Lower back pain is one of those annoying issues which can be debilitating at times, but at others, it doesn’t seem bad enough to worry about or do anything about, then it will creep up on you again and you’ll wish you dealt with it earlier. This cycle can go on and on for a while until you make that change and finally do something about it.
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The causes of lower back pain range from acute injuries to being overweight to being weak in your core. From my experience training dozens of clients who suffer from lower back pain, there are ways to train that will help reduce your lower back pain and prevent it in the future.
Tips to help you sort out your lower back pain through training
Acute and chronic injuries in the lower back region can be problematic both in the short term and the long term. Depending on what the issue is or the reason for your lower back pain, approval from your doctor before you start any sort of rehab program may be necessary. Once you have clearance, a physio or personal trainer can offer a specific exercise prescription to aid you in the recovery process.
Being overweight can be a significant cause of lower back pain. The increased load on the body from carrying those extra kilos on a daily basis can wreak havoc on the skeletal system. Typically, a neutral spine wants to be in a gentle ‘S’ shape when looking from the side, with a slight rounding around the thoracic spine and a slight concave curve of the lumbar spine.
When we carry extra weight, the curves in the spine can be exaggerated, with the rounding of the thoracic spine being larger and the concave nature of the lower back being exaggerated, putting muscles of the lower back under extra load and tension. Being in a healthy weight range decreases the unnatural forces on the back and therefore results in less pain.
While weight loss can decrease back pain, increasing core strength and stability can also help dramatically. Increasing tone in the muscles tone surrounding our lower back and core including our abdominals, obliques and erector spinal muscles, increases the strength around the spine, making us more resilient to problematic movements and posture that contribute to lower back pain.
To build up these muscles, focus on isometric exercises which lock the spine in a healthy neutral position, or that gentle ‘S’ shape as previously mentioned.
The top 4 isometric exercises to build up your core strength
Alternate kneeling supermans with 10-sec hold
If you complete these movements as part of a structured resistance program, your core and trunk stability will improve greatly, resulting in less lower back pain or tension.
Finally, form is so important while exercising.
Correct form for almost any exercise involves activating your core to stabilise the spine and prevent the lower back muscles from taking any extra load. The use of big compound movements, like deadlifts and squats which hit multiple muscle groups, incorporate the majority of core muscles, meaning you’re now working and engaging your core more efficiently, and also preventing the lower back from firing up.
That’s why it’s so important to build slowly and train within your limits without compromising form when following any sort of resistance, as too often, the lower back pays the price for poor technique.
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