The Resiliency Series: Beef up your Lower Back

Welcome to the first of many post in the Resiliency Series!

What is this series all about? Here’s a brief…

Over the next few months (or however long it takes for me to run out of content), I will be covering the most common areas of the body where people have their aches and pains. Each week will cover a specific area that we suggest people work on in order to resist injury. 

This will NOT serve as a way to treat an injury or direct medical advice, but it will be a resource that will house the most up-to-date information on how to make yourself stronger and and more… RESILIENT! We ALWAYS suggest you seek medical attention if you feel you need more help.

So, you’re continuing to read because you think I am going to give some secrets about how to help the lower back… right?

Keep reading… Unless you have been helped by us for lower back pain in the past, this is going to be information that you have NEVER been told before.

All the information I am going to provide will be through answering the most common questions that we get when we help people (many people) with lower back pain.

First question…

What exercises should I be doing? Probably more core and stretching?

Exercises are great at helping take care of and prevent lower back pain! Before I show off some of our favorite exercises, I want to point out a VERY important point… It is NOT all about exercise. There are MANY, MANY factors that affect lower back pain. Just adding ‘more core and stretching’ will definitely not do the trick.

…But because you asked, here are some of our faves!

*DISCLAIMER* IF you are having pain, please don’t just go wild with these thinking they are right for you. Try these if you want to help BUILD your lower back but you aren’t currently in a flare-up.

  • Assisted sit ups!! What?! Sit-ups?! Yes! These are GREAT at not only building strength but also at building flexibility in the lower back and hamstrings. Try this with a thick band, dog leash, something attached to a firm pole and work your way up like the video! Start with 2 sets of 8, 3 days per week.
  • Back Extensions!! Yup! You need to go the other way, too… The lower back is meant to bend forward AND backwards. You can use a bench, ball (like the video), ottoman, bench… just anchor your feet and extend away! Start with 2 sets of 8, 3 days per week.

There are MANY more, but those are some gem’s… There is also A TON of research backing the importance of a FULL-BODY resistance training program for long-term low back pain management… JUSY FYI.

Next question…

“Will I have back pain forever?”

The greatest risk factor for injury… Is a previous injury! Once you have had it, the likelihood of it coming back is higher than before you had it. The good new is that if you know how to manage it, it can be, well… managed!

We discussed some exercises above that are great at keeping you limber and strong, but that just covers the physical. There are MANY other factors that can contribute to symptoms:

  • Stress
  • Being tired
  • Fear of the pain itself

… Just to name a few. It’s not all about the movements and activities, it is the inner environment that can contribute to a flare-up or a period when you “notice” your back pain coming on.

Find ways to manage your stress, get some sleep, and try to lower your fears of the pain. 80% of cases of low back pain get better! That’s a promising number…

You will not have to deal with this forever if you get some help… Be heard, get some explanations, set some goals, trust the process and stay as positive as hell.

Last question…

“What could have caused this pain? I don’t remember doing anything?

Factors such as poor sleep and high stress can put you at risk for an injury or a flare-up. Outside factors CAN contribute to setting off a flare-up, they make you more susceptible!

It’s VERY similar to be common cold. When you are under more stress, you’re tired, your immune system is low, you are more likely to get sick.

Same thing goes for lower back pain!

On the other hand, sometimes we can’t find an exact cause… it’s usually a handful of things that bring it on so don’t rack your brain!

Many people want to know the cause so we can prevent it from coming back. Most times, we don’t nail it down, we figure out how to handle it in the future by a bit of trial and error and seeing how your body responds to what we do.

I really hope you got something out of this. I am super passionate about helping people with short and long-term lower back pain!

Stay tuned for more Resiliency Series monthly topics!

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