Dull or sharp, minor or severe, acute or chronic, the odds are that every one of us has experienced lower back pain at some point in our lives. However if you have never had the chance, you should be grateful, because lower back pain is neither pleasant nor enjoyable. In fact, all of us should make preventing back pain a top priority, because it could happen to anyone.

Approximately 31 million Americans are experiencing lower back pain at any given time. That is quite a significant amount and a huge money maker for medical professionals, as well. No one likes to be in pain (unless you do, then you should disregard this article), so people pay big money to heal their backs. Of course in some cases, it is inevitable to pay a visit to a professional. However, there are ways to help your everyday lower back pain without spending money on chiropractors, muscle relaxants, and other magic pills. More importantly, numerous methods exist to prevent lower back pain before it begins. Yes, you can avoid being hurt and being depressed as a result of some thoughtful planning!

The Solution to Recurring Lower Back Pain
In most cases, lower back pain is minor, and the majority of it goes away within a few weeks of its onset without any treatment. This is called an acute pain. Even though an acute lower back pain usually does not need special treatment, its symptoms will likely recur multiple times in the future. You get excited that the pain is gone, and boom, you are let down when it comes back a few months later.

The good news is there is a way to solve this recurring problem. The answer is exercise! Adding regular exercise to your weekly routine will improve your body’s strength, endurance, and help you develop a proper posture and muscle balance. As a result, your back will function much better with more comfort. Moreover, while nerve or muscular problems are common causes of lower back pain, many people do not realize that poor movement patterns often lead to back disorders, as well. You can correct the way you sit, stand, walk, and run with proper posture, which unloads harmful pressures from your spine when performing those activities.

If You Do It, Do It Right
Exercise can help you develop good posture and leave you pain free in the long-term, so if you decide to make the time and invest in your well-being, be proud of yourself and eager to experience every day feeling healthier than before. However, do not forget one important detail! If the exercises you do are done with improper form, they will not only prevent you from gaining a stronger and healthier back, but they can worsen your pain and increase its duration. More often than not, people perform fundamental daily tasks, such as bending down to pick something up, with improper form. Don’t take my word for it, test yourself. For instance, do you bend at the waist and round your back when picking a pen off the ground? If yes, your hip hinging movement needs to be corrected, because when improper spine flexion is repeated a multitude of times, your back will eventually give out and leave you in pain.

Common Movement Patterns

Poor Correct
Hunching over when sitting/standing Upright torso, tilt top of your pelvis forward, retract shoulders
Excessive anterior pelvic tilt Keep the hips level, neutral posture without hyperextending your back
Lifting things with rounded back Bend at your hips and knees, maintain neutral spine position

 

Focusing on fundamental movements and doing them correctly will decrease the chances of injuring your lower back. If you are currently experiencing pain, there should be a reduction and over time complete relief. In order to achieve this, you must assess where the weaknesses are first and use appropriate corrective exercises to restore full and proper movement patterns and core coordination. Only then should you begin incorporating exercise programs, such as resistance training, that will increase the strength and endurance of the muscles that keep your spine in healthy, proper alignment. Whether you are an athlete or an average Joe, so to speak, a healthy spine and strong muscular chain will improve your performance, daily activities, and quality of life in general.

Stop Contemplating, Take Action
Do you currently suffer from low-back pain or have a recurring history of this second most common ache in the United States? Do you just want to prevent it from happening? Are you an athlete trying to avoid injuries and looking for the competitive edge? Applying the principles covered in this article in order to satisfy those desires is difficult if you do not understand the body and how to train it properly. At SPARC Athens, we are dedicated to acquiring the knowledge and applying effective practices to help individuals in need. We stress correct exercise form first in order to achieve proper fundamental movement patterns for life and/or sport. Our Specialists make sure that while you are strengthening and conditioning your body, you do it right and have FUN while you’re at it.

Give us a call at SPARC Athens and schedule an appointment with one of our nationally certified Performance Specialists. SPARC_Day2_0002We will take you through an initial assessment to detect any weaknesses and muscle imbalances, take time to hear about your history and desires, and then we will recommend the most suitable exercise program for you.

By: Nicole Lomnicka
SPARC Specialist