back, but it will also do wonders for your neck and shoulder area.
Touching your toes is a classic exercise because it gives your legs, back, and arms a nice stretch. It can also serve to loosen up your spine, as well as the surrounding muscles, which may be tight and causing discomfort. However, be careful with your form while touching your toes; your knees should be just slightly bent, so you don't harm your legs. If you're prone to dizziness, skipping this exercise or performing it with a partner to help you maintain your balance is probably best.
Lean Off The Side of the Bed
Finally, if the tightness in your spine is more of a problem at the top of your spine or in your neck, this step can really help.
While sitting backwards on your bed, scoot to the end of your bed, lie down, balance your hips on the edge of the bed, and slowly lower your torso down so it's hanging off the bed. You may have performed this maneuver as a child just for the fun of the blood rushing to your head, but it's great for your neck and upper spine. Keep your arms on the bed for balance, and just let your upper body hang off the side of the bed and relax. The weight of your head will help to gently encourage the vertebrae in your neck and upper spine to loosen up.
Keep in mind that these tips are great for people who are in good health and are experiencing minor back discomfort. If you're having more serious pain or stiffness, seeing a chiropractor like TLC Chiropractic for treatment may be a better choice. They can help to realign your spine, loosen up your vertebrae, and get you back to normal in no time.Share