Back pain sucks - especially when you experience chronic back pain. It’s a constant shadow in your daily life, you almost get used to it. It is one of the most common types of pain people experience. Now, I’m not saying you should accept the pain and deal with it for the rest of your life. You definitely should not! Alleviating back pain is possible but it will take work and consistency.
One of the greatest ways a person can protect themselves from back pain is to build strength. Yup, strength is extremely protective!
If you’re reading this because you are currently experiencing back pain, take a look at your daily habits…
Do you lift weights?
When you sit down, do you hunch over and relax your core?
Do you stretch and walk daily?
Do you manage your stress levels?
If you answered no to most of these questions, then there you have it…inactivity is a great way to develop back pain, guys!
To put it simply: strength is protective against back pain because it keeps your posterior muscles strong, stable, mobile and flexible. Your posterior muscles refer to your upper back all the way down to your glutes and hamstrings. Strengthening these muscles will not only help alleviate the pain, but it will also prevent future pain and/or injuries.
Strengthening your abs and hips will support your spine allowing you to be in an upright posture. As you may know, a weak core and hip flexors can worsen back pain because you lose stability in your spine. Remember, your core is the anchor of the front of your spine. If this is weak and unstable, your body now has to rely on your back muscles to support yourself. This leads to your back overcompensating and straining over time. It’s also extremely important to strengthen your legs and glutes. Strong glutes and legs support your back in daily activities like walking and sitting. If your glutes are weak and do not engage properly, other muscles in your body (like your back) will take on the load. Although this causes imbalances and pain in your back, your body doesn’t care because it’s only doing what it has to do to protect and support itself. So, it’s up to you to give your body the support it needs through habits like strength training.
To sum it up, you should be:
- Lifting weights a few times a week with a focus on your posterior muscles.
- Following a mobility routine to keep your hip flexors fluid.
- Focus on lengthening the muscles through stretching, mobility, etc.
Check out these videos if you want to learn more about strengthening your glutes, legs and core through lifting weights: