The best reflexology exercises for back pain

Is your back pain getting too much to handle? Instead of running to your medicine cabinet and grabbing a pain reliever, you can perform these reflexology exercises for safe and effective relief from back discomfort.

Back pain happens to everyone, and while the discomfort can be managed most times, it can be too severe in certain cases. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a popular solution to the problem, but unfortunately, they cause a variety of side effects, some of which are too high a cost for what benefits they offer.

Instead of subjecting yourself to these side effects, you can depend on the time-tested benefits of reflexology exercises. These techniques allow you to access and stimulate certain pressure points in your body and relieve pain in the process. Here are five reflexology exercises you can try for back pain.

Sleeping tennis ball exercise

Place two tennis balls inside a sock. You can secure the balls inside by tying the sock’s open end. For this exercise, you will need to lie flat on the ground and place the sock with the tennis balls under your neck, much like a pillow. Bend your legs and place your feet firmly on the ground. Raise your hips so that you are balancing on the sock with tennis balls and your feet. Walk yourself gently on the tennis balls to put pressure on your bladder points and relieve stress and pain in the process.

Standing tennis ball exercise

Using the sock and tennis balls again, set your legs wide apart – about the width of your shoulders – and stand against a wall. Bend your knees and place the tennis ball sack behind your shoulders, making sure they are exactly at the center of your back. Roll the sock behind your back by straightening and bending your knees. This will roll the tennis balls against your spine and relieve discomfort.

Sleeping acupressure foot points

You can stimulate the acupressure points in your feet to relieve your back pain. To do this, just sit straight and hold your right foot in your left hand. Place your thumb in the area where your big toe joins your second toe and apply pressure for one minute while inhaling and exhaling normally. Gradually decrease the pressure and rub the area. Repeat this exercise on the other foot. (Related: Yoga reduces pain in people with chronic non-specific lower back pain.)

Sitting acupressure foot point

Like the previous technique, this exercise stimulates the acupressure point in your feet. Wash and dry your feet before you begin. Sit down on a chair or, if doing so makes you feel more comfortable, your bed. Cross your leg so you can easily hold your right foot in your left hand. Relax your muscles by rolling your hand across your foot repeatedly. After this, simply rub your thumb across the middle of your feet, going from your heel to your toes. Repeat this process several times as needed. If you need more pressure, use two thumbs to perform the massage. If any spot feels sore, massage it using circular movements. This exercise stimulates your spine. Relax your body by lying down after the exercise.

Sleeping acupressure hand point

Lay down on the ground and hold your right hand in your left hand. Locate the point behind your thumb and index finger – this is where you will press with your left thumb. Don’t worry if you feel a slight pain – it means you are doing the exercise right. Hold the pressure for 10 seconds and gradually release it for five seconds. Repeat the process two to three times with one hand and then do it with the other hand.

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