Many of you know that I was in a pretty bad car accident this past February. As a result, my entire training routine had to change.
I wasn’t able to run as far or lift as much as I had been able to before due to the trauma to my neck and my lumbar back. After multiple rounds of injections, hundreds of chiropractic adjustments and painful massages, I am finally getting close to where I used to be before the accident. Except for one thing – I now understand what I means to have chronic back pain.
The doctor said I might struggle with periods of pain throughout my life, aggravated by a tough tennis match, a long run, or simply standing up too fast. Three car accidents in the past 10 years has resulted in too much whiplash for a perfectly healthy spine.
But I refuse to sit back and let my back get weaker. I am committed to daily strengthening it, stretching it, and helping it to recover to it’s new 100 percent. After all, I only get one body, so I am focused on respecting and taking care of the one I’ve got.
Thus, my new routine includes yoga 2 – 3 times per week and extensive stretching. In this post I want to share of you some of my favorite stretches using the wall for assistance. I hope that if you are experiencing back pain, you might find some relief by practicing these poses for 1 – 3 minutes each every other day, more or less frequently as needed.
The basic: legs up on the wall: this pose is so relaxing and it helps to draw pressure off of your spine. It is a relaxing and rejuvenating pose perfect for performing just before bed time, or any time you need to eliminate anxiety or stress.
You can make a simple addition to this post by slightly pulling your neck to the left or right to stretch deep into your neck and down through your upper back and trapezius muscles.
Bring your knees down for a spinal twist to the side. Drop the opposite shoulder to the floor and look towards that side, letting your neck drop. Pull your knees down towards the floor to get a deeper stretch.
Make sure you remember to twist to both sides!
To create a deeper stretch through your spine, lift one leg away from the wall and up overhead while pushing the other foot into the wall. You can intensity this one by taking both legs away from the wall, creating a completely curved and lengthened spine.
Finally, bring one foot in towards you. This helps to open up your hips and press your lower back into the ground, relieving tension.
These are just a handful of my favorites – there are many other stretches you can perform using the wall to relieve back pain and strain. I hope you enjoy giving these a shot, let me know how you feel after completing them all. Your back should feel stretched, lengthened, and relaxed.