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Mobility, Pain

How Do I Get Rid of Back Pain?

By Joe Talarico on Apr 24, 2024 9:00:00 AM
4 Minutes Reading Time

As we get older, many of us find our joints and muscles start to ache constantly. If you factor in the fact that most of us also sit all day, many of whom never work out, it makes sense then that muscles will start to ache. This can be both from overuse and underuse. It really depends on what you’re going through, and knowing that can help you figure out how to best approach it. Today, I’ll go over a common one which is getting rid of back pain.

Hip Flexors

If you are someone who sits around all day, chances are your hip flexors are weak. Our hip flexor muscle attaches at the lower spine, and inserts on the femur. If you can picture that in your mind, then it would make sense that when you sit, it is causing that muscle to constantly tug on the low spine, wanting to pull it in that seated position. To alleviate this, we want to do some hip flexor work. One exercise you can do is lying on the ground facing up. Lift one leg at a time to strengthen the hip flexors. By strengthening them, we can get them better at stabilizing the spine versus constantly tugging on it due to weakness.

Work on Your Muscle Recruitment

Another reason we may have pain can be due to not recruiting the muscles properly to do their job. When we actually take an exercise for a muscle, and put it through its full range of motion, under load, with perfect form, we can fix these bad recruitment patterns we developed. Exercises you can use here are dead bugs, hip bridges, and bird dogs.

Gut Health

When your gut is inflamed from eating foods that you are sensitive to, it can make it more difficult to recruit your core muscles properly. When your gut is inflamed, and you’re bloated, it is extending your gut, which can make it harder to recruit and keep your core tight. Make sure you are staying away from foods that cause bloating and inflammation.

Find the Root Cause

Identifying the root cause usually stems from joints or poor movement patterns. For instance, if your low back hurts, it’s most likely not your low back that is the issue. As mentioned before with the hip flexors, there are likely other muscles in the surrounding area that aren’t firing properly, causing pain up to the low back. In situations like this, I like to start by addressing all the muscles of the core first, then work my way out. Muscles of the core would involve ab work (planks, palloff press, etc), glute work (hip bridges, clamshells), and hip flexor work (see above). From there, if you’re still feeling pain, I would check the joints, (which should have full range of motion). If you’re having limitations (ex., you can’t get full depth in a squat), I would work on exercises that improve the mobility of the necessary joints for that movement.

Targeting The Problem Area

If finding the root cause doesn’t seem to work, then you can target the problem area. In the case of the low back, you might want to look at your erectors or how well your lower back can keep a stable position. Do stretches like a supine scorpion and physio ball stretches that target the low back.

Adapting Your Lifestyle

The other thing to consider is changing your environment so that you aren’t encouraging these bad patterns to develop. I work a lot from home at my desk. I got a standing desk so that if I find I am sitting too much I can change it to standing. It’s also good to get up and move around frequently. Go for 10-minute walks in between meetings and meals. Try to do some mobility exercises and stretches in between long bouts of sitting.

Back Pain | Mind Pump Media

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Joe Talarico

Joe is a certified Precision Nutrition and strength & conditioning coach. He assisted the UCLA Women’s Tennis team in winning their 2014 NCAA Championship Title, as well as study under the great strength coaches at Pepperdine University. He was a collegiate rower at the University of Rhode Island (where he got his Kinesiology degree) as well as an amateur physique competitor. He is currently the master trainer at Upgrade Labs in Santa Monica where he is combining his years of training clients in the gym with newer technology to optimize their performance and recovery. He also cohosts The RelationSH*T Show Podcast with his fiancée where they discuss all relationship topics unfiltered from who pays on dates, to open relationships.

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