By: Gabrielle Yoo
Back pain seems like a side effect of our modern era. It is interesting because most people of today who suffer from acute to severe back pain engage in less physical labour than ever before. So why do we suffer from back pain of various kinds and how can we fix it?
Perhaps the cause of it all is the lack of physical activity. We are living in a time where with a convenient click of a mouse, a meal is delivered to the front door. This blessing in disguise has provided us with more time to work, typically in front of a computer in a static position. Over time, the tension in the back muscles accumulate. The hamstrings and hip flexors tighten and the core muscles relax. All these result in lower back pain. The act of getting up from the desk, inhaling fresh air outside, walking to a grocery store and putting together a meal yourself, has all been missed out. We can stimulate and lengthen many different muscle groups of our body when we engage in such activities.
As well as the limitation of physical activity, many people are seriously lacking in getting enough exercise which may cause back pain of any kind. It is recommended to exercise at least 30 minutes for 5-6 times a week. Humans’ range of motion worsens as we age regardless, especially for those who exercise less frequently. Fundamental exercises such as squat, plank, deadlift and lunges help build strength in the necessary muscles to prevent back pain. They also help with correcting your posture. Any cardiovascular exercises promote better blood circulation to the areas that are overly tense, facilitating in detoxifying accumulated lactic acid.
If you are someone who exercises regularly but still suffers from back pain, your form may be incorrect. First, take a moment and check with yourself if there are any little signs of pain at any point during the exercise. Slow down and see if your spine is neutral and whether your core is engaged or not. Use a mirror to assess your form. When required, book a session or two with a personal trainer to correct your form first. If there is no improvement, you may need to see a chiropractor or a physiotherapist to find a structural or functional cause of your pain.
Health is wealth. In a body that is healthy and pain-free, you are able to perform even better at work, live a happier life and share its joy with people around you.