You had a long tiring day at your work? Did you drive all day on a road trip? Studied for the whole day sitting and preparing for your exams? You may start to feel pain in your lower back after sitting for a long time, it causes stress over your back, and the first thought comes into your mind is, “I need to make an appointment with my chiropractor,” But no wait, we have a solution for that. Cracking your own back may solve your problem.
Chiropractic care uses noninvasive ways to help your body heal. Spinal manipulation is one of the best techniques used by your practitioner. This treatment includes massage, physical therapy, and exercise to alleviate low back pain. It’s generally regarded as safe, particularly when trained professionals manage care.
While it’s recommended that you have a chiropractor handle your spinal manipulation, you may feel the desire to crack your own back. Cracking your back isn’t generally harmful, should you do it?
Should I pop my back?
When you feel any restrictions between your joints, or it’s uncomfortable to move your lower back, the first thing you want to do is crack your back. That gives you instant relief and allows your back to move more freely. While cracking your back is all right, if you find yourself cracking your back daily or multiple times per day, it may be the sign of another condition. Seeing a chiropractor can help you address tension issues within your spinal joints, and pinpoint conditions that cracking your back will exacerbate and not solve.
How can I safely pop my back at home?
If cracking your back, bring relief in pain so you can continue doing it. You can even ask any family member to assist you by lifting you from the ground or by stepping on your back.
Here are a few ways you can crack your back through stretches:
- Cobra pose
- child’s pose
- Rocking stretch
- Using an exercise ball
- Sit and reach stretch
This yoga pose needs a lot of yoga practice because you can recollect your last breath and be still to calm your body. Child pose or balasana enables you to relax completely, just like a child. In this pose, you curl up like a fetus.
How to do the child pose?
- Take transition from the Diamond Pose (Vajrasana).
- As of now i.e. in the diamond pose, you are sitting on your knees with your palms facing the floor on either side of the body.
- While inhaling, raise your hands, create some space between the legs, and bring your whole body forward so that your forehead touches the floor and hands spread on the ground as shown in the image.
- Keep your spine straight and elongated.
- Stay in the position for a minimum of 30 seconds, while breathing normally. The longer you stay, the more relaxed you will feel.
- Keep your arms long and extended
- Turn your head to one side or the other or place a towel under your head.
Note: Please consult your doctor first before doing the child pose if you have a knee injury or spine-related issues.
How to do the cobra pose?
- Take transition from the child pose.
- Inhale and push yourself forward to lie down flat on your stomach and exhale.
- While inhaling, raise your face and then chest.
- To get into the perfect cobra pose, keep your lower body and pelvis on the ground.
- Keep both hands in a supporting position for your shoulder, as shown in the picture.
- Activate your core and avoid pressure on your wrists.
- Stay there for a few breaths.
- Return to the initial position while exhaling.
All four Rocking stretch:
- Begin in an all-fours position with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
- Be sure your lower back is flat by drawing your belly button in toward your spine.
- Exhale and rock back onto your feet. Feel that the floor is pulling your arms into an overhead position.
- Allow your shoulders to be pulled into elevation while rocking backward. Essentially the shoulders will shrug up to your ears.
- Visualize that your scapulae (shoulder blades) are rotating out without sliding out too far from the spine.
- Be sure the back of your neck, especially at the base of the skull, remains lengthened.
- Feel a nice stretch through your scapula or armpit area.
- Return to starting position after holding at the bottom for 5 breaths.
- Perform 3-5 repetitions.
- Lie back, and keep your feet flat on the floor with your knees bent.
- With your hands behind your head or with arms crossed around your chest, raise your shoulders from the floor. Make sure to keep your stomach muscles tight.
- Breath out while raising your shoulders. Avoid leading with your elbows (or yanking your neck off the floor with your arms).
- Hold for one second.
- Next, lower yourself back down to the floor in a controlled manner.
- Always perform the crunches slowly so it doesn’t put stress on your lower back.
Using an exercise ball:
For the back pain sufferers, the exercise ball is an exercise treatment option. It is designed to help prevent or minimize further low back pain episodes. The exercise ball is effective in treating back pain because it strengthens and develops the core body muscles that help to stabilize your spine. There are many videos on YouTube, where you can find the tutorial for the ball exercise. It will definitely help you relieve back pain.
Stretches to improve back pain:
While sitting for a prolonged duration, the muscles in your back and legs can become tight causing increased strain in your joints. Using a standing mat and taking breaks will help, but stretching is a more direct way to get rid of these symptoms. Stretching exercises can improve your back pain and increase your flexibility. Here are some easy and effective stretches that you can do in standing, sitting, or on the floor to cope up with the pain in your back you might experience on a daily basis.
If you are at work and sitting for a prolonged duration, then standing is one of the best solutions to reduce your risk for back pain. Even if you have to sit for most of the day, it helps to take breaks to stand and walk around. While you’re standing, you can try these two stretches to reduce pressure in your lower spine and improve your flexibility.
Effective Standing Trunk Extension Stretch
- Stand straight up with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Place your hands on the lower portion of your back for support.
- Increase the arch of your lower back by leaning backward gradually.
- Lean until you feel a mild stretch in the abdominal muscles and slight pressure in the lower back.
- Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds, then repeating it 3-5 times per session.
- To perform this as an active range of motion exercise, hold for only a few seconds, but perform 10 repetitions per session.
Seated Lateral Trunk Stretch
- While in a seated position, raise one arm over your head.
- Place your other hand on your thigh for support.
- Slowly bend to the opposite side until you feel a comfortable stretch along the side of your trunk.
- Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds, then repeat 3-5 times on each side.
Single Knee to Chest Stretch
Single knee to chest is performed in lying position,
- Lie on your back and slowly bring one knee up toward your chest.
- Grasp the knee with both hands (either on top or under the knee) and gently pull it up towards your chest.
- Stretch until you feel a mild to moderate tension in the low back, hip, and buttock.
- Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds, repeat 3-5 times on each side.
Double Knee to Chest Stretch
- While lying on your back, slowly bring both knees up toward your chest.
- Grasp the knees with both hands (either on top or under the knee) and gently pull them up towards your chest.
- You should feel a mild to moderate stretch in the low back, hip, and buttock.
- Hold the stretch for 15-20 seconds, then repeat 3-5 times on each side.
While these are designed to provide temporary relief, if you want lasting relief, visiting a chiropractor, and spending a few minutes stretching your back and spine each day may provide the best relief long term.
Note: if the symptoms get worse, contact the health care provider immediately.