Chronic back pain is experienced by millions of Americans across the country each day. The sometimes crippling affliction is one of the number one reasons cited in medical marijuana card applications every year. Though MMJ on its own can be pretty power-packed when it comes to banishing those lower back blues, sometimes you need a little something extra to get you feeling yourself again. If you find yourself wanting a little bit more relief than your MMJ card can afford you, try some of these back-pain-busting exercises.
Yes, you heard that right: our first exercise on the list is simply breathing! Well, not quite. Decompression breathing is the exercise of taking nice deep breaths as you make an attempt to lengthen your body as much as possible. This not only is great for increasing blood and oxygen flow around the body but it also essentially acts as a “reset” button, teaching your body to get your spine long and strong once more.
How to do it:
Stand perfectly straight with your toes touching and your heels slightly apart. With your weight on your heels, start to gently pull them towards each other, keeping your knees unlocked as you do it. Then, reach your arms upwards as you press your fingertips together, totally elongating your body. At this point you should feel every tiny muscle in your body stretching. Inhale and lift your ribcage upwards away from your hips. Exhale and tighten those important core muscles to sufficiently support your spine. Repeat this exercise at least 15 times per day and you’ll soon find yourself feeling a few inches taller, and most importantly, you’ll start to feel your chronic back pain melting away.
Pilates Pelvic Tilt
Most pilates exercises could find there way to the top of this list, if we’re honest. MMJ card holders and non-card holders alike swear by the all-over body workout they get when they practice, saying that it’s great for mind and body alike.
Pilates works by strengthening those all-important core muscles that support and align our spines, meaning that you’re making sure every bit of your backbone is exactly where it needs to be. As well as soothing your chronic back pain, it also significantly reduces your risk of injury by building up those muscles and increasing flexibility. Pretty neat, huh?!
Of all the pilates exercises that could work to ease your chronic back pain, we think the pelvic tilt is one of the most effective and easy to do. It stretches your lower back muscles, drawing out any pain while also strengthening your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles.
How to do it:
Place a soft mat on your floor and lie faceup on it. Bend your knees and keep your ankles directly under your knees. While exhaling, tilt your hips up slightly. Keep your butt on the floor and keep your back nice and flat. When your hips are tilted, hold for five seconds, then return to your starting position while inhaling. We recommend doing this 10 times every morning.
Transversus Abdominis Muscle Strengthening
Now, we know what you’re thinking: “Hey! I’m meant to be doing back exercises!” But trust us, strengthening those abdominal muscles can be just as good for spinal alignment as more targeted work (and you might just get some hardcore abs in the process!).
Though abdominal exercises are usually targeting at the “six pack” area, with this exercise, you’re going to focus instead on the transversus abdominus. This is how you’ll achieve greater spinal stability, which will in turn reduce your chronic back pain.
When you’re doing this exercise, it’s very important to maintain a neutral lumbar spine position – i.e. don’t unnaturally force your back all the way onto the floor. Instead, just lie on the ground as you would naturally, allowing your back to maintain its natural curvature upwards off the flat surface.
How to do it:
Lie on your back and bend your knees, keeping your knees and feet shoulder-width apart. Draw your belly button inwards toward your spine – this is where it’s important to maintain that neutral back position! When you exhale, reach towards the ceiling as if you’re trying to grab something dangling above you. After this, raise your head and shoulders gently off the floor and hold tight for two seconds. Return to your starting point while exhaling and repeat until you get too tired to continue. In order to really get the benefit of this back-pain-busting exercise, we recommend doing it once per day, four days per week.
With these exercises, your medical marijuana card, and some nutrient-packed MMJ fighting in your corner, you’re bound to start feeling a difference when it comes to easing your chronic back pain. If you’re already doing the exercises but don’t yet have an MMJ card, get in touch with us today and we’ll organize an online consultation with a qualified health professional in order to get you one. The MMJ revolution has begun – don’t miss out!