1 in 3 people in their lifetime will suffer with back pain. There is no doubt it’s pretty common.
Back pain is rarely a sign of serious pathology (a posh way of saying something that can kill you) but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t severely impactful upon people’s lives when it does start.
Pain it’s self is a warning sign, like a light flashing on the dashboard in your car. Much like the car dashboard light it is rarely an accurate portrayal of the location of the problem of the severity of it.
That being said here are a few tips that can help stave off low back pain before it gets too debilitating.
- Get low: our brains feel safer closer to the floor, so if your back feels stiff or sensitive doing stretches or movements on the floor will allow them to take better effect.
- Blow up balloons: your diaphragm is a big muscle across your abdomen that helps you breathe and forms a large part of your core muscles. Prolonged sitting, poor posture and high-stress situations can ‘switch off’ breathing with the diaphragm and cause stress-inducing chest breathing. Try to blow up a balloon while crouched forward, if you can’t you need to get your breathing checked.
- Practice the things you fear most: if you have injured yourself falling or have lots of problems picking up heavy things you need to find a safe way to start practising them at a level that is low enough to allow you to think but not trigger an episode.
- Play like a child: balance and agility loss is one of the biggest factors in mobility loss and resultant low back pain. Balance on 1 leg, practice hopping over fences (even learn to handstand). Crawl, hop, jump, climb trees and walk on the top of walls (one of my personal favourites).
‘We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.’George Bernard Shaw
- Keep your support pillars: low back pain has roots in a lack of emotional support (scientifically people have been seen to have died of having a broken heart). Let people in your life lift you and support you.
As always stay well.
Dr Gareth Ward DC MChiro