Does your back hurt? You’re not alone. Be encouraged because things can be done to help! Simply put: Breathe, move and stretch. Proper breathing patterns rely on the diaphragm, which contributes to core stabilization. Moving prevents you from spending extended periods of time in a static posture, which may lead to muscle tightness and stretching (the hip flexors, hamstrings and low back in particular) can help limit muscle tightness and prevent further imbalances from developing. During a short break, try sitting up straight, taking a big deep breath and exhaling all the way. Even short breaks like this throughout the day can go a long way in preventing back pain. Breathe, move and stretch to help your back stay pain free!
What We’ve Found
At InHealth we have observed that the cause of back pain is often related to sitting down for long periods of time during the day. This could include working at a desk, driving and not taking breaks. Sitting for extended periods of time can lead to tightness in your hip flexors and can also inhibit (shut off) certain muscles in your hips and low back, which may increase your risk of low back pain. Stuber, Bruno, Sajko and Hayden (2014) suggested that core stability exercises are often utilized to treat back pain and added that interventions based on core stability generally appear to lead to improved outcomes in pain levels and function. There is more to life than work and we can probably agree that less pain and improved function will improve our work life AND allow us to better enjoy the activities we participate in outside of work. It’s hard to run, fish or golf when your back hurts!
Why It’s Important
The prevalence of back pain in the general population is similar to its prevalence in athletic populations according to some research. While the overall incidence rates of back pain may be similar, the precise causes of back pain are more activity or task specific. For example, elite athletes are more likely to experience issues associated with disk degeneration than non-athletes, but this does not mean that these issues do not occur in the general population. Interestingly enough, while the cause of back pain may be different, the solutions are quite similar and rely on a combination of manual therapy, exercise interventions and behavioral changes.