4 Reasons Why You Have Back Pain

Back pain is the worst. Most people’s back pain is in the lower lumbar directly above the buttocks, but it can range from anywhere all the way up to the neck or cervical spine. Back pain can stem from a variety of different things. You should always consult your doctor if you’re experiencing chronic pain, but nine out of ten times back pain is caused by one, or a combination of, these four things.

#1 Weak Core

This is the number one reason most people have back pain. Your core, meaning all the muscles and bones in your midsection, are responsible for helping to keep you upright. When the muscles in your core are weak the spine has to carry the pressure of the weight in your upper body and keep it lifted. That’s a lot of load on your spine.

Your core muscles should be handling most of that weight. When it doesn’t you get more pressure on the spine and posture begins to slouch. Strengthening your core will not only improve your back pain but also improve your posture, which is the second most common reason for back pain.

To strengthen your core, start small. Ceiling reaches and back extensions are a good place to begin. Don’t overdo it at first. Begin with 10 reps each, and work your way up otherwise you will be compounding the problem.

#2 Poor Posture

Whether it’s slouching shoulders or tilted hips, poor posture ruins your back. Your mother was right, stand up straight. When my grandma caught us slouching she would thwack us on the head with the back side of her hand. She wore a large ring on her middle finger and she made sure that ring gave us a good knock. It hurt like the dickens, but I am so grateful she did because it’s saving my spine today.

To help improve posture you can practice exercises such as wall squats and lat pull-downs. In addition to strengthening your muscules in the gym use daily practice of soldier position. Soldier position is an upright standing position in which your heels are directly below your glutes, your tummy is tucked in, shoulderblades pulled down and back, and your chin is tucked in.

#3 Incorrect Strength Training

Guys, this one is especially for you. I know you think pecs are king but no one finds it attractive to see a guy with really developed pecs and poor posture. Your back pain could be stemming from not balancing your workout regiment.

If you are doing more chest work than back work you are contributing to your back pain. You need to work both equally. Not only does working chest and back push those pecs you’ve been developing out into the world, but it strengthens your spine and improves your posture. Posture is king, pecs are prince.

#4 Poor Sleep Habits

Think about it, you spend 1/3 of your life in bed. Your body is in one position (if you’re not tossing and turning) for 8 hours every day. If you are sleeping twisted in weird or awkward positions you may be contributing to your back pain.

The best sleeping position is on your back or on your left side. This is extremely difficult to manage if you toss and turn. One way to help train yourself to sleep in a better position is to baracade yourself with pillows. Try your best and eventually your sleep habits will change.

Back pain is no fun but it can be managed with strength training, posture training, and building healthier habits. If you need more tips and ideas or would like to talk about a specific issue, I’m always here to help.



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