If you have a stiff back and your spine is out of alignment, you don’t have to go to a chiropractor. There are simple stretches and lifestyle habits that can get your back to where it was.
However, it is critical for you to find the habits that caused the problem first. Then stop doing them. Additionally, some stretches can help to realign your spine.
In some instances, back pain may be caused by bad sitting, sleeping, standing and walking posture, research shows. It may also be a result of excessive weight that strains the back. Some medical conditions like a herniated disc or sciatica could be to blame.
You can only ascertain that these are not the causes by getting checked by a medical professional.
Finally, muscle strain could be another cause. Here are some of the interventions you can use if you do not have a medical condition.
How to Straighten Your Back without A Chiropractor
1. Diagnose Your Posture
It is important for you to first determine the extent of the problem. Wear something fitting and take a photo of yourself from the side and front.
If your shoulders are not on the same plane, you are misaligned. If your hips seem to project forward, then your lower spine is arched.
You should also not be seeing your shoulder blades since that means that you have a rounded back.
2. Adjust Your Sitting Position
This is one of the root-cause strategies for back-straightening. In this study, it was shown that how you sit has a significant effect on the pressure on your back.
The best sitting position is straight. Pretend that you have an imaginary vertical line on your back. Position your spine in this line. Let your shoulders be level and do not extend your pelvis forward.
3. Move Around Regularly
Having a sedentary life increases the chances of having back problems. If most of your job is done on a desk, you may have to schedule moments in your day to keep moving. This way, blood flows to your spine sufficiently.
You should also ‘teach’ your back to assume its natural position rather than that of your seat.
4. Throw Out that Old Mattress
If you often wake up and feel a lot of pain or stiffness in the morning, your mattress could be the problem.
For back-sleepers, a mattress that sinks could be wreaking havoc to your spine. A sinking mattress makes your back curve in a concave shape, and that is not how it’s naturally supposed to be.
A mattress that is too hard could also be problematic. It may be forcing your back to form a straight line when that is not how it should naturally be. Buy a medium density mattress that would boost your other straightening interventions.
5. Change How You Sleep
In addition to having proper back support through mattresses, you should also choose the right sleeping position. Sleeping on the side is a good way to relieve pressure on your back.
Consider putting a pillow between or under your knees for a straighter position. If it is impossible for you to avoid back sleeping, considering rolling a small towel and placing it under the small of your back. Stomach sleeping puts too much pressure on the back, so it is not advisable.
6. Try the Back-Over-Bed Stretch
As the name suggests, this is a stretching exercise in which you place your back on a bed. Your head should be much lower than the rest of the body. It can even be close to the floor. The shoulder blades and other parts above it should be bending over the bed.
Extend your arms outwards and move them back until they reach the floor. Hold that position for 5 seconds then sit up, breath and repeat.
7. Attempt the Chair Twist
This exercise is done while you are seated. Twist your body from your waist to the left side. Ensure that you don’t move your hips. Also, turn your head to the same side.
Hold the left arm of your seat (ensure your chair has arms) with your left hand. Put your right hand outside your left thigh and twist as far as you can. Hold it for 30 seconds and return to the center. Finally, repeat the exercise 3 to 5 times.
8. Do the Supine Twist
A supine position involves lying on your back. Assume this position and straighten your right leg then bend your left leg. Stretch out your left arm to the side then move your head to this same direction. As your head faces the left, twist your body rightward (from the waist).
Let your left knee and shoulder touch the ground or at least attempt to do so. Press your left knee with your right hand. Pull your left knee high towards your chest to deepen this stretch.
9. Get an Ergonomic Chair
Your stretching exercises will be useless if you go back to the old habits that caused the back misalignment in the first place.
Seats are a major culprit, so make sure you get the right kind. An ergonomic chair is one that has been scientifically designed to facilitate good posture. Check on its height. It should allow you to place your feet firmly on the floor.
Your thighs should be horizontal. The seat’s width should be long enough to let you support your back on it while your feet are on the floor. It should have lumbar support or an inward curve that follows the natural pattern of your back.
10. Practice Yoga
Yoga is great for back pain. Some stretches you could borrow from this discipline include the cat/ cow, child’s or locust pose.
The locust pose involves lying on your stomach, lifting your head and chest upward then lifting your legs to a 45-degree angle. Extend your arms backward and make a fist. Hold that stretch for 30 seconds, breath and repeat.
The cow and cat pose entail being on your hands and knees then adjusting your back inward and outward to make convex then concave shapes.
Finally, the child’s pose requires you to sit on your legs, bend until your face touches the ground then extending your arms forward as far as you can.
11. Strength Train
In this study, people who strength trained had marked improvements in back pain. Use resistance bands or small weights. Build core strength through the reverse crunch or reverse extensions. Abrupt exercises like deadlifts are not a good idea.
You’re better off starting with this home workout sequence to build strength and endurance before you advance to the difficult exercises.
12. Adjust Your Standing and Walking Posture
Walking can sometimes cause back problems. Therefore, align your shoulders with your body when you walk. Do not extend your head forward. Avoid slouching or looking down. Keep your head up and straight.
When you are standing, make sure your head is not extended forward. If you can, lean against a wall with the back of your head, shoulders and behind touching it.
Shift your weight from one leg to the other if you have to stand for a long time. Let your feet be slightly apart and do not lock your knees. Keep most of your body weight on the balls of your feet, not your heels.
If you have a curved back, you can remedy it at home. Try exercises and stretches. Then ensure you change how you sit, walk and sleep so that you don’t develop the same problems in the future.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]