Lower back pain is the big thing everyone talks about
Lower Back Pain is a tricky and fickle creature. Some people used to call it lumbago, some still do. Sciatica also stems from around the lower back area. It can appear from nowhere and be gone just as quickly, or hang around for months or years. It demoralizes the mind and induces a feeling of being ancient within days. If it hangs around long enough, it can even affect your sleep, libido and ability to make decisions. It costs the UK £5 billion annually and 85% of the population will suffer with it at least once in their lives. So that is the bad news, but here is the good news, fear not there is an answer.
The secret to fighting back pain is to know your enemy. It really occurs in 80% of the population who sit all day. Traditionally back pain has always been seen as a 'structural' problem, in that it was believed to be due to something anatomical in your spine, failing or breaking (e.g. a disc, ligament or muscle). Certainly it can be down to physical damage, but this is normally done during a strenuous activity or sports trauma. The injury is obvious from the out set and will ultimately, in most cases, heal and resolve within weeks.
The biggest population of lower back pain sufferers however, does exactly the opposite; they do very little at all.
They sit at a desk all day, spending hours at a screen, stressed and pressed. Most office workers spend 8 hours a day sitting.
Some do sporty things at the weekend, but wonder why something they have not used all week, goes twang or protests when they suddenly ask it to swing a golf club or tennis racquet.
The rest do more of the same...diddly squat. Worse still, our kids will be a new generation of sufferers, as they play less, do less and sit more. Here is a universal truth guys.... we were not designed to do nothing. We were put here to run, jump, kill, push and pull, and our bodies thrive on it. Yes we developed a big brain that allowed us to outwit rather than overpower or outrun our predators but it still needs the body to pump and thrive in order to stimulate and support our little grey cells.
On top of all of this, we add in stress. The most evil killer of all and probably responsible for more heart disease and cancer than anything else. The problem is we don't have a pill for it.
Stress causes us to tighten our muscles, hold our breaths (literally) or breathe too fast and erratically.
This makes our muscles ache, compounded by lack of movement allowing toxins to build in them and irritate nerves. This is where some lower back pain will start.
Almost all feeling of lower back pain is due to soft tissue pain (muscles ligaments etc.) and not your bones or discs. The brain quickly becomes sensitized to the pain and forms a habit of it.
We get locked into the vicious cycle of high stress, miserable pain and poor sleep.
Add in coffee, cigarettes and chocolate (all stimulants which heighten pain) and hey presto the perfect mix for a miserable day.
The answer...? Not to subsidize your physical therapists spa holidays and mortgage. Stop it happening in the first place.
You have to see yourself as a finely tuned sports car. You can either go on to become an equally tuned vintage car, admired and coveted by all or end up a rusty old chassis that belongs at the crushers. It’s all about maintenance; for the sake of a bit of servicing and a regular polish, the engine will go forever and the bodywork will look great for its years.
You can moan at the boss about desks and ergonomics, but you are driving the car you and are responsible for it.
You have to attack lower back pain with a multi-pronged approach.
Move, exercise and stretch more - particularly the muscles that shorten from sitting all day. Don't fear pain and know that it very rarely means harm. It is in fact your brain screaming at you to take action.
Sleep smarter. Adhere to certain rules about sleep 'hygiene' and you will sleep more efficiently and recover better.
Learn to breathe properly, know how to check it and change it when it isn't right.
So, buy a bakpro set ....it has all the answers and will show you how.