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Relieving Tension in Your Back

Being relaxed helps keep your mind healthy and your back ready to move. Take short breaks often. Walk around. Stretch. Switch tasks. Also give the following a try.

Rest

Make time to relax. Start by setting aside 5 minutes daily.

Deep breathing

Deep breathing is a simple way to reduce stress. You can do it almost any time you need to relax.

  • Inhale slowly through your nose. Let your lungs and stomach expand.

  • Hold your breath for 2 to 3 seconds.

  • Exhale slowly through your mouth until your lungs feel empty. Repeat 3 to 4 times.

Relieve tension

Muscle tension can create tender spots called trigger points. The tips below may help relieve muscle tension.

  • Press the trigger point if you can reach it. If not, lie on a soft tennis ball, or ask a friend to press the spot. Use steady pressure for 10 to 15 seconds. Breathe deeply. Repeat a few times.

  • Massage trigger points with ice for 2 to 5 minutes. Press lightly at first. Slowly increase firmness.

Male torso showing superficial muscles of back. Dots show common locations of trigger points.

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