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Summer Stretches To Alleviate Back Pain

06 May 2022

Stretch Into The Sunshine This Summer

Chronic back pain affects a lot of us, and working in unsupportive office furniture for long hours every day can only exacerbate existing symptoms. Investing in ergonomic office chairs and standing or height adjustable desks is a great way to support your wellbeing during work. Another essential to mitigate back pain is to get up and move!

Whether you’re taking breaks within your work day, or allowing yourself some exercise and stretching time in the morning or evening, getting the blood flowing is essential to mind and body health. As summer rolls in, many of us are going to want to make the most of our outdoor spaces, whether gardens or parks, and getting some sunshine and fresh air will be a great boost to your wellbeing.

Taking your daily stretches outside is a great way to double down on relieving chronic pain and stress - why not try some of our favourites stretches to alleviate chronic back pain this summer. There really is nothing better than consistent, gentle movement to heal your pains.

Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose - or Balasana - is a yogic asana or body posture that is known to help soothe the mind and recenter, whilst allowing a gentle, soothing stretch of the back, hips, thighs, and ankles.

How to:

Take a kneeling position on the floor, with shins and tops of your feet flat on the ground, sitting back on your heels. Spread your knees wider than your torso and walk your arms forward, lowering your stomach to rest in between your thighs with your forehead on the floor and arms stretched above your head, also resting on the floor.

Breathing deeply in this space and allowing your body to ease into the position will gradually allow a deeper stretch, relieving tightness and tension across the body.

Sphinx Pose

The Sphinx Pose - or Salamba Bhujangasana - is a gentle lying pose in yogic practice that helps stretch and relieve tension in the abdomen and hip flexors, as well as increasing spinal mobility. Modifications can also be made to increase the stretch in your back in this pose.

How To:

Lie on your stomach with your legs extended on the floor behind you. Bend your elbows, keeping your upper arms close to your ribs, with hands palm down on the floor on either side of you. Push your hands and forearms into the ground as you lift your chest from the floor, with elbows beneath your shoulders. Tuck your tailbone under to further engage your lower abdominal muscles and support the spine.

It’s important to stay mindful of your body and emotional state while stretching to get the most benefit from this movement. However, this is also a great posture to take on a gentle break outside, perhaps with a cool drink and your favourite book to hand!

Thread The Needle

Thread The Needle is an incredibly powerful thoracic spine stretch that works wonders to loosen up tighter areas in the mid and upper back, relieve tensions, and increase mobility. This gentle stretch can also help calm the mind and relieve the emotional stressors of the day.

How to:

Starting in an all-fours position, pass your right hand under your body and along the floor, stopping to hold the position when your right shoulder touches the floor, and gently lean into this stretch. After 30 seconds, reverse the movement and pause with the right hand extended fully towards the sky. Repeat on the other side.

This movement can be a great addition to an early morning stretching sequence - watching the sunrise with a cup of coffee while warming up your body for a day of focus and productivity!

Cat/Cow

The Caw/Cow yoga pose - or Marjariasana and Bitilasana - is a reliable and accessible pairing of stretches for the back and chest, which helps promote circulation, stimulates the kidneys, strengthens the spine and neck, and reduces fatigue.

How to:

From an all-fours position, breathe in as you drop your stomach towards the floor and arch your back as you extend your chest and face upwards towards the sky. Then, on the exhale of that breath, pull your navel into your spine, tuck in your chin, and round your spine as you look towards the ground. This movement is best carried out slowly and steadily, allowing yourself to feel each step of either position.

Particularly on bright and sunny days, this is a mood-boosting stretch to take out into the garden or park and take in a clear blue sky and the sun on your face.