Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick regularly treat clients with back pain. According to the WHO, the likelihood that any person in a developed country will develop low back pain at some point in their life is 60-70%, with the likelihood of having low back pain in any given year with the highest prevalence for those between 35 and 55. Back pain is also in the top 10 diseases for years of quality life lost due to poor health, disability or early death.
If you have back pain, what should you do?
First thing first, you should see a qualified allied health professional, such as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, to help you along the way. If a single event brought on this pain, you should look to get yourself checked out by a doctor.
The prescription for low back pain will vary depending on the individual and the circumstances, but the general principles of an effective program might surprise you:
Rest (acute injury)
If you have injured your back during an activity and felt immediate pain, a very short period of rest is likely best for you to start. This should be as brief as possible and you should continue to perform as many light, pain free movements as time permits.
Improve your posture
It is well researched that “perfect posture” is not as important as we once thought, but changing your posture is very, very important and the phrase “your best posture is your next posture” accurately sums up the current recommendation.
Begin controlled loading of your low back
This should start with very easy, bodyweight movements and work all the way up to proper hip hinging and loading of the low back. This is to avoid the self-perpetuating cycle of injury that can often lead to a larger, chronic issue:
Injure your back –> Rest your back –> Use the other muscles instead of your low back –> Low back gets weaker –> Re-injure your low back
Injure your back –> Short rest –> Progressively overload the tissues of your low back with good technique –> low back increases strength –> Increased resilience and decreased risk of re-injury –> Improved function
You may be at any point in this cycle, but regardless a safe and effective program is often more complex than a simple framework, although the framework does not change.
If you are experiencing or have experienced back pain see an Accredited Exercise Physiologist at Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville and Randwick to assess and empower you to begin moving again, taking the right steps towards reducing your long-term pain!