What To Do When Back Pain Strikes

Suffering from dull, achy, potentially constant back pain? Throw your back out after a long car ride or ten too many deadlifts?
Check out the information below to get you on the path to full health.
Many acute and chronic back injuries occur because of a loss of mobility caused by tight muscles and/or a lack of glute engagement. In our experience this occurs after long car or plane rides, sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day, or not enough recovery tactics in place.
Follow these strategies to get you BACK on track in no time (pun intended).
Pro-tip: Do these movements regularly before you have back pain and you might just find yourself without back pain.
Disclaimer: If you are experiencing sharp, needle-like pain in your back or you have numbing, tingling sensations these exercises and routines may help you but you should absolutely reach out to a medical professional to further assess your pain.

#1. Muscular release via myofascial release (foam rolling)

When the hip flexors get knotted up, they can pull the pelvis forward into anterior tilt which can add to unnecessary back pain. Release them with these foam rolling techniques followed by a targeted hip flexor stretch.
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Foam roll quadriceps x10 passes each leg
Foam roll hip flexors x10 passes each leg

#2. Gentle movement of the spine

Doing gentle movement of the spine will increase blood flow to the affected area while restoring movement and function to the damaged muscles. Try these 4 bang for your buck movements to add some gentle movement to your spine (do them daily to offset sitting at your desk).

Daily back pain relief routine:

-10 Cat/cow stretches
-5 Bird dogs each side
-5 Prone press ups
-10 Dead bugs

Bonus movements to help:

-Do the foam rolling routine from above plus the stretches below
-2 Minute couch stretch each side
-2 Minute single leg hamstring stretch each side

Check out this video summarizing the routine above

#3. Activate and strengthen your glutes!

When we sit on our glutes, we often forget how to activate and use them. This mini band routine will turn on the glutes while also adding much needed strength to help balance out how much work your back is doing.

Mini band glutes of steel routine

Don’t have a mini band?

Try this bodyweight glute routine instead

#4 Minimize sitting and/or standing for long periods of time.

Sitting, standing or laying in one position for prolonged amounts of time will add plenty of unneeded tightness to your hip and back muscles. Try some of these tips to balance this out.
*Set a timer on your phone to switch positions (either sitting or standing).
*Go for a brief walk to the bathroom or around the office or house to minimize the effect of tight muscles from prolonged time in one position.
*Break up sitting, standing or laying with the back health routine from above.
*Try an adjustable desk and switch the position you are in every hour on the hour.
*Do 5 air squats and 5 push-ups every 30 minutes to minimize on position and to increase your fitness ;).

#5 Slowly return to movement in class or 1-on-1 sessions being sure to scale appropriately.

Once your back pain starts to improve, some appropriately scaled movement will actually speed up your recovery by increasing blood flow throughout your body which will also decrease inflammation. You’ll also release some much needed positive endorphins which will further improve your pain and give you a much needed smile on your face.
A good place to start when returning to class is 50% of prescribed weights on the board and 75% of volume for 1-2 weeks. Always chat with your Coach on how to scale each workout appropriately.
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Still having trouble with your back after trying these techniques? You might just need some individualized attention from one of our Coaches.

Book a free consultation today to get started with a Fit2Live Coach today.