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How to Relieve Back Pain With No Exercise: 6 Poses

More people than ever are complaining about severe back pain day after day and the reasons are simple: long working hours and bad posture. Sitting in the same position for a long stretch of time does more damage to our bodies than we can imagine and the most common side effect of all is chronic back pain.

To cure the pain, you can take some over-the-counter pain-relievers or work out regularly but we at Bright Side understand that not everybody has the time to exercise or wishes to take medicine. As an alternative, we’ve found some easy poses you can try out to fight that back pain of yours.

1. Twist your body.

This pose, also known as the spinal twist, helps you relax your back muscles and allows the tension in your body to melt away.

  • Lie down comfortably on your back.
  • Fold your knees and then drop both of them to one side while trying to move your upper body to the opposite side. If you’re a beginner, you can keep your upper half still and straight.
  • Make sure you don’t lift up your hip or back and keep them in line with the surface.
  • Hold the position for 2-3 minutes, then switch sides.

Repeat this for a few minutes and you’ll feel the difference. You can also keep a towel under your knees for extra support and comfort.

2. Lie down and lift your upper half.

Likely the easiest on our list, this pose, commonly known as the “cobra” or “sphinx” in the yoga world, simply requires that you lie down comfortably for the most part. This pose actually helps you fix your posture and strengthen your abs. Plus, it provides support to your back, easing the pain.

  • Lie down flat on your stomach with your legs together.
  • Slowly, place your elbows below your shoulder and lift your face up like a proud sphinx.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed but try lifting your spine with your lower body still touching the surface.
  • Hold this position for a minute or 2.
  • Repeat 4-5 times.

Remember, don’t try to overdo it. Only stretch as much as your body can handle.

3. Pull your knees toward your chest.

Ease back pain and lower back pain by attempting this pose for just a few minutes at a time.

  • Lie on your back and bend your knees.
  • Keep your feet flat on the ground.
  • Pull one knee up to your chest while keeping the other one steady and straight.
  • Hold for a few seconds and repeat 3-4 times.
  • Switch knees.

When you do this pose, your body weight will center around your back, giving the tensed muscles a much-needed natural massage.

4. Make a “4” with your body.

Known as the pigeon pose, this position stretches your thighs and hips, reducing the tension in your lower back.

  • Lie down flat on your back and fold your knees.
  • Slowly cross your right leg and place it over your left knee, making a “4”.
  • Now, try to move your left leg toward your chest.
  • Hold it for a few minutes then switch sides.
  • Repeat as needed.

study conducted in 2017 found that when it comes to relieving back pain, the pigeon pose is the most efficient. This pose helps you fix your posture and undoes the damage done by hours of sitting in one position.

5. Bend forward and touch your feet.

This pose helps cure back pain by using the laws of gravity and can be accompanied by pillows or cushions.

  • Sit down comfortably with your legs straight on the floor.

  • Spread your legs apart.

  • Bend forward with your head in your lap and try to touch your feet.

  • Hold still and relax while taking deep breaths.

Doing so will stretch your back muscles and relax them.

There’s also a relaxed version of this pose you can try. Fold a towel and place it below your knees and keep a pillow in your lap for better grip and support. Simply stretching your back while leaning forward, bending, and hugging the pillow can help you calm your nerves as well.

6. Lie down on all fours.

Yes, lie down on your limbs like a tantrum-throwing child. Commonly known as the “child’s pose,” this position takes pressure away from your lower back and helps you relax.

  • Kneel down with your knees hip-width apart.
  • Slowly move your upper body forward so that your arms land on the surface.

  • Try to stretch your body and place your forehead down.

  • Keep your arms stretched ahead and hold the pose.

  • Repeat as required.

Meant for beginners, this easy pose strengthens your spine and calms your back muscles.

What do you usually do to get rid of back pain? Any secret moves you’d like to share? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Illustrated by Leonid Khan for Bright Side