Back pain is something that most people will experience in their life at some point. An active cure though is as good as rest. If you are the type of person who has recurrent back pain then fixing the root cause is important. Back problems will generally clear up within a short space of time but can often mask the underlying causes of pain and discomfort. With modern lifestyles becoming more sedentary and obesity on the increase it is not surprising that this results in an increase in back pain.
Back pain is usually caused by a few different things but generally most issues are related to poor posture and the adoption of poor movement patterns. If you move in a different way to what is healthy for the joints of the body then injury will occur. This is simply the definition of poor posture.
How do you change your posture though? The key is to take a holistic approach to your lifestyle and training. From a lifestyle perspective there are a number of major changes you can make. Back pain can be exacerbated by being seated for long periods so try to stand as much as you can. The pressures in between each disc are greater seated than when standing. We suggest stand up desks to our clients with back issues.
Losing weight is also key for reducing back pain. If you are carrying weight around your waist it can cause you pelvis to roll forward (what is sometimes called anterior tilt) this is commonly seen in pregnant women as well. What does this mean though? Well if you tilt your pelvis forward you will notice that there is more tension in the lower back compared to the abdominal area (which becomes lengthened). If this is your permanent posture then you may be placing extra strain on your back.
So how can you correct posture? There are a number of initial exercises we teach to our clients with back pain. These exercises need to be modified as there is no one size fits all back care strategy.
What to do!
Reverse Curls 3 x 15
These are great as they promote posterior pelvic tilt while firing the oblique’s muscle. It results in an exercise that can help influence pelvic tilt without necessarily performing crunches which may be harmful to posture.
Side Planks 3 x 30 seconds each side
These will work lateral core stability and help develop a strong torso area.
Glute Bridge 3 x 20
This exercise teaches the glutes to fire as you lift the hips. This means that at the top of the movement we can achieve a stable neutral position.
What not to do!