Low back pain is one of the most crippling physical problems that people have across the world! It can be minimized, and sometime cured if you take the right measures each day. The first thing you need to do is realize why your back is hurting.
- Your hips are too tight! If you have tight hip flexors, limited rotation in the hip joint, and overly tight hamstrings, for starters, you are going to be putting way too much stress on your low back.
- Your Ass doesn’t work! Your glute muscles are the biggest and strongest muscles in the body, and in many people, they just don’t do their job. Sitting all day can shut them off and cause the hamstrings to compensate. Too much hamstring tension = low back stress.
- Your Core Strength Stinks! Having a strong core is much more than being able to bang out some crunches or having a six pack. Having a strong, functional core is about training all of the core muscles the right way. This includes low and mid back muscles, all of the abs (even the ones you cant see!) the glutes, hip flexors, and hip rotators.
- You train all of the wrong things! I see it everyday in the gym. People are too concerned about the “show” muscles and not enough about the “go” muscles. In other words, too many people want to look good and don’t care too much about their physical health while they are at it! There is nothing wrong with training your chest, biceps, triceps and quads. But you need to work on the important muscles too. Usually, these are the ones you cannot see (i.e. hamstrings, glutes, transverse abs, obliques, low back, etc…)
- You train the wrong way! The Smith machine and leg press are not good for your back. In fact they can be down right bad for your low back. Please stay away from these exercises. Performing countless reps of leg curls and leg extensions are not helping your back either. You need to train your core and your legs, and do it standing. Get off of the machines. You are just weakening your back.
- House and Yard work! House and yard work must be done. However, it is stupid and naive to think you can get up off of the couch, after spending months doing next to nothing physically, and then go out and work in the yard doing all kinds of heavy lifting and other activity without hurting your back. Same goes for house work. Make sure you warm up, stretch, and do some work prior to tackling that big project in your house and yard. Your back will thank you for it.
- Too much behind the wheel. If you have a job that requires you to drive a lot, you need to take measures to reverse the stress that you are placing on and around your low back. It is a certain that your back is going to be placed in a bad position for most of your driving. Even if you are comfortable, you were not meant to sit for that many hours in one spot. If possible, take a break and move. Get out of the car, move around, stretch out a bit, but just move. If you get gas, get out doing the filling up time. If you cannot, make sure you do this as soon as you arrive to your destination.
Stay tuned for the follow up to this blog, with a list of the things you can do about your low back problems.