Dr. Khalid is a Ph.D. in clinical research, engaged in scientific research, and performs evidence-based studies for journal publications.
5 Potential Causes of Chronic Back Pain
Chronic back pain presents a major challenge to your daily activities and reduces your productive hours. Back pain is considered chronic after three months of onset and may develop due to one or more of the following causes:
- Soft tissue abscesses and infections of the spine
- Inflammation in the spinal joint (including inflammatory arthritis)
- Disc degeneration
- Mechanical injuries that lead to a slipped disc or a strain in back muscles
- A spinal tumor
5 Postures and Poses to Ease Chronic Back Pain
Good posture is the key to a healthy spine and protectsing its intricate structures. Long hours at the office or sitting idle at home for many hours often stresses your spine and predisposes you to back stress that takes a few months to convert into chronic back pain.
Recent research confirms the potential of the following postures in reducing the severity and intensity of your chronic back pain. Of course, you should also consult your physician to find out the best posture for you.
1. Shoulder Blade Squeeze for Scapular Muscle Activation
The shoulder joint is composed of the collar bone (clavicle), shoulder blade (scapula), and upper arm bone (humerus). The proper functioning of this joint and its muscles is necessary to maintain their stability and movement. The shoulder blade squeeze (also called the goal-post squeeze) is a powerful technique that activates your scapular muscles and stabilizes their upward and downward rotations. Practice this shoulder-squeeze posture two times a day to increase the strength of your shoulder nerves and help activate the healing process:
- Raise your arms to shoulder height, elbows bent and palms forward.
- Move your arms back, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
- Hold for 10 seconds. Return to starting position.
- Repeat 5 times.
2. Sphinx Pose for Spine Flexibility
The backbend or Sphinx pose is a unique approach to improve your nervous system and blood circulation and increase spinal flexibility. It’s also a therapeutic way to silence your pain triggers.
- From a prone position, align your elbows at 90 degrees below the shoulders in an inverted and straightened position.
- Stretch your thighs, knees, and feet as firmly as possible.
- Raise your upper body while keeping your forearms and palm intact on the floor.
- Take slow and deep breaths as you continue the Sphinx pose for 60 seconds.
3. Cat-Cow Pose
The backend stretches in the Cat-Cow pose increase your spine’s mobility and strengthen the activity of your neck and back muscles. The improved balance and posture through this pose also reduce your pain intensity.
- Adopt a Table pose on your hands and knees
- As you inhale, raise your chest outward, and create an arch with your spine while sinking your belly (the “cow”).
- Stretch your chest upwards like a cat as you exhale, and relax a second.
- Repeat 5-10 times.
4. Leg-raising pose to strengthen the lower back
The leg-raising pose not only shapes your waist but also minimizes your leg swelling and fatigue. The repeated compression and relaxation of lower back muscles by leg elevations relieves their soreness, tiredness, and tension, which eventually helps reduce the pain intensity. This is the best technique to improve your lower back circulation and strengthen the pelvic muscles. You need to lie horizontally in a supine position in front of a wall and slowly lift your legs at a 60 degrees angle. It’s recommended to regain the starting position after 60 seconds and repeat the activity 3-4 times a day.
5. Wall slide posture for scapular alignment
The wall slide posture is recommended for treating imbalance or sprain in your shoulder muscles.
- Sit upright, touching your shoulders and the lower back to the wall.
- Raise your arms to the level of your shoulders and slide them up and parallel with the wall.
- Slide your arms down slowly along the wall while bending your elbows at 90 degrees.
- Performing ten repetitions a day for several weeks will gradually improve your scapular alignment and pressure pain threshold.
Understanding Your Pressure Pain Threshold
The pressure pain threshold is indicative of your pain tolerance level and muscle tissue sensitivity. It is determined by pressurizing a finger over your back or upper limbs. A painful pressure feeling that instantly develops with a minimal finger pressure indicates a low-pressure pain threshold that requires supportive care. A high-pressure pain threshold alternatively reveals higher pain tolerance that you can try achieving with 5 good postures.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2022 Dr Khalid Rahman