Back pain is probably one of the most common complaints we hear. We’ve all experienced it at some point whether we have been able to pin point the cause or not. It can be acute or it can gradually happen over time and although back pain can be specific, the causes and treatments will vary from person to person because biomechanically we are different in our habits, activities and daily repetition. Today we will give you the brief break down on what back pain is, possible causes and strength and postural exercises/alignment to prevent the reoccurrence of injuries to the back.
Acute Back Pain
Acute back pain can be attributed to a sudden injury to the muscles, ligaments or discs and is defined as lasting less than 3-6 months.
Chronic Back Pain
Chronic pain is defined as a pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks and up to a year.
We’ve all caught ourselves slumping at the computer or slouching on the couch. And it’s not until we feel that slight discomfort that we notice our posture! It’s these habits that we start to see postural changes in our muscles as they start to lengthen or shorten, becoming weak, irritated and tight and have a deeper impact on our bones.
Whatever sport or training method/activity you choose to partake in, chances are, you are going to get into your own movement patterns, whether these patterns are healthy for the body or not and without proper guidance or recovery this could lead to injury. It’s best to get proper technique training prior to starting a new training method/sport, or even if you’ve been in the sport/training for a while, getting advice from an expert can certainly get on top of bad-forming habits.
Overuse or repetitive strain injury can come about from either of the above mentioned…repeated. A lot. And when you get into the same posture day in, day out or ride your bike to and from work and on weekends, or you run around the oval the same direction everyday, something eventually has to give… (Unless you have a great maintenance and recovery program in place. Go You! 😉
What Can You Do?
The best preventative measure is concentrating on correct posture and strengthening your core stabilizers. Body awareness is crucial so if you must, get in front of a mirror and check your posture. Stand tall, elongating the spine right through to the top of the head and adopt that same spinal posture sitting at a desk. If you have injured your back before and aren’t sure of what exercises to do, checkout Jana’s beginner core activation exercises. This is incredibly important before getting into any strength training. Remember, there is no point in a strong body with bad posture. It would almost be like chowing down a burger whilst riding to work. Pointless.
In A Nutshell
Whether you have experienced back pain through the thoracic (middle to high back) or the lumber (lower back), one thing remains the same. Your chance of pain and injury will decrease dramatically with good posture and core strength. It’s important to realise your core stabilisers is not just your abs but are the muscles that stabilise your trunk/torso. Want to learn more about the “core stabilisers”? Don’t miss our next post where we explain all muscles involved and their function. Until then stand tall and proud and be sure to watch Jana’s videos on how to activate your transverse abdominus and pelvic floor.