Do you suffer from chronic low back pain or every once in a while seem to ‘throw out’ your back? According to the Canadian Chiropractic Association 5 in 10 Canadians suffer from low back pain. They also stated that up to 85% of working people can expect to experience low back pain at some point during their lifetime. Our Society has become so technologically driven that we spend on average 10 hours per day sitting. We sit at work on our computers, we sit in our car, watch TV, play on our phones etc. The longer we sit the weaker our cores become and the greater risk for back pain.
I was recently asked what I do when I have back pain, so I came up with the 3 best ways to manage your own back pain.
The most common cause in my office for low back pain is improper posture! Since we spend most of our days sitting our cores become weak, our spines lose their natural curvature, we get the following issues (anterior pelvic tilt, lumbar hyperlordosis, thoracic hyperkyphosis, and forward head carriage). These are all fancy terms that just mean we are too sedentary! The wall angel is in my opinion the best postural exercise you can do for your posture.
You can actually find yoga classes that are specifically designed for low back pain! Chiropractors are big advocates of yoga because it is one of the best ways to strengthen your core and gain flexibility through exercise. Yoga does a great job of holding certain positions for extended periods of time in order to really cause tissue change in muscles and joints that may be limiting flexibility. There is substantial high quality studies in the literature proving the effectiveness of yoga for low back pain and I know many chiropractors will actually prescribe yoga positions to help relieve back pain.
Core Strengthening Exercises
The ‘core’ in the human body is basically anything that supports the spine (which includes everything but your arms and legs). Over the years the fitness industry has had everyone thinking that their core is their abdominal musculature. Your ‘abs’ are only a small part of your core. So when you train your core you should be training anything and everything that supports the spine. Some examples of this include: transverse abdominals, multifidus, diaphragm, pelvic floor, and many other deeper muscles. A great example of a core program for low back pain is the McGill Method. Stuart McGill is a world renowned back expert and is a professor at the University of Waterloo. He came up with the ‘McGill Big Three’. These are three exercises that you can do daily to help strengthen your core and support your low back.
If anything is make your condition worse you need to stop these exercises immediately and go seek professional help. These exercises are meant to help alleviate minor aches and pains! If anyone is experiencing any debilitating back pain they need to find a local Chiropractor or Medical Doctor as soon as possible.
 Patil NJ et al. A Randomized Trial Comparing Effect of Yoga and Exercises on Quality of Life in among nursing population with Chronic Low Back Pain. Int J Yoga 2018 Sep-Dec;11(3):208-214. doi: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_2_18.