Your Back is Aching? Hop Hop to the Gym!
In a society where most people work from a sitting position, and television and computers are some of the most popular hobbies, it’s no surprise that more and more people suffer from back pain.
If you suffer from incapacitating back pain, here is what I strongly suggest you to do:
- First, consult a biomechanics health specialist (physiotherapist, occupational therapist, chiropractor, osteopath). Ask them to identify your problem as best they can, and to explain it to you. Ask for the contraindications specific to your case to be written down on paper.
- Go to the gym and consult a kinesiologist who will guide you and allow you to improve your situation and ease your pain. With the information you gathered on paper from the previous specialists, he will be able to help you according to your needs, while respecting your limits.
Because the sitting position requires little energy, we wrongly assume it is easy on the back. In truth, is it quite the opposite. A side view of the spine from a standing position reveals an easily-identifiable “S” shape. This is to reduce compression between each vertebra. When we sit, the spine erects in a straight position; there is no more suspension effect (acting like the suspension of a car). Each vertebra is under maximum compressive force. However, between each vertebra there is a cartilaginous disc, which is susceptible of being damaged or popping out (which we call discal hernia) following numerous or pronounced compressions.
When the time comes to find excuses to avoid training, our back can provide us with a great deal of them! However, in most cases, the worst thing you can do for your back is to… rest! Generally speaking, there’s nothing wrong with getting some rest, as long as you do a minimum on a daily basis to maintain the health of your back. An inactive body leads to a reduction of the stimulation of the deep muscles buried in your back that are responsible for maintaining the posture of the spine. To make it short: the beginning of the end!
For example, sitting in front of the computer all night thinking that you need to allow your back time to rest might not be the best of solutions. Lying down also has its limits. If you are able to stand up, then get up. Find any household chore you can do, even if it only takes 5 minutes. Repeat the process for as long as your back allows you to. If your situation is not that bad, you should strongly consider the option of taking a walk outside for AT LEAST 15 minutes a day. Begin with 15 minutes outdoors, assuming you will attempt to remain active once you get back inside…
By staying as active as possible, you will make sure not to de-condition your back. We often wish « good health » to everyone on New Year. And every time, we mean the absence of disease.
Well then for the year 2014, since you have already received wishes to remain disease-free, I wish that you back stays strong and healthy!
By Xavier Jutras