What can you do to ease your stiff, sore back? Here are some tips for how to stretch, sleep, tone and limber up that will take the ache away.
- Sleep better. Sometimes, getting out of bed can be the toughest part of the day. That’s because after sleeping, your back muscles and joints stiffen from lack of movement. The key to easing the pain could be all in how you sleep. If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your knees to keep your spine in neutral position and reduce pressure on your lower back. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees. If you sleep on your stomach (which is the toughest position for your back), try to retrain yourself to sleep on your side. If that’s not possible, place a pillow under your pelvis to maintain the normal curvature of the spine.
- Start your day with stretching. Before you get out of bed, roll onto your back and stretch your arms and legs as far as possible. Bend your knees up to your abdomen and stretch your legs again. Roll onto your side and ease into a sitting position at the side of your bed. Wiggle your toes, rotate your ankles, bend gently at the waist and give your legs one more stretch. Finally, stand up and gently bend forward and side-to-side at the waist.
- Get moving. Get your circulation moving and your joints lubricated by taking an early walk, swim or by hitting the treadmill. The earlier in your morning that you exercise, the better your back will feel all day.
- Give your back a break. Whenever you’ll be sitting for long periods of time, for example when you’re working at a computer or sitting in the car – make it a habit to take a break and stand up and walk around for a few minutes out of every hour. If your back is very stiff, repeat your early morning stretching routine.
- Warm up. Soaking in a warm bath or using a heating pad are excellent ways to increase circulation, warm tight muscles and ease back pain. In fact, some people who experience frequent back pain and stiffness invest in a hot tub to start and end their days soaking in the warmth.