Whether it is from sitting for extended periods in your office chair or from lifting weights, getting your back out of whack is part of modern life.
It happens, in fact, to around eight in 10 Americans at least once per year, according to studies.
A physical therapist from New York City has now demonstrated how five simple exercises can beat the dreaded pain in minutes. And the best part is that all of them can be done from your bed.
The first step in these exercises is to find a “comfortable place to lay on your stomach,” said Dr. Dan Ginader, a physical therapist specializing in injuries from dance.
Ginader adds his recommendations are based on a method called The McKenzie Method.
The technique revolves around the theory that “if rounding the back causes symptoms, then extending the back will relieve them. And laying on your stomach allows you to do exactly that, with everything nice and supported,” he says in a TikTok clip, viewed by almost a million followers.
The second position is propping yourself up on your elbows for “extra extension,” followed by mini push-ups, keeping your legs on the ground (or bed).
The third is “gentle rotation.”
“Laying on your back, take your knees and drop them to one side until you feel a gentle stretch,” said Dr. Ginader. “Hold about a second and go to the other side. Once again, the goal is to keep these fairly gentle and just take what the body gives you. Repeat about 10 to 20 times.”
The fourth movement is what the doctor calls “sciatic nerve glides.”
Many forms of back pain are caused by extra pressure on the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back through the hips, buttocks, and down each leg.
The strain on the sciatic nerve is usually caused by injury and can cause inflammation, pain, and occasionally numbness in the leg.
Sciatic glides aim to alleviate pressure on the nerve and involve bending the leg toward the ceiling while lying on your back with hands clasped around the back of the knee. Ginader recommends repeating 15 times on each leg.
Finally, extend the back using bridges. Bridges involve pushing the pelvis upwards with feet grounded and knees bent, which will help to release any trapped nerves and strains.
If the pain doesn’t ease within three days, Dr. Ginader recommends seeking medical advice.