Are there back pain relief exercises and what should you do if you suffer from back pain?
First things first: Personal training ( whether in NYC or anywhere else) is not rehab. If you are having an acute injury such as a slipped or bulging disk, you’ll need medical attention along with physical thereby, not a trainer.
But very often lower back pain is created through muscular imbalances which are caused by the modern lifestyle, and then.yes, weight training will help you attain a greater level of fitness and a better quality of life.
But how should we go about it? First step you need to understand why you back hurts. Only then can you attempt to make yourself feel better and hopefully reduce the pain. So what is going on with your back?
Understand what is going on and how to fix yo
u have most likely what is called lower crossed syndrome. The lower crossed syndrome is a 21st century disease caused by excessive periods of…you guessed it: sitting and inactivity.
Think about it: sitting means constantly flexing the hamstrings. Results: the hamstrings get very tight and pull on the glutes who ten lose tension especially when they are not being trained/ workout out
GLutes are the antagonist of the muscles in the lower back so now these are holding on for dear life when means they are tightening up, causing you pain.
2. What is to be done
1. Get rid of the trigger points which are most likely sitting in the glute minor, piriformis, IT band, calves and hamstring. This can be done via foam rolling acupuncture or deep tissue massage. In any event it will be pain full.
What are trigger points?
It is not clearly understood but to the best of our current knowledge these are small, taut nodules whose size can range from a pinhead to a marble that sit in the skeletal muscle, almost like a knot.
Why is this a problem? These trigger points shorten the muscles so you are losing ROM (range of motion) , they also cause direct as well as referred pain. Referred pain means you might experience pain away from the trigger point, caused by the shortening of the muscle. There can even be tension headaches and migraines from trigger points
- create length and strength in the hamstrings via dead lifts either with free weights or at the cable.2. Get your glutes moving with step ups, lunges and the almighty squat/box squat.3. Skip direct quad work such as leg extensions for a while.
Stretch the hamstrings
Tight hamstrings are usually caused by sitting aka flexing the hamstrings constantly as we stated earlier. In order to create relief we have about two choices: static and dynamic stretches of the hamstring and calves.
Static stretches would be pulling you leg toward you while laying on the floor or standing with your toes on only on a step to stretch the calves.
Dynamic stretches would be a motion that takes you through the full range of motion such as a light stiff legged dead lift or a calf raise. Dynamic stretches are preferred but depending on the severity of your pain you might want to start with static stretches
3. Strengthen glutes
Strong glutes make for a pain free lower back. Your best weapons here are step ups and wide stance squats. Since this is an article about lower back pain, we shall forego the barbell squat and use cable squats or trap bar squats instead.
Focus on a wide stance, push from the heels and do not lock the knees out
Another option would be lunges, either stationary or steeping backwards. A sling lean forward will ensure maximum glute vs quad action ain. For the time being I would advise not to use the leg press since it might put unnecessary pressure on the spine
4. Work on lower back and back in general
In not so many words, you must do all kinds on pulls all the time in order to train all muscles in the back am not just talking about the lower back which means the
The spinal erectors allow you to bend and extend your back in any given direction.
When properly trained, they will not only make you stronger and healthier but also give the back more thickness.
Deadlifts are the weapon of choice to train the erector spinae; hyper extensions and good mornings would be the second best choice.
Another important muscle are the lats. They are responsible for pulling your elbows in towards your body both from the front and the side. Pull-ups, pull downs and rows do just that and this is why they are lat workout staples.
The teres major helps the latissimus drawing the arm back down and gets direct work through straight arm pull downs and dumbbell pull overs as well as indirect work via rows.
The traps are quite a complex muscle group: They elevate the shoulders and draw the shoulder blades down and together. Most trainees only train the upper part via shrugs which mainly develop the upper part of the muscle. This then can cause shoulder problems, neck issues, and eventually migraines. In order to develop the middle and lower part of the traps, rear delt flyes, j pulls, face pulls and reverse shrugs work best.
Putting it all together: You need to understand the chain reaction that lead to your back pain: sitting caused trigger points, which in turn tightened certain muscles. This tightness caused weakness in the glutes which in turn made your back stiff and tight which is why you are experiencing pain. So you need to unravel the domino from the beginning.
1. Get rid of trigger points which are usually located in the calves, IT band, piriformis and glute minor.
2. Lengthen the hamstrings via static dynamic stretches.
3. Strengthen the glutes which can be done with step ups, squats and lunges.
4. Strengthen your back through a series of pulls as well as hyper extensions and deadlifts.
It used to be the case that people with back pain were told not move at all and just stay in bed. Needless to say, the resulting muscular atrophy makes everything worse and the rehab will be even more difficult.
Once you understand what is happening you can act accordingly!