Exercise means a lot of things to a lot of people and can be helpful or harmful depending on the type chosen. As well as being good for the way you look and your heart health exercise is a thoroughly proven method of dealing with back pain, especially recurrent niggly problems that can you send you back to your health professional time and time again.
When we talk about exercise for back pain we often mean very small very technical movements that are designed to train you to move properly and to teach you your limits. Through repetition they enable you to move your joints the way they have evolved to move.
People can be get very defensive when they hear they need to exercise. I don’t need exercises because (insert one of the following).
“I run around chasing kids all day”
“I lift bricks all day”
“I work out my biceps all day every day”
Some of these movements are good and necessary in one way or another, some of them are excessive. None of them really help you get your back or your neck on track, though they might keep your waistline trim.
Here are some easy things that are easy to try, though they may need a little fine tuning.
– Keep your shoulder blades tucked down and a little in towards your spine when you are using your arms, be it at a desk with a mouse and keyboard or curling those biceps at the gym.
– You can keep a proper comfortable low back curve by rolling your pelvis back and forwards over your hip joints. Find the sweet spot, you may feel a little extra tone in your buttocks and your abs when you do.
– Keep your chin tucked when you are seated or walking around. Keep the top of your back upright and try and feel very tall through the spine. This will relax the muscles at the back of your neck and can really help with headaches.
The key to rehabilitation exercises is to get the first part and to progress to the next stage when you do. It lowers pain, it raises your awareness of what you’re doing and it builds strength in the movements you need. If you feel like you’ve gone overboard on some movement somewhere in your life come in for a check up. Maybe we can show where things are going haywire and how to re train yourself so things don’t get so bad next time around.