I know from personal experience how debilitating lower back pain can be. Long hours sat at my computer and then driving my car often leaves my back feeling tight and sore. When my lower back is tense, it feels like someone has swapped all my back muscles for overly-tight guitar strings that are moments away from snapping!
Most of the time, I can stretch away the tension and, soon enough, my back feels fine again. Occasionally though, when I’ve turned quickly or leaned over to pick something off the floor, I’ve ended up turning a mild backache into some major lower back pain.
Lower back pain can make life miserable. Sitting, standing, lying, and even walking become uncomfortable. And as for bending over to pull up your socks or lace up your shoes? Forget about it!
That’s why it’s important to look after your back and avoid doing anything that can lead to back pain. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Another very effective option is to strengthen your back muscles with some specific, easy-to-learn exercises. This will help injury-proof your back and reduce your chance of suffering from lower back strains and pains. The stronger your lower back muscles are, the less likely you are to hurt yourself when lifting things. Strong muscles also help you stay in good posture for longer. For example, if you constantly find yourself leaning over your computer with a rounded back, increased muscle strength can help hold you more upright.
Your spine is encircled with a group of muscles that exercise experts call your core. These muscles support your spine like a sturdy corset. There are lots of muscles that affect your lower back – and most have complicated names that are derived from Greek and Latin words. Unfortunately, all the things that we do that can lead to back pain are the same things that make these muscles weak. This adds up to a double whammy of back pain!
Tight muscles and weak muscles combine to create structural imbalances in your back. Your spine is a tower made up of 33 individual vertebrae and if that tower becomes unstable, the result is usually back pain.
So, does all this talk of exercise and strength mean you need to hit the gym? While you could head to the gym for a workout, I much prefer to exercise at home. Home exercises are easy to fit into your schedule and, because they don’t require any equipment, won’t place any extra stress on your purse strings.
Also, because you can exercise at any time, you can do your back-strengthening exercises whenever you have a few minutes spare. I like to do mine immediately after I wake up but you might find that right before bed is better for you. It doesn’t really matter when you do them, just so long as you get them done.
Stretching and strengthening exercises, when combined with avoiding the things that can cause back pain, is not just a good way to treat existing back pain, but an effective way to prevent back pain in the future. Even if you don’t currently suffer from back pain, you should follow this advice to make sure you stay pain-free.
Remember that not all back pain is the same and you should always speak to your physician if you have pain in your back. In most cases, he’ll probably give you the same advice as I would; stretch and strengthen your muscles, and take steps to avoid the things that can make back pain worse. However, every case of back pain is different so you should always get professional advice. The one thing I DON’T recommend is popping pain pills and ignoring the cause of back pain. It’ll never get better if you do that.
If you suffer from back pain, make sure you check out my article Back Pain Relief which contains some great stretching (5 minute stretching routine for back pain relief) and strengthening exercises (core exercises for back pain relief) plus what things you need to avoid to reduce your risk of back pain.
More About Back Pain
Understanding what causes your back pain is the most important step to find a solution. I’ve shared common causes and different natural ways to relief and prevent back pain. You can find it here.