According to recent statistics, 8 out of every 10 Americans will suffer from serious back pain at least once in their lives
Of course, the severity of that pain can vary greatly depending on age, your current weight and health, and even your gender.
That same study showed that 1/3 of women and 1/4 of men suffer from chronic back pain.
Back pain is frustrating for a variety of reasons, especially because it interferes with your daily life and prevents you from doing the things you love.
But chronic back pain doesn’t have to interfere with your workout. In fact, in this post, we’re going to cover the workouts and exercises that can help you to beat this pain.
The Move To Beat…Pregnancy Pain
Nearly 70% of women say they’ve experienced chronic back pain, especially lower back pain, during their pregnancy.
This pain is likely caused because of your hormone changes and a sudden weight gain. To feel better instantly, try a Triangle Pose. With your feet apart, stand with your right foot turned to the side and your left foot pointing forward.
Then, put your arms, palms down, out to your sides, not above your shoulders. Then, to complete the pose bend towards your right leg, with your right hand resting on your shin as you press your left arm towards the ceiling.
Breathe in for 3 counts, hold for 2 counts, and exhale for 3 counts. Repeat the breathing cycle for about 20 seconds.
The Move To Beat…Back Soreness From Sitting
Have you ever noticed, after a particularly long day at the office, or after a few weeks of not moving as much as you usually do, that chronic back pain pops up?
Consistently sitting at your desk with bad posture and putting pressure on your spine, without the relief movement offers, will take its tool.
Doing a Wall Sit can help you to retrain your body how to sit, and to help you develop core and even leg strength so your back isn’t doing all the work.
To do a wall sit, first grab an exercise ball (if you don’t have one, even a pillow at home is fine.)
Put the pillow between your buttocks and the wall, and then press your back (gently) against the wall. Focus on sitting up as straight as you can, without clenching in your back. Bend your knees to a 90-degree angle, and just hold that “sitting” position for at least ten seconds.
To help, focus on your breathing and stare at a fixed point on a wall. Your legs may start to shake – this is normal, and a sign you’re pushing yourself to get stronger!
The Move To Beat…Overall Stiffness and Inflexibility
Do you feel like your chronic back pain is the result of poor posture and holding in too much tension throughout the day (think raised shoulders and a Quasimodo-like back arch?)
Do you have trouble bending over, and often have to rely on your whole body to hoist you up and down?
If so, you need to seriously stretch, and the Cobra (also sometimes called Press-up Extensions) is the best way to do it.
Lay on the floor on your stomach, placing your hands directly underneath your shoulders. Keeping your legs and hips on the floor, push yourself up slowly with your hands, arching your back (do this on the exhale.)
Push up as far as you can comfortably. If you need a modification at the start, just keep your elbows and forearms on the floor until you get the hang of it.
When you’re upright, think of opening up your chest. Hold the upright position for about three seconds, then slowly lower yourself back down.
Repeat as many times as you like!
The Move To Beat…Muscle Back Pain
You may be experiencing chronic back pain because of your regular workout routine. While trends like CrossFit and deadlifting heavy weights may do a lot to crush calories and build overall strength, they can also wreck havoc on your back.
Recently, more and more health professionals have started to investigate the idea of “trigger points” in the body. These points are basically the nucleus of all musculature pain, and – you guessed it – many are in your back muscles.
However, there are also trigger points that, while they cause chronic back pain, don’t actually originate in the back.
Identifying these trigger points directly before and after your workout can help to release them. To find them, press lightly (or get a friend to help) across the area where you feel the most intense pain.
Hint: When it comes to chronic back pain, many trigger points live alongside the spine.
When the area feels tender even to a soft touch, you know you’ve found a trigger point. Instead of simply massaging the area, you’re going to put pressure on it with your thumb or even a tennis ball to encourage release.
Slide your thumb in one direction over the area, pressing down firmly on the trigger point.
Do this for about a minute before your regular workout/lifting routine. Then, halfway through, stop for another minute and try it again. Same thing after your workout is finished.
Also, to get rid of these trigger points, you need to work on strengthening the areas where they live. They’re in pain because they’re currently too weak to handle the pressure, weight, and just repetitive moments of your workout.
Try getting a pair of resistance bands, and performing shoulder lifts (just raising your arms slowly up and down, with the band underneath your feet) to strengthen popular trigger point areas.
This will train your back and body not to hold onto tension in these places.
You Don’t Have To Live With Chronic Back Pain
And you don’t have to let it mess with your workout.
Instead, try these moves to banish your back pain – for good. Don’t waste time and money on massages or trips to the chiropractor that just temporarily relieve the pain.