If you suffer from lower back pain, you’re definitely not alone.
Unfortunately, lower back pain is pretty common and can be a sign of anything from poor posture to tight hamstrings and glutes!
Here are some of our top tips to help deal with, and maybe even prevent lower back pain.
Check your posture throughout the day
We’ve all been there.
You’re 4 hours into your Monday shift. You started with good intentions, but now you’re slumped over your computer or slouched on a bean bag.
While it might be comfy, your back is not going to thank you.
Try and ensure that you’re sitting upright, with support in the right places keeping your posture correctly positioned. Stand up and move regularly, preventing your body from being in an unnatural, seated position for too long.
Oh, and if you work on a computer, your eyes will thank you for a little five minute break too!
Never skip back day
Back pain can occur when your spine lacks support from the surrounding muscles, such as the erector spinae, which is considered the 'work horse' of the spine, helping support the spine and take on the majority of stresses.
If you're struggling with pain in the lower back area, weak muscles may be the culprit.
Exercises such as the Bird Dog and Prone Superman are great core movements, whilst deadlifts and bent-over barbell rows (when done correctly) will help you build strength in your back muscles, helping them take more load off your spine and prevent back pain.
Perfect your form
If you are going to be hitting up the gym to strengthen your back muscles, you need to make sure you’re performing every exercise with correct form – otherwise, you’re only going to be making your back pain worse.
There's always a learning curve when it comes to trying new exercises and movement patterns, be sure to nail the form before starting to increase the weight, and if you’re unsure, make sure you ask a gym instructor for help before attempting new exercises.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Always do your stretches
Stretching regularly is super important, regardless of whether you struggle with back pain or not!
Ensuring you are taking time to stretch out your back, and related muscles every day will help to prevent any tightness, which will also help to reduce any lower back pain.
Try adding stretches such as the back extension, pelvic tilts and knee rolls to your morning routine and see if you feel any differences.
Working on your flexibility can be a little boring, we know... but stretching regularly after workouts and on rest days will help not only with back pain, but with your movement patterns too, such as the squat. Your chance of injury will also be reduced, bonus!
Don’t neglect your hamstrings and glutes
It’s not all about stretching your back out…
As we’ve mentioned, back pain might not necessarily mean there is something wrong with your back. It could be coming from a somewhere else, such as tightness in your glutes or hamstrings as well.
If you’re getting no joy from back stretches, it might be worth trying some lower body stretches such as static quad pulls, standing hamstring and pretzel stretches.
If your back pain continues, it may be worth seeing a specialist to try and deal with the issue.