Exercises for Back Pain Relief from Sitting (Even If You Have Fibromyalgia)
With more of us working from home, or spending time helping kids with schoolwork after working all day, you may find you have back pain or shoulder tension you weren’t experiencing before life through a curveball your way. These easy exercises for back pain relief help to relieve back pain and tension as well as relax tight shoulders. So whether you experience pain from sitting at desk all day, or you suffer from fibromyalgia like me, these exercises to relieve back pain can help ease discomfort without resorting to medication.
I’m lucky enough to be self-employed, work from home and be able to take breaks as needed. With fibromyalgia a part of my daily life, stepping back and slowing down are extremely beneficial to me. I have to focus on self care or once my work day is over, I don’t function. However, before I was able to quit my day job in 2017, I worked full time in an office. I also blogged at home to get to this point, sometimes pulling 70 hour weeks. It wasn’t fun.
There were days that my hands and wrists so badly, I felt nauseous. With that, I’d also get terrible tension and pain across my shoulders and my back. Sometimes I felt like a circus acrobat trying everything under the sun to relieve that pain. I’d take breaks do push ups in sets of ten. I’d stretch at my desk whenever possible. From time to time I’d lay on the floor with my feet flat against the wall. And on lunch breaks, or slow periods, I’d lap the warehouse that housed our offices. These exercises for back pain relief not only helped ease back pain and tension, they also helped with the shoulder tension and pain common among those with fibromyalgia.
These easy activities significantly helped me with my own pain issues, therefore I wanted to share my experience with you. To learn more about natural ways to solve back pain, I sat down with National Academy of Sports Medicine Personal Trainer, Christine Luna, and she gave me some amazing information about some easy, low cost ways to manage any back pain that you may be experiencing. She also provided exercises she recommends for back pain relief. Keep reading to learn how to incorporate these exercises for back pain relief into your daily routine. As well as discover my favorite herbal supplement to relax tight muscles.
How Common is Back Pain among Adults?
If you are experiencing back pain, you are not alone. In fact, being an adult with back pain is more common than you could even imagine! An article in Healthline stated that 4 out of 5 adults experience lower back pain from sitting on a consistent basis. That is just from sitting incorrectly, not even with the added nerve sensitivity that something like fibromyalgia can give you.
Exercises for Back Pain Relief
If you are looking for some of the simplest ways to relieve back pain, there are several solutions, including exercises for back pain relief. What’s so great about these exercises for back pain relief is that practically anyone can do them, even if you suffer from fibromyalgia. They’re also way less likely to trigger a fibro flare than aerobic exercise. And, if utilized regularly, they can also minimize common back and shoulder pain caused by fibromyalgia. So whether you’re simply struggling from sitting at a desk all day, have fibromyalgia, or both, these exercises for back pain relief are a great way to alleviate common back and shoulder tension.
Incorporate Movement Whenever You Can
When it comes to a lot of back pain, one of the biggest culperates is a lack of movement. When we sit for hours at a time then our bodies can get stiff and uncomfortable pretty quickly. We’re all guilty of it. You get started on a project and before you know it you haven’t moved in 3-4 hours. It’s okay, and luckily there are easy ways to solve this problem.
One of the simplest solutions to a lack of movement is to get up and walk around every 20-30 minutes. To get in the habit, Luna recommends setting a timer to help you establish the habit. When I worked in an office building, that meant walking to the farthest coffee machine or going to someone’s office as opposed to calling them. This is also a great solution if you aren’t able to walk on breaks or during your lunch hour.
Another option is to turn a meeting into a walk. If your meeting is a phone call, grab some headphones and head out the door. If your meeting is in person, simply suggest a walk outside while you discuss whatever topics the meeting is about. Studies have shown that movement in meetings can make them more efficient and more pleasant. Not to mention it can work out some of the muscle tension for everyone involved. Go on- try it! A few simple minutes of movement can add up pretty quickly and help you feel your best. Plus, walking is one of the easiest exercises for back pain relief.
When You Exercise for Back Pain Relief, Focus On Stretching
Another excellent option is to find a local yoga or stretching program. This is especially helpful for people with fibromyalgia. There are consistent studies stating that adding in an exercise program that can elongate your muscles can help your glutes stay activated, stretch out your hip flexors, and strengthen your core. According to Luna, when these three things happen with your body, then your spine is supported and back pain will naturally lessen.
Just make sure to check with your doctor before you begin a new exercise program, especially if you have fibromyalgia or other health concerns.
More Ways to Get Back Pain Relief (Without Exercise)
In addition to exercises for back pain relief, there are also a few other simple changes you can make that don’t require any movement.
Sit with a Back Support
When talking to Luna, she spoke a lot about the natural curve of the lower spine and how it is shaped more like an ‘S’ than the letter ‘I’. Apparently, not all office chairs were designed to support our backs for as long as we sit in them, which can lead to that pain. Luckily, the solution is cost effective and easy to do, especially if work isn’t willing to spring for an expensive new office chair.
Luna recommended a quick and simple solution that requires an item you already have laying around that house. To help support your back, you can roll up a small towel and place it on your lower back when you have to sit for a few hours. That support will encourage your spine’s natural curve and encourage your body to activate other muscle groups in order to support your back. When these two things happen simultaneously, then your back pain is sure to decrease.
These days, I always have a lumbar pillow for support. Whether I’m sitting at my desk at home, or on the couch binging my favorite shows. It honestly has made the biggest difference.
It can be surprising to hear how much sleep can affect your back pain. However, there are several positions that you can sleep in that actually place a lot of pressure on your back muscles. Sleeping can be a challenge at time with Fibromyalgia. This is especially true if you deal with insomnia or have trouble sleeping. Therefore it is important to make your sleep position a priority. I can promise you that this position is worth it, even if you try it out laying on the couch watching tv, as it can take the pressure off of your lower back so that it can rest.
According to the experts, the best position to sleep on is to sleep on your side with your knees bent. Luna mentions that this sleeping position will help your back muscles relax all night. That way, your spine is in a neutral position and your muscles can relax and recover from the day of work. This will help your body feel its best the next day.
I’ve found that I’m now most comfortable sleeping on my side with a blanket of flat pillow between my knees. It’s pretty much the same as when I was pregnant, and the extra weight put strain on my back. It’s totally the same concept and it makes a world of difference.
Consider Visiting an Acupuncturist
If these other solutions to your back pain don’t help to alleviate your back pain, consider visiting an Acupuncturist. They are trained to find the root cause of any muscle pain and work out any tension that may be bothering you.
Acupuncture uses blood flow to send natural healing properties to your tense muscles. When I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia, I actually went to our community acupuncture clinic. I used acupuncture for several muscular pains in my body. It feels amazing, especially with all of the pain associated with FIbromyalgia. It’s also a great way to mediate and just relax without any worries on your plate. This also serves to reduce stress levels, which can contribute to muscle tension and back pain.
Natural Supplements to Relax Muscles for Back Pain Relief
If you find you still have back pain caused from shoulder or back tension, and need additional support, there is an herbal supplement I highly recommend. I take this supplement to relax my muscles, especially during times of high stress, when my fibromyalgia becomes extra troublesome. This herbal blend is one I used when I stopped taking prescription muscle relaxers entirely. Made with an herbal blend of valerian, skullcap and hops, the organic Muscle Relax blend from Oregon’s Wild Harvest is designed to help your body and your mind chill out.
In addition to herbal supplements or exercises for back pain relief from sitting, you can also try a natural pain relief salve or cream. This Hemp Extract Muscle Aid from Plant Therapy combines CBD oil with an essential oil blend of Wintergreen, Camphor and Scots Pine. So it’s perfect for sore, achy muscles. You can also make your own CBD pain relief salve recipe. Or try my arnica pain relief salve recipe made with arnica infused oil, ginger and chili seed essential oils.
Now you know of several ways to deal with back pain. Luckily, so many of the solutions are affordable (or free!) and easy to tackle. They don’t require challenging exercises or even a gym membership. From incorporating more movements and exercises for back pain into your life to adding a rolled towel to your chair, you don’t have to live with this pain forever. You can often get back pain relief with these simple solutions.
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