You may have broken a personal record in deadlift but felt like you had just broken another one the next day when you tried to get out of bed. You squatted the same weight as Dumbo but now feel like you’re being trampled on by an elephant herd? You spent the weekend celebrating your local sport’s victory by lifting too many bags of ice. But now, your lower back feels hungry.
Back pain can be one of the most common injuries that a person may experience. However, it doesn’t mean you have to give up on your health goals!
Studies have shown that exercise can reduce back pain intensity and help prevent lower back problems when combined with education.
Exercise is better at pain and injury prevention than shoe insoles, back belts, and ergonomic interventions. You don’t need to use a lot of medication or make extravagant investments in your back health.
What Causes Back Pain
The most common cause of back pain is bending, lifting, and twisting without using proper muscles for those actions.
The posterior chain includes the spine and the erector Spinae muscles that hug it. People should pay attention to their backs and the strength and mobility in their hamstrings and glutes.
Poor form is possible when lifting weights or twisting for your rambunctious child. Poor form can lead to back pain and overuse. What does poor form mean? Poor form is when you rely on the strength and stability of your spinal muscles, but not the greater hamstring, glute, and core muscles (obliques, lower abs) to assist.
Most people have heard the phrase “Don’t lift your back, lift your legs!”. We are twisting this advice slightly. Instead of lifting with your back lift with the stabilizing muscles throughout the posterior chain.
Other Causes Of Back Pain
Sometimes, your back pain may be caused by something more than a strained muscle. These usually disappear within two to three weeks. Back pain can be caused by disc injuries, muscle degeneration, and arthritis.
When herniated disks usually cause a sharp pain in the back, They are often associated with nerve pain in the glute or leg. Sometimes, there may be tingling or sharp burning sensations down the leg.
Most insurances cover direct access to a physical therapist if you suspect you may have a herniated disk. You should see a doctor immediately if you suspect you may have a severe disc injury.
Back Relief Exercises
How can you prevent future back pain? It is unlikely that you will find a safe list of exercises for everyone. You may or not be able safely to do some exercises depending on your back pain and individual mobility issues. Even worse, you could make the problem worse by following the generic advice on the internet about back problems.
However, there are some common trends and recommendations. You won’t find exercises that only target back strength when you consult an Apex Performance physical therapist.
Strengthening the back is not an option for someone with back issues. “You will focus on strengthening the muscles that prevent the back from moving properly or causing pain.
These muscles include the core, glutes, and hamstrings. (Remember the posterior chain concept that we discussed?
It is important to engage your core and activate the glutes. The glutes will work if the back is working hard enough.
This gives a new meaning to “lazy bum”. A simple, safe exercise for everyone to do:
Sitting down, squeeze your right cheek by pressing down. Next, squeeze the left side.
Do you notice a difference? You probably noticed an imbalance. Many people have imbalances in their glutes, which can lead to overcompensation problems throughout the entire posterior chain. These exercises can be added to your exercise program to correct imbalances. However, they must be done with proper instruction. They should not cause pain in the low back. Switch to the single-leg version of the double-legged deadlift with core engagement instead.
Do a hamstring heel dig on an exercise ball. This is a great way to activate your hamstring.
Place one leg bent on the ground and the other straight. The bent knee leg should be bent towards the ceiling. You can also flex your toes toward the ceiling by bending the other leg. To produce a contraction, the hamstrings must be firing. This contraction should be held for between 5-10 seconds. Then, relax. Perform the required reps and sets on the opposite side.
Stretch your hamstrings and activate the hamstring muscles!
Tight hamstrings can cause pelvis alignment to be altered and increase low back tension. You should also explore other ways to stretch your Hamstrings than the traditional forward fold. This can worsen and aggravate back pain.
It’s not a great idea to stretch, flex, or extend your back to get into a stretch position. Gavin says that there are many other ways to stretch and keep your back in the neutral position it should be. Apex Performance has large stretching areas that you can use to stretch out. You should not stretch too hard. If your hamstrings are not stretched to 90 degrees, then it is not tight. Make sure you don’t arch your back to raise your leg. You’ll feel the stretch once you feel it.
Talk to one of our Personal trainers at Apex Performances if you have back pain and want to prevent it from happening again. We leave you with this parting advice from Sir Mixalot: Shake your healthy butt! A healthy back is a healthy body.
This post was written by Darryl Johnson, Co-Owner of Apex performance. At Apex performance we are a community of highly trained experts looking to provide performance enhancement and a permanent lifestyle change for our clients in a fun and interactive environment. Members can take advantage of Youth Sports Training Tampa, one-on-one training, small group classes, and specialized courses for a wide variety of athletics, sports training, and body goals!