Back pain – simple ‘Superman’ stretch you should do every day to prevent lower backache

Back pain is a common condition that usually improves by itself within a few weeks or months, according to the NHS. It could be caused by sleeping in an awkward position, having bad posture, or even by a minor injury. Staying active and doing exercise is one of the best ways to reduce back pain, it said. But you could avoid developing back pain by doing this easy ‘Superman’ stretch, it’s been revealed.

Exercise also increases blood flow to the lower back area

Medical News Today

The stretch helps to strengthen the muscles that run along the spine, according to Medical News Today.

If these muscles are weak, there may not be enough support for the spine and pelvis.

“Doing exercises to strengthen the lower back can help alleviate and prevent lower back pain,” it said.

“Exercise also increases blood flow to the lower back area, which may reduce stiffness and speed up the healing process.

“A person needs strong back extensors to maintain good posture. These muscles run along either side of the spine.

“Weak back extensors can reduce spinal and pelvic support, but doing an exercise called a ‘Superman’ can help.”

The stretch begins by lying face down on the ground, with both arms outstretched in the front of the body.

Raise both the hands and the feet off the ground, leaving a gap of around six inches to the floor.

“Try to pull in the bellybutton, lifting it off the floor to engage the core muscles,” it said. “Keep the head straight and look at the floor to avoid neck injury.”

Now stretch the hands and feet outward as far as possible, and hold the position for two seconds, before returning to the original position.

Repeat the stretch 10 times for the largest benefit, it added.

Lower back pain is the most common type of back pain in the UK, said the NHS.

For short-term relief from backache, try taking some over-the-counter painkillers.

Overweight or obese patients could also reduce their back pain by losing weight.

Being overweight puts extra pressure on joints, which could make back pain worse.

Speak to a GP if you have back pain and a swelling in the back, difficulty passing urine, or chest pain. It could be a sign of something more serious.

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