There is one exercise that rises above all the others when it comes to back pain. It’s so good I think it deserves an entire blog post dedicated to looking at the benefits along with the basic how-to for just this one exercise.
Calling it an exercise is slightly misleading because it is so restorative and relaxing that you might end up taking a little cat nap at the same time. It’s called constructive rest, and this has been a go-to of mine for many years. I’ve given this to countless clients, and friends. I’ve also used this exercise myself numerous times when I feel a tweak in my back, or simply want to do something nourishing for my spine while also getting some rest and recovery.
Just last week I suggested to my sweet mother that she try constructive rest for her back pain. She is 79 years young and doesn’t like to slow down. So, it wasn’t that surprising when she informed me that she had been trying to lift a very heavy, waterlogged flower pot of geraniums when her mid-back suddenly popped and became very painful. Yikes! Okay, a quick intermission in this story to interject a disclaimer. I am not a medical doctor, and reading this blog is no replacement for consulting with your doctor if you have something sudden and acute like this happen. It’s a very scary moment, right when you feel your back go out. I was scared for my mother when she told me what had happened. She also has osteoporosis, and I was terrified that she may have fractured her spine.
You see, that’s how much I believe in constructive rest. I knew there was a chance that it might be a more extreme situation, and I was really worried that she would just push through the pain and ignore it without realizing that there may be something more serious going on. So, I wanted to give her something she could do to feel better and rest her back until she could determine if she needed to see her doctor. So, for the first few days immediately after she had this accident, she practiced constructive rest. I had her do this for about 10-20 minutes a day, every day. And guess what? Her back is feeling better and her pain has gone away! Amazing! I was so worried for her, and I was so relieved to hear that it wasn’t anything more serious.
At this point, you might be thinking, okay, who is this exercise for and do I need to be in acute back pain in order to try it? The answer is no, you don’t need to be in acute pain. Constructive rest is helpful for anyone who struggles with back pain, whether it’s a slow nagging and persistent thing, or if you suddenly feel something spasm.
If you struggle with back pain, then there is a pretty good chance that you’ve experienced a sudden tweak or spasm in your back at some point. Now, in a perfect world you would already know how to perform constructive rest so that if your back goes out, it’s not the first time you're trying a new exercise. So, it is best to be proactive and have this in your back pocket just in case something sudden happens.
Additionally, if you give your spine the TLC that it wants and needs then you may very well be preventing something more serious from happening. In short- constructive rest is a deeply nourishing and very safe exercise for anyone who struggles with back pain, being proactive is better but it’s also a good thing to consider performing when something more acute happens. Remember, this doesn’t replace talking with your doctor.
So, when exactly is the best time to do this exercise? The best time to do this exercise is when your back feels tired and achy, soar, stiff, or inflamed. It’s best for those moments when you want to lay on the couch, but you also need something o help relieve the discomfort and stiffness.
The beauty of this exercise is that it helps to decompress the lower back, which means that it creates more space between each vertebra, allowing important space for your nerves. Additionally, it takes the weight off of your spine which gives the muscles around your back a chance to go offline. This is really important because it’s very common for back muscles to become over-active and protective which can create stiffness and tension. When done properly you should feel taller, and more relaxed after practicing constructive rest. It might not completely remove all your discomfort, but you should be able to notice improvement. If you feel some relief it’s a good sign to repeat this exercise frequently.
Now, there are some tips and tricks when it comes to performing this exercise the right way. It’s very nourishing and relaxing, but the tricky part is getting into it and out of it with ease. Therefore, if you’re going to try doing this on your own, then I suggest you watch my video training that walks you through the whole process step by step. You’ll want to make sure you have the right pillows and props ready to ensure a very healing experience from start to finish.
Head over to www.limberarts.com/rest and start feeling better today.