Lower back pain is a common symptom of pain and discomfort for many people.
In fact a lot of people simply assume it is their new normal and that there is nothing they can do about it or no way they can fix it.
In reality however, there are typically some concrete things that are at the root of lower back pain, and with a few simple changes or adopting some new things into your routine, you can eliminate your symptoms and suffer from pain less.
Poor Core Engagement
Here’s the thing: the back is very strong and incredibly capable. But only when it is supported by the muscles that are designed to help it out. The abdominals are composed of several muscle groups which run up and down, side to side and on a diagonal across the front of the body. In essence they are structured to be able to support all directions of movement. They work in concert with the back through flexion, extension, and lateral movements to make sure the back is protected and properly moving. This only happens however when we engage those muscles and support them in doing the work. The muscles are always there, but when we don’t train them to be active and work regularly, they don’t. adopt core work as part of your regular exercise routine, and become more aware of whether you are activating your core during your regular day to day activities.
While core engagement is a huge part of what influences proper posture and ensures we maintain adequate positioning of the body in our day to day activities, it is not the only thing. The core lines the trunk and helps support the spine and allow an upright position, but the shoulders, neck and back also come into play. The habitual routine of hunching over computers, driving a car and texting on our phone mean that there is a tendency for our shoulders to collapse inward and the muscles across our chest to shorten, due to regularly being compressed. To improve your posture, start by becoming aware of it and notice how you are regularly sitting and standing. Roll your shoulders back and try to open up across your chest, lengthening down your spine. Combined with core engagement as discussed above, this should work to reduce lower back pain.
Poor Dietary Choices
It may sound silly, but when your diet includes regular intake of processed foods and refined sugar, your will likely feel the impact through lower back pain. This is caused by a combination of the digestive system suffering and having to compensate for the less than ideal foods, but also because the body is not properly fuelled and not receiving optimized nutrient intake. When you alter your diet to start consuming whole foods, including lots of vegetables and leafy greens, plant sources of protein and complex carbohydrates, you will see your symptoms of lower back pain likely dissipate.
Start with assessing your diet and then incorporate five minutes of core strengthening exercises into your routine each day. From there, work on body awareness including your posture and regular core activation in your day to day routine.