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Heal your low back pain

Is back pain familiar to you? If so, you’re not alone. Eighty percent of the population of the US, at some point in their lives, with suffer from chronic or acute low back pain. That’s a frightening statistic. About 2% to 10% of people who experience low back pain develop chronic low back pain.

Ouch! My back is out again
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The first thing most people do when low back pain strikes is reach for the pain pills. Advil and other over-the-counter medications have numerous side effects and will lose their effectiveness when used in the long term.

Instead let’s use our body to heal our pain. Use these tips and tricks below next time low back pain strikes you down.

Best stretch to do first thing in the morning

Stand up straight and put the palms of your hands on your low back. Arch your whole back, feeling a stretch in your abdominals and shoulders. Return to starting position and relax. Repeat five times.

When you have 5 min

Do the static back. Lie on your back, with both legs bent at right angles with your feet resting on a chair or couch. Rest your arms at shoulder level and let your low back settle in to the floor. Breathe into your belly letting your stomach rise and fall. Do this for five to ten minutes.

When you’re sitting down all day

Sit on your sit bones. To find your sit bones, feel with your hands underneath your bottom and find the two boney protrusions at the base of your pelvis. Once you have done that, rock your pelvis slightly forward to bring yourself into neutral spine. This reinforces good posture whenever you’re sitting down.

When you've been on your feet all day

Stretch the hips. Get in a half-kneeling position, front ankle underneath your front knee and back knee underneath your back hip. Stand up nice and tall, engage your gluteus muscle on the back leg and feel a stretch in the front of your hip. Lean forward slightly. Repeat on other side. Do two sets of 30 seconds.

When you’re trying to sleep

Sleep on your back. This will improve your posture because your spine gets support from the bed, and it also puts your shoulders in a better position, helping to minimize your back pain.

So rather than reaching for the pain pills, use your own body to heal the pain. Over time the guys at the drugstore may hate you, but your body will thank you.