Back pain is not much fun. I suffered from it for several years until I became a fitness trainer and learned how to improve my core strength and musculature so that my body worked properly.
While golfers are prime candidates for back injuries and the pain that goes with it, many ordinary daily activities can also cause painful episodes. A slip, a fall, stretching your back beyond its normal range of motion, or just having weak muscles in the core chain can create unwanted and unnecessary pain.
I’ve found the following to be the key ingredients in avoiding muscular pain ( assuming you don’t have any structural damage or disease). The best idea is to check with your health care provider first to see if the problem is structural. If it turns out to be muscular then the following should help:
- Before beginning any daily activity, warm up your body for 7-10 minutes: marching in place, jumping jacks, a few squats or just walking fast are all good warm ups to increase body temperature.
- Next, use a foam roller for a few minutes to loosen soft connective tissue. Also stretch your hamstrings thoroughly. Tight “hammies” can tug on your lower back muscles and produce pain. A few hip movements will also help: flexion/extension and abduction/adduction are recommended.
- The first two above should get you ready for most normal daily activities. Step 3 is a bit more comprehensive. It involves doing strength training activities including core exercises and additional stretching. Squats, lunges, planks and an assortment of leg raises, bicycle crunches, and rollouts are all good exercises to support back health. My preference, however, is to do a whole body workout to ensure your muscles are balanced from top to bottom. So, I recommend you consult a personal trainer who can give you a comprehensive program. You can also find sample workouts in my book ” The Fountain of You: Getting Stronger/Living Longer.”
Now then, perhaps you would care to share any ideas or experiences you’ve had with back issues. Have you found your own solution or are you still struggling with back pain?
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