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8 easy ways to improve back pain at any age

by Virginia Tims-Lawson

I ran into my old friend, Sara recently. Sara was always active, thin and fit. I hadn’t seen Sara in a while and was surprised to hear that she’d been sidelined by intense back pain.

For many people, back and neck pain is generally associated with getting older, excess weight around the middle or an injury. But Sara doesn’t fit into any of those buckets.

A back that hurts, creaks, or just plain won’t move may seem inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be. Take it from me, (as I’ve had my fair share of back pain) with the right diet and exercise, you can easily and safely get your back feeling better.

And you can avoid the addictive pills that can cause everything from constipation and drowsiness to depression and a weakened immune system.

I recommended that Sara try these basic exercises to do something healthy for her back.

Of course, as with any exercise program, if you have chronic, unrelieved pain, make sure to have it checked out to eliminate any major health concerns.

For neck and upper back pain

1. Neck and chest stretch

Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Raise your arms out to your sides and bend your elbows, placing the palm of your hands flat against the back of your head and linking your fingers. Lightly press your head back against your hand while dipping your left elbow toward the floor and raising the right elbow toward the ceiling. Inhale and switch to the opposite side. Repeat 5 times for each side.

2. Reach back

While sitting in the chair, reach your arms back behind you toward the floor, palms facing down, and interlace your fingers. Take a deep breath in, pressing your shoulders back and down, as you lengthen your spine by lifting your chin toward the ceiling.
Again, repeat this 5 times.

For low back pain

1. Superman

Lay on the floor on your stomach with your arms stretched out flat in front of you, palms down. (You look like Superman flying in to save the day). Lift your head up and raise your right arm and left leg off the floor about 2 inches. Lower them and repeat on the opposite side for a total of 5 times each.

2. Bridges

Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and your arms at your sides, again palms down. Slowly press up through your feet, lifting your bottom off the floor while keeping your head and neck relaxed. Hold for a count of 3 and repeat 5 times.

Whole spine

1. Cat stretch

Kneel on the floor with your knees and hands on the ground, keeping your back and neck horizontal. Inhale as you tighten your stomach muscles and arch your back up toward the ceiling. Hold the stretch for the count of 5 then return to your starting position, exhaling on the way down. Repeat 5 times.

2. Just walk

Walking not only helps strengthen your core muscles, it gets your circulation moving, allowing your body to flush out the toxins that lead to pain. It also improves your flexibility and even stimulates the release of endorphins, helping you feel better. Aim
for 8,000 – 10,000 steps a day.

I also explained to Sara, that to eliminate pain, you must also quell the flames of inflammation. My first suggestion was to eliminate as much wheat (gluten) and sugar from her diet as possible. Both are highly inflammatory and leave your body in a constant state of attack. When you eliminate them, you allow that inflammation to calm down which helps reduce pain.

As well, I also recommended a daily dose of Peak Krill Oil. In a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, subjects who suffered stiff, sore joints took 300 mg of krill oil or a placebo every day for 30 days. After just 7 days, the subjects that took krill oil reported almost 30 percent lower pain scores, not to mention a 20 percent decrease in stiffness. Not bad for a tiny crustacean from Antarctica!

Although most people will experience back pain at some point in their lives, it doesn’t have to be something that rules your life. With dietary changes, plus krill oil and by keeping your back moving through these simple exercises you can help re-train and relax those tight muscles, improve your posture and reduce inflammation to get rid of back pain for good.


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