Back pain is extremely common it affects a large portion of the population, in fact, lower back pain in of itself affects about two-thirds of the general population. That is a staggeringly high number of people have back issues.
Most people’s back pain typically subsides within two to four weeks, however, 60-80% of people’s back issues come back. This is a clear sign that something is being missed, the symptoms are maybe going away in those two to four weeks after the issue but the root cause of why the back problem started in the first place hasn’t gone anywhere.
How I Injured My Back While Working Out
About 4 years ago I was doing an easy workout when I felt something give in my back, I immediately collapsed on the ground in agony. I spent the weekend basically unable to move and found sitting excruciating. I ended up seeing a couple different practitioners with no relief and eventually got an x-ray and it was clear, I had arthritis in my lower back.
This was a shock as I was in good shape. How could this happen to me? Then I thought back to some of the warning signs I ignored, stiffness, pain in my left hip and some aches.
Every time I would get treatment, I would feel good for a day or two then my back would feel stiff, achy and painful again. This cycle went on for a couple months and at the time I was in school for nutrition and we were talking about how important it is to find the root of the problem and attack that for long-term lasting change and I realized this applied to my back and I decided to find the root.
I Discovered the 12 Main Causes of Back Pain
Now my back issues are gone and it feels amazing. In fact, I’ve squatted over twice my body weight with no problems! Helping myself and clients over the years I have discovered 12 causes of back pain
#1. Oblique Imbalance
#2. Dysfunctional Hinge
#3. Weak Core
#4. Dehydrated Discs
#5. Systemic inflammation
#6. Vitamin deficiency
#7. Lack of Spinal Control
#8. Tight Chest and Weak Upper Back
#9. Weak Glutes
#10. Poor Body Habits
#11. Tight Hips and Quads
#12. Hips Offline
There are many exercises, stretches, and drills that help correct specifically each of these root problems.
Our back pain may be stemming from only one of these roots or it can be caused by a combination, for example, my back pain was due to an oblique imbalance, a dysfunctional hinge, a weak core, systemic inflammation, lack of spinal control, weak glutes, poor body habits and tight hips and quads.
Most of us are a combination of a number of these and resolving them all is important for saying goodbye to back pain for good.
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Want to Protect Your Back? Strengthen Your Core With These 4 Exercises!
One of the most common reasons for back pain is a weak core. A weak core leads to back pain because it helps to brace the spine during movements and a weak core can mean shearing forces on the spine. We need to learn to brace our core effectively, doing ab exercises like crunches or sit-ups do not teach us to brace.
Bracing is where we are stabilizing your core and therefore our spine for external forces like gravity or external forces like when lifting a heavy plant. It is this act of bracing which is extremely useful in helping to protect the spine against injury. It has been shown that bracing work is much more effective at helping to also lower back pain, this is because bracing work is much more effective at activating and getting our core muscles working.
We do not live the life our ancestors did doing physical work of moving stones, hunting, chopping down trees, gathering food all day, etc. and this means our core is not used to bracing against a multitude of forces and we need to program bracing work into our day to keep us strong and stable. We can do the following bracing exercises to help strengthen our core and keep our back strong and healthy.
Place your elbows under your shoulders, hands in line your elbows and toes on the ground. Squeeze your butt as hard as possible and create bracing force throughout your core, think about squeezing the front, lower back and pressing out through the sides and create as much force as possible. Squeeze all muscles throughout your body as well arms, legs, etc.
Perform 3 sets of 20 seconds
NOTE: if 20 seconds is easy you are not activating your core enough, it should be 20 seconds of intense effort.
2. Plank and prevent:
You will need a partner for this exercise. Partner one gets into a plank position, partner two will see if partner one is squeezing as hard as possible, try to move your partner by trying to pick up their leg, fingers, arms, gentle press on the hip, etc.
Perform 3 sets of 20 seconds for each partner.
NOTE: Do not do if you have active back pain as can cause more issues if partner is too rough
Lie down on the ground and press your lower back into the ground. Imagine your lower back is pressing down a pressure landmine, if you release the pressure bad things happen. Bend your legs to 90 degrees and pick them up off the floor for your thighs are vertical and your shins are parallel to the floor. Raise your arms up and point your fingers to the sky. Keeping pressure on that pressure landmine throughout slowly lower your opposite arm and opposite leg to the ground (if you lose pressure before the ground stop there) and then raise them back up to starting position and switch
Perform 3 sets of 8 reps / side
On your hands and knees with your knees directly under your hips brace your core tightly. Slowly raise a hand up in front like you’re trying to shake someone’s hand at the same time kick your opposite foot straight back, then bring the back to the starting position and switch sides. Keep your core braced here and do not let your spine move.
Perform 3 sets of 8 reps / side
These exercises are the basics for developing a strong core, but developing strong obliques are a part of developing a strong core as well. If you would like to learn how to strengthen your obliques as well how to resolve the other 11 issues discussed above check out my ebook which provides all the exercises and information necessary to say goodbye to back pain for good.
Back pain can be debilitating making it hard to enjoy each day and participate in activities we love. Even if our back pain disappears it doesn’t mean it won’t come back in the future unless we have pulled out the root of the problem. The symptom of back pain is a sign that something isn’t working correctly and when we get things working then the symptom won’t come back.
I am so happy my back pain is gone for good, it makes every day so much more enjoyable and I can rest easy knowing that I am keeping it away by pulling the roots out!
If you want to live without back pain and enjoy every day to the maximum then buy my new ebook – Stop Back Pain, you’ll save yourself pain and your money from all the chiropractor trips, painkillers, etc. You can be pain-free too!
This fantastic article was written by The Healthy Happy Coach, Joshua Graham (Fitness Expert and Nutritionist). Connect with him on Facebook at The Healthy Happy Coach, and check out his new ebook – Stop Back Pain for a more in depth look on how to eliminate back pain for good.
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