Our spines like moving, yet we are moving LESS...
We sit more, we slouch more, we move less and the prevalence of back pain is becoming more common, a coincidence? I don't think so!
Numerous articles and predictions state that approximately 80% (8 out of 10)  people suffer from some degree of back pain. It is important to understand ways to prevent or relieve this pain, ways that can help you feel more comfortable and improve your well-being through both physical and mental health.
Causes of Back Pain
Below are a few reasons which can be directly related to back pain:
- Bad posture;
- Having a baby;
- Sitting at a desk all day;
- Stress / Anxiety;
- Tight hips;
- Tight Hamstrings; and
- Weak Core / lack of core activation.
Having pain in our back unfortunately plays with individuals emotions and for good reason, it impacts daily tasks, increases fatigue and our general ‘feel good factor’ decreases. These emotions, in turn, promote an individuals’ likelihood to then increase one of the characteristics above or encourage more cause to the pain (a vicious cycle). Why? We hold our bodies differently, take care of ourselves and consciously and unconsciously make very different decisions depending on our emotional state. A study completed in 2013  proved that certain back pain can be improved through emotional / mood enhancement (which worked with individuals to reduce stress, anxiety and to improve confidence).
Therefore it is always important to consider the entire scenario if suffering from back pain, it is likely that there is more than one cause.
Do you wear heels? Do you think you have bad posture? Do you sit all day? Perhaps you drive a car all day?
Well, in these scenarios it is very easy for your core to switch off and this can then increase the tilt of your hips, which in turn increases the load load on your back. Improving your hip stability and your core activation can aid in reducing this 'tip', try this simple exercise:
- Lie on your back with your knees bent, arms by your side and feet flat on the floor
- Tighten your abdominals by pulling your belly button in and up towards your ribs.
- Press your back into the floor, allowing your pelvis to slightly round.
(hold for 2-5 seconds and then repeat - the more often then better)
Lying Hamstring Stretch
Your hamstrings will become increasingly tight when sitting all day, walking with bad posture, or through lack of strength or poor mobility. Try this simple stretch to lengthen your hamstrings and reduce the load on your lower back:
- Lie on your back with both legs straight out
- Raise one leg straight up and place a band around the foot (or your hands behind the knee)
- Gently pull the leg towards your head until a stretch if felt
- Hold for 60secs, do not bounce or make quick, jerky movements
- Repeat on the opposite side
Don't look like this picture (not how I scored my hubby).
Work to improve your posture, this is something you can do every day. By making a conscious effort to do this, you will help other muscle groups activate and take some of the load away from YOUR back.
- Tuck chin in
- Roll shoulders back and down
- Push hips forward, slightly
- Squeeze bum to activate these muscles
- Push chest out
Work with Lana Grew
Lana has a diverse competitive back-ground that includes rowing & cycling. She also holds qualifications in a Diploma in Applied Fitness and a Degree in Sports Rec majoring in Exercise Science. She successfully works with a number of clients supporting functional movement, relieving muscle pain as well as weight loss goal.
Lana is keen to work with clients that are novice in experience in cycling, running or triathlon. Whether it is an initial involvement in one of the sports, training for a specific event or helping to enhance someones goals and ambitions that fuel their desire to get on the start line in the best shape they can.
Drop Lana an email or give her a call and talk about ways in which she could work with you.
Phone: 022 082 6342
 Patrick, Nathan., Emanski, Eric, & Knaub, Mark A., (2016). Acute and Chronic Low Back Pain. Medical Clinics, 98 (4): 169-181
 P. Smith, Arthur, If Not Now, When? The Case for Treating Nonspecific Back Pain with Psychosocial Interventions. (2013). Health & Social Work, 38(3): 188-191p