Exercises that relieve backache

The other way to beat backache is using inflated gym or fitness balls, which are usually bigger than soccer balls


BY Roland D. Nasasira


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In early 2015, Timothy Kasujja started experiencing minimal backache in the mornings. He first ignored the pain until he reached a point when the pain became unbearable. He was quick to conclude that it could be due to the bad seats at his workplace.
When he visited a doctor, he was asked a number of questions, something that would guide the to doctors understand the cause so as to be able to treat him properly. Among the questions Kasujja was asked was if he slept on a hard or soft mattress. He told the doctor that when he lies on his bed, it curves inwards, creating a sort of a ditch in the mattress. The doctor was also quick to notice that the backache Kasujja was experiencing was due to the poor quality of his mattress, but not the office seats.
“I had to change my mattress immediately because I felt a lot of pain. I was not given any medication but I was advised to change my lifestyle habits. Every morning after waking up, I had to apply ice at the lower back for approximately five minutes at random intervals. I did this for about a month until I felt a change,” Kasujja recalls.
In most cases, Dr Allan Sekyanzi, a general practitioner, says most backache pains, both lower and upper, do not require medication to heal. They require home remedies and a change in someone’s lifestyle to heal. However treatment, depends on the severity of the backache.
“If it is chronic, the doctor may prescribe pain killers. If the backache surfaces once in a while, a particular exercise routine can be helpful,” Dr Sekyanzi says.
In rare cases, he says some backache pains may require surgery to be corrected. At this point, the pain could be due to an underlying factor where some internal back parts such as the nerves are compressed and have to be medically corrected.
Julius Gayira, a fitness specialist at 256 Fitness says before enrolling for fitness lessons to heal back pain, first visit your doctor for a pre-fitness or exercise screening to recommend whether you should start on the programme. This, he reasons, will enable you understand what exercises you need to start on or how your trainer needs to help you eliminate the backache.
If the backache is to be healed by exercises, Gayira says the simplest exercise to start with would be stretching where you move your body through a repeated cycle to improve your flexibility and ease of body motion.
“Stand up right with your legs apart. Hold your waist and bend to the front and back for approximately 30 seconds. When you do this repeatedly, you are allowing your muscles to get used to it,” Gayira advises.
He adds that; “Thereafter, with your legs still apart, stretch your right arm and let your right hand fingers touch your left foot toes and stretch your left arm and let your left hand fingers touch your right foot toes. Increase the speed at which you do it and at the end of the 30 seconds, your breathing rate will increase and this means that your muscles are getting used to the exercise.”
The other way to beat backache is using inflated gym or fitness balls, which are usually bigger than soccer balls.
“Position the ball at your lower back around the waist area and lay on it for about one minute. Do this with your legs and arms firm on the ground as support to the rest of the body. Try to loosen your arms off the ground to see if you can have the momentum to support the rest of the body with legs only as your lower back rests on the ball,” Gayira says, adding that the more you try out this exercise, the more the backache pain will keep on reducing.
Instead of sleeping on your back, Gayira also recommends sleeping or lying on your belly as you tilt or adjust or push your head upwards. This, he reasons, helps stretch your back muscles but also allows your backbones stretch and get back to their normal shape steadily.

Yoga for the back
Other exercises to beat backache, include yoga classes, lying on your back on a cemented or tiled hard floor for as long as 10 minutes. You could also maintain an upright sitting posture where your thighs touch your seat, among other remedies.
Also try the knee-to-chest stretch. Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bring your hands to rest either behind your knees or right below your kneecaps. Slowly bring both knees toward your chest, using your hands to gently pull your knees. Hold here for 20 to 30 seconds, then return to starting position.

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