BACK TO BASICS: Part 1

POSTURE & MOVEMENT FOR A HEALTHY LOWER BACK

At least 80% of us experience chronic low back pain as adults. But even if you’re one of the lucky ones without it, you still need to be careful. 
WHY?
Studies show the vast majority of people have some sort of lower back problems even if they don’t know about it.
REALLY?
Yes I’m afraid so… Researchers looking at MRI scans of ASYMPTOMATIC PEOPLE (i.e. without low back pain) have found that OVER 50% HAD AT LEAST 1 BULGING DISC in the lower back, and many had more serious problems, without even knowing about it!

 

THIS TELLS US 2 MAIN THINGS…
  1. MRI scans are NOT a reliable predictor of pain.
  1. MOST people actually have back problems, whether they know about it or not. 

 

SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?
Basically, it means that whoever you are and whatever you are training for, you should look after that precious back of yours! Yes… even if you’ve NEVER had have back pain, your training regime should prioritise back health and your lifestyle should promote Spinal Hygiene. 
So, in the same way you practise dental hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth every day, you should also practise spinal hygiene by focusing on good posture and movement.

 

SO, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Firstly, we should acknowledge that there are many different potential causes of back pain, and different problems that may present. For example, someone sitting all day at a computer in lumbar flexion, is likely to develop different problems to someone standing all day in lumbar extension. Obviously, these different problems will require different treatment and corrective strategies which should be individualised based on qualified assessment.
However, despite these differences, from a postural and movement perspective there are some universal principals which can be applied to everyone, whether they have back pain or not. 
In fact, these basic principals are so fundamental to the proper functional movement of the human body, they should really form the foundation of pretty much any training program, from Post-natal Mums to Olympic Hockey Players!
(Obviously, there may be some medical exceptions, but you get the idea!)

 

SO, WHAT ARE THESE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPALS?
  1. Get in Neutral
  1. Stabilise in Neutral
  1. Mobilise in the Right Places

 

In the next 3 parts of this series we will be looking at each of these in more detail, and how you can apply them to your training and lifestyle.
In the meantime, if you want to learn how to move better, feel better and perform better…  just get in touch.
Or, if you’re lucky enough to live here in Südtirol, simply register for one of my Smart Training Classes. All my courses and classes are developed using these principals, so come and have some fun, get fit and learn how to move well and feel awesome! 
Until then, stay fit & stay cool!
Spike