One of the most common complaints I hear, and biggest challenges to health and wellness, is back pain. Back pain is pervasive in society today. But if you can fix it, you almost guarantee adhesion to your training program, and ultimately success in every desired outcome.
I would have to say that the number of people contacting me with back pain has risen dramatically in the last 12 months. Often they come saying they want weight loss, athletic performance or toning. However, this is quickly followed up with their challenges. And one of the most common challenges… back pain!
But in my experience, most [back pain] can be fixed through proper and informed movement.
I’ve worked with a lot of people over the years with back pain. And having worked closely with physiotherapists and massage therapists, I’ve discovered there are many causes. But in my experience, most can be fixed through proper and informed movement.
5 Secrets to Fix Back Pain
- Stop doing what hurts
Sounds pretty obvious, doesn’t it. But is it? Pain is a preventative medicine. The body experiences it to stop you from doing that, in order to protect itself. If you’re in pain doing something physically, the first step is to stop!
One of the main things I’ve learned about the back is that it loves to rotate. One of the fundamental movements of all human movement, rotating (or twisting) is extremely good for your back. So long as there are no underlying issues that your chiropractor or physiotherapist has warned you against doing, lay on the ground and rotate through your torso.
We spend so much time in our lives today, sitting. Even when we’re standing, gravity is working against us, pushing us down. Our spine becomes squashed. And often curved forward. Not only is hanging great for your shoulders, it also helps to create space between each vertebrae and this even builds strength.
- Brace properly
You should be bracing in every movement that you do. But the most common is the plank. And most people don’t do it properly. Tuck your tailbone and pull your belly button up towards your spine, pushing your chest away from the ground. Getting into a strong and solid plank position, and progressing to moving around in this position, gives you incredible strength and control through your torso, which I’ve seen time and time again responsible for eliminating back pain and improving physical performance.
Hinging at the hips is one of the most difficult movements to learn. But as one of the seven fundamental human movements, it is important. Squatting and lunging are the two most commonly prescribed exercises for developing leg strength. However, hinging is just as important. Not only does hinging develop the back-side of the legs (hamstrings and glutes), but also the back.
Now, while I claim to know a fair bit about the body and how it works, I’m not a qualified physiotherapist or chiropractor. I’m a Movement Consultant and a former Institute of Sport coach. Take what I’ve said and use it to your advantage. But in every situation, if you have back pain, always seek medical advice from a qualified physiotherapist, chiropractor or exercise physiologist. The 5 secrets I’ve shared to fix back pain come from my 15+ years experience in training people, and this is what’s worked for me time and time again.
Do you experience back pain? If so, tell me about it.
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