Most back pain is the result of years of poor habits. Don’t feel too bad for yourself; nearly everyone in this country is guilty of the same condition. There are an amazing number of ways that people on a daily basis treat their backs poorly, weakening, straining, and aggravating them. They stand poorly, lift poorly, sit poorly, and walk poorly.
Muscles are held tightly throughout the day, and when exercise is used in a way that doesn’t improve your posture or your habits for the other ninety-percent of the time, you are not exercising. Fortunately, there are solutions to your pain.
There are two main causes of back pain: bad muscles and bad discs. Bad muscles are ones that are too weak to hold you upright and thus put undue pressure on the bones and other muscles of the back. Bad discs are caused by the same thing: chronically using your body in the wrong way. This means you bend forward, lift, or sit, or stand, in a way that flexes your discs outwards. Eventually this leads to the breakdown of the discs.
Fortunately both muscles and discs can heal. With the right habits and exercise, your body can rebuild the parts that were so misused and you can get a second chance at being happy and healthy.
The best way to fix your back is not to continue doing what injures it, and then hope to fix it by doing a few exercises at night. The best way to fix your back is to cease doing what injures it in the first place. The key is to retrain yourself on how you do what you do every day. Retrain yourself to properly pick up a garbage can, or that piece of bread that fell on the floor when you were making breakfast.
Learn how to squat. A squat works like this: bend your knees while keep your back upright until your fingers touch the floor. Do not raise your heels in order to sink lower. That’s cheating. This is how you should always reach things that you normally would bend over for.
Learn how to lunge. The lunge retrains your body to use your legs to reach things rather than your back by bending over. To practice the lunge, stand with your feet apart. Keep your body upright the whole time you practice your lunge. Bend your knees to lower to the floor without bending your back. Your front knee should remain over your ankle at all times; don’t let it scoot forward.
The key to the effectiveness of the lunge and the squat is to practice them every single time you would otherwise bend forward to reach something well below you. They are not just exercises to try once a day, but a way of interacting with the world throughout the day.
Most exercise is designed to help you use your body more effectively. You might also work with a personal trainer, who can observe you, and warn you when you’re working your back in a way that might be detrimental to your future back health.
Written By: Updated: June 28,2011