One of the number one questions I get asked is how to I avoid back pain? Nearly all of us will experience back pain at some point in our lives. But how wonderful would it be to minimise the risk of getting back pain? Read on to find out how.....
We all know too much negative stress is bad for us and some of you may know that it affects us physically. Stress is part of our lives and it helps us achieve success and conjure bravery when we need to step up to the plate. You have a stress threshold - a line that once crossed begins to compromise your immune system. It slows your recovery and healing rate so normal repairs that should occur result in tissues getting left and more damaged. This can be as small as an ulcer or a big as your back pain. The best source of information I can give to you is about your perception of stress and I cannot say it better than Health Psychologist Kelly McGonigal in her recent TED talk. It's 8 minutes and a revelation you will not want to miss out on.
2. Lack of movement
You are designed to move. Sustained poor posture is a major cause of back pain and structural damage. Make sure you move throughout the day. If you are desk bound, walk around the office, take the stairs for a few flights, leave for a lunch break. In the recent article "The making of a corporate athlete" by performance psychologists Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz that was published in the Harvard Business Review it is recommended that every person does at least 2 strength training workouts a week for endurance and to promote mental and emotional recovery.
3. Poor posture
Sit, stand and walk tall. If you are exercising, exercise tall. Another major contributor to back pain is poor posture. If you already have back pain then poor posture will make it worse! You may be blissfully unaware that your posture is bad but if you are currently pain free it is well worth investing the time and effort to work on your posture to minimise the risk of injuries occurring. In this day and age, with the mountain of information and specialists to help you there is no excuse for poor posture. Seek help.
4. Repetitive faulty movement patterns
This is an extension of poor posture but relates more to exercising with poor form. I have seen so many clients walk through my door who hit the gym 5 days a week but when I assess their movement patterns it is clear they do not have good technique and their movement patterns are contributing to their pain. If you are working out in the gym and have not had any guidance at all in the past 6 months then ask a professional to look over your technique.
5. Poor nutritional intake
Your nutrients for every day micro damage to your body come from food. Food provides you with the building blocks for repair, to create new cells, to strengthen your muscles, to strengthen your bones and connective tissue. It is imperative that you take care of your nutrition and nourish your body it is as much a part of minimising the risk of injury as movement is.
For more information on exercise for the prevention of injury and for back pain and injury recovery please email me at
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