The myths about back pain and exercise, Learning your back pain triggers
Last week I started a 4 week blog series all about exercise and back pain. This information is based on the work of Dr. Stewart McGill. If you suffer from back pain and would like help call Vintage Fitness( 416-951-7978) to set up an assessment or if you would like to do a self -assessment I would recommend Dr McGill’s book “The back mechanic”.
Week One: The myths about back pain and exercise
Week Two: Learning your back pain triggers
Week Three: What is spinal hygiene?
Week Four: The best core exercises to support your back
Learning your back pain triggers
Back pain can be complicated and it takes time to properly understand what is causing the pain and how best to treat it. The first step for easing chronic back pain isn't to stretch or see treatment it is to understand what is causing the back pain. The analogy that Kevin Darby from DTS fitness education used during a recent course was hitting your thumb with a hammer and wondering why your thumb was hurting. Until you carefully review your day to day movements and understand what is triggering the pain, treatment will be helping the symptoms but not getting to the cause.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Which activities increase pain? For example sitting for a long time, golf…
- Which activities do not cause pain? For example fast walking
- Is the pain worse in the morning? Maybe how you are sleeping is causing problems or you need a new mattress.
- Have a friend take a picture of you sitting at your desk- what is your posture like?
- If you have neck pain do you work from a laptop sitting too low? (for example on your lap)
- Does it hurt when you hold a chair and extend (curve your back)- if so when in your life do you put your back in this position?
- Does it hurt when you hold a chair and flex (hunch your back)- if so when in your life do you put your back in this position?
Take action: When you realize what types of movements are triggering your pain make a plan as to how to do those movements less
Stay tuned next week’s blog for examples of how to take better care of your spine now that you know what triggers your pain.
Vintage Fitness is an in home personal training company in Toronto, Canada. We specialize in energizing the lives of people over 50 with exercise.
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