Do you also struggle with back or lower back pain?
Then you are truly not an isolated case.
But: You can be helped.
By reading this article, you can take the first step towards freedom from symptoms.
Hardly any other symptoms are as widespread across all age and occupational boundaries as back pain or lower back pain. Around 18% of all early retirements have their origin in this (further facts).
Despite this overwhelming ubiquity, most people still find it difficult to deal with lower back pain.
But what exactly is it and what can you do therapeutically as well as preventively to remove this topic from your everyday life?
In the following we will go into more detail and also give you valuable tips on how you can perfectly adapt your fitness plan to this.
Tip 1: Know the common causes of back problems
Despite modern medicine, this question still cannot be definitively answered today. In about 85% of the cases, there are no physical causes (so-called unspecific back pain). Apart from psychological complaints, there is still a classification of possible physical reasons.
Here, there are muscular tension, especially in the lower back muscles, such as the psoas muscle in the first place. Changes in the bony parts of the spine often cause back problems, especially in people over 50, which, however, in contrast to the muscular causes, are usually not dependent on movement.
Lesions of the nerves in the back area can also cause such ailments, but these are more acute and less long-lasting. In this article, Pat listed other possible reasons.
Tip 2: You should pay attention to this if you have lower back pain
With back problems, one often falls into an – often unconscious – relieving posture and thus reduces possible physical stress. However, this is exactly what you should strictly avoid, as increased bed rest leads to a breakdown of the back muscles and your back problems worsen as if in a vicious circle.
Cardio training ensures a general, rhythmic movement of the entire body muscles and can thus, above all, effectively relieve muscular tension. Instead, you should try to actively move to stay and ideally expand your cardio and strength units moderately.
In contrast, strength training relies on an increased tone of the back muscles and also strengthens tendons and ligaments. This creates a lasting tightening of the muscles and, indirectly, the spine, as this serves as the starting point for many back muscles.
Tip 3: Core training for a life without lower back pain
If you adjust your training plan as described above, you have already created most of the sporting prerequisites for your pain-free back. In addition, however, you can incorporate what is known as “core” training as a subsequent supplement to your conventional training. Mobility conditioning can also be helpful.
The name is derived from the English term ‘Core’ for core, the training consequently targets the core of the body and the deeper muscles.
Above all, the training method strengthens the abdominal, back and pelvic muscles. In particular, the deep abdominal muscles and the entire core muscles are important for an upright posture. Pat also included some of these exercises in his e-book.
As a rule, you try to bring your back into a perfect physiological position for a certain period of time and to hold this position, while arms and legs can also be integrated as aids.
We would like to explain three core exercises to you in more detail:
A classic core exercise is the forearm plank.
The forearm support is a simple exercise to strengthen your back at home or during breaks in the office.
Then the knees are straightened and lifted off the floor so that only the toes and forearms are resting on the floor. The head remains in a neutral position and the weight rests on the forearms.From the quadruped stand, the forearms are placed on the floor, the palms point down.
In total you do three sets of 30 seconds.
If you have been training the plank for a few weeks, you can also try this workout by Pat: Plank-Jacks-Tabata. Careful, it hits!
The quadruped stand
With this exercise you not only strengthen your pelvis and back, but also improve your mobility and balance at the same time.
First you support yourself on all fours, now you lift your left arm from this starting position and you stretch your right leg upwards. Make sure that there is enough abdominal tension and that you don’t end up in the hollow back.
Two times per page of 30 seconds each is recommended here.
The mountaineer, English: mountain climber
The basic posture for a mountaineer is the push-up position. Your arms are about shoulder width apart and your feet are hip-width apart.
The back is in a straight position. Now the knees are pulled alternately towards the chest in one quick movement. The back leg remains straight. When performing the mountaineering, it is crucial that you maintain your body tension throughout.Pay attention to this that the shoulders are directly above the hands and that they remain in this position as much as possible during the movement.
These and other core exercises primarily ensure the stability of the trunk and, in a broader sense, the spine, which often shows a curvature (so-called kyphosis) due to incorrect sitting.
Tip 4: What role does diet play in back pain
Regardless of existing back problems, you should of course pay particular attention to a healthy, balanced and varied diet. Depending on what goals you are currently pursuing, certain proportions of certain nutritional components should predominate sometimes more and sometimes less. For example, if you want to reduce weight effectively, we recommend a diet that is as low in carbohydrates and fat as possible and limited to a few meals throughout the day.
Although many different back pain, sometimes still unknown processes can be caused, nutrition often plays an important role. Because according to current studies there is a certain correlation between people who are overweight (up to obesity) and the occurrence of chronic back problems.
This is caused by the high axial loads on the spine from being overweight. This can result in generalized back pain, which may intensify over time.
With you, too, obesity could be a possible cause of your back problems. In this case, weight reduction, which of course also requires a change in diet in addition to physical activity, is essential.
The most important things in a nutshell
As mentioned above, back problems can have various causes such as muscular tension or bony lesions. It is important for you as a person affected to know that the large number of causes can be effectively prevented and remedied with the right measures that we have explained to you above. The main role is played by the increase in physical activity.
You should pay attention to a balanced mix of muscle and endurance training and also include core training that stabilizes the core in your training plan. Make sure that you do the above exercises at least three times a week, investing around 10-15 minutes per core unit. Avoid the most typical mistake in core training, namely the tension-free sagging of the trunk, as this would even have a damaging effect on your back muscles in the long term.
In addition, you should make sure that you follow a suitable nutrition plan, which, if you are overweight, mainly includes weight loss.
If you can put these tips and tricks into practice, you have an excellent chance of a symptom-free back.