How many of you have googled, ‘preventing back pain?’
Yes, I thought so…
We’ve all heard and read about what can cause back pain: sports injuries, poor posture, improper lifting techniques… but did you know that you may be making common mistakes in your daily routine that might be encouraging back pain?
Back pain isn’t just for old folks. In fact, as the years progress, we are finding back pain starting at younger and younger ages.
It's a great thing that our society is trending towards being active and healthy for the long haul. However there are so many misconceptions as to how to achieve this lifestyle, and we find set-backs, DAILY, without knowing it.
Here are the Top 3 Things We Do Every Day That Cause Back Pain:
1. Constant Stretching
Okay, I get it. I do it too. Stretching simply feels good!
Here’s what stretching does: by loosening up muscles that feel tight/tense/knotted/uncomfortable, we also stretch the nerve endings inside the muscle. When these nerve endings relax, we feel good for as long as they stay relaxed.
But did that tightness come right back?
Here’s why it doesn’t last: muscles tighten up when the bones/joints they attach to feel unstable. This is a protective mechanism to improve your body’s stability. By stretching the muscles, we actually further inhibit the stability that our joints are craving. This is why our muscles tighten right back up. They’re talking to us and we owe it to listen.
Rather than stretching, we should be focusing on stabilizing the area to get our muscles to automatically feel they can loosen up.
2. Sitting All Day Long
Alright, I’m sure you’ve heard this before. But do you know why sitting isn’t good for us?
We sit during our morning and night commutes, for each meal, during our entire day at work, while we watch T.V. or read a book at night, etc.
Sitting inhibits the muscles of our pelvic floor. These are the muscles that stabilize the bottom end of our spine. When we allow them to rest for hours on end, they fall further into an inhibited state causing “weakness.” This instability leads us down a dark hole of constant back pain/tightness.
Simply put, try not to sit as much. Avoid sitting when you can, and when you can’t, take walking/standing breaks often. After dinner, go for a walk or head to the gym rather than immediately sitting on the couch. Start with small changes.
3. Choosing The Wrong Exercises When Working Out
I commend everyone who goes to the gym regularly and tries to work out whatever kinks may arise as they deal with everyday aches and pains. However, if we don’t have the best plan for how to attack the issue, it could spiral out of control. Even with the best of intentions…
If you have back pain, you’ve probably walked into the gym and said to yourself, “alright, I know I need to strengthen my back because it feels weak.” This probably led you to choosing a group of exercises/machines to help you with just that.
But the problem is, the muscles of our spine actually work reflexively to stabilize and guard our spine. It's a protective mechanism. If we go into the gym and start working out these muscles that are already really sore/tense, loading them further is going to create more pain.
Instead, they’ll automatically get stronger if we target our exercises to stabilizing the rest of our core, such as our pelvic floor, abs and diaphragm.
Change the focus of your exercises from strengthening your back to strengthening the other regions of your core. This will help you get the stability you need to allow the muscles in your back to finally RELAX.
We now live in a society that is driven by social media and popularity.
There are a thousand people on YouTube with no formal education telling us to do ridiculous exercises to fix your pain.
There are social media celebrities, getting their claim to fame from simply looking good, telling us how we can look JUST like them.
There are people who simply recite what someone once told them as advice without ever questioning where the advice came from and why.
I want to help you sift through the B.S. and find what will actually work, which is true medical advice, backed by solid research. Stay tuned for other posts just like this for more advice on attacking your pain and becoming your best self.
In addition, I’ve created a free report on 7 helpful tips to end your back pain today.
CLICK HERE to access the currently free report!