How to Manage Back Pain

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Back pain can come out of nowhere and blind side anyone.

Every day life is pretty abusive on the spine.


Sitting, picking things up, and exercising can all throw the back into fits.


The problem that makes it so hard to deal with is the fact that back pain is a result from chronic overuse.


Picking up groceries off of the ground is not what caused the back injury. Sitting all day and using poor mechanics can be what causes back pain.


The groceries were just the last straw.


This is an extremely frustrating process and you never know what is going to cause it.


I have heard people who have had backs go during a push press, picking up their dog, getting out of bed, unracking a back squat, and even sneezing.


How do you prevent this?


You really can’t. The best you can do is make the core as stable as possible, minimize loading on the back in everyday life, and use perfect mechanics in the gym.


This is much easier said than done because no one wants to get into perfect deadlift form to do laundry.


In order to manage back pain, from overuse and not something life a car accident, involves multiple steps.


The first one is to see the appropriate medical professionals. Physical therapists, chiropractors, or doctors are all capable of ruling out something serious.


It is all well and good to see these people and do what they have to say, but you may only see these people for a combined 3 hours per week.


That leaves 162 hours for something else to go wrong.


Get out of the Painful Posture


If it hurts to bend over, then flexing the spine is the intolerant movement.


To get out of this posture lie face down on the ground and prop the upper body up on the forearms/elbows. Stay in this position for a couple of minutes.

mackenzie

The opposite problem can also exist. It might hurt like hell to increase the arch in the back.


In that case starting on the back and flattening the spine into the ground can activate the core/glutes to relieve pain.


Shut off the Low Back


My favorite way of releasing tension in the spinal erectors is by use of the peanut.

The peanut is just two tennis balls taped together.

peanut


When placed in the middle to upper back, the peanut will relieve tension in the spinal erectors. Excessive tension in these muscles can also contribute to poor alignment.


Get these muscles to quiet down and the back pain will start to subside.


Activate the Core


Side planks, birddogs, partial curl ups, and bridges are going to activate the core and provide support for the spine.


Perform 8s holds, with 2s rests, and repeat for 5 reps on each side.


Providing muscular support means that the passive structures (bones, ligaments) do not have to work extra hard to stabilize.


Avoid Bed Rest, Stretching, and Bad Posture


Bed rest is not recommended for back pain. Resting in bed is only going to reinforce poor movement patterns.


Movement helps dissipate pain. Bed rest does not involve movement and therefore the pain will never start to move on.


The same rules apply for stretching the back. The low back is not a mobile joint.
It is supposed to stay stable.


When we stretch the back we are compromising the stability of the spine and reinforcing bad movement.


Finally bad posture is the root of most back pain. Poor posture results in poor movement and pain is often the result.


When it comes to back pain toughening it out and hoping it goes away doesn’t work.


We need to change the causes of back pain in order to heal from it.


Activate the core and avoiding poor movement is the best way to acutely return from back pain.