Do you struggle with recurring back pain?
You are not alone!
Unfortunately, back pain is complex and it is hard to pinpoint the exact cause without a more in-depth assessment.
Although, with the amount of sitting most of us do, it is unsurprising.
In fact, Statistics Canada reported that the average adult Canadian sits for almost 6 hours a day: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/82-003-x/2022010/article/00002-eng.htm#. That is 2190 hours each year! Comparatively, the average person attends 156 hours per year of group classes (aka ALOT less than time spent sitting).
People who are active tend to notice it more easily because functional movements place different demands and stressors on our bodies, so any underlying tighness manifests via different lifts and movements in the gym.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take today to help mitigate and prevent it and set you up for success!
- Move: Movement is medicine. Sitting makes all of our muscle and joints stiff, so it is imperative to take regular breaks to move around. Whether you regularly use a standing desk and/or get up and walk around, find what works best for you & stick to it!
- Stretch: Sitting leads to an unnecessary amount of tension in our hips, quads, shoulders, and neck. This type of tension usually manifests into low back tension, which is what most of us experience. Spend at least 5 minutes per day stretching out these areas (especially the ones that feel most tight to you). 30-60s in each position is ideal.
- Activate: After you have loosened the muscles and opened up positions, make sure you activate the proper muscles before bearing any load! Specifically, before movements that usually recruit your core (aka most functional movements), make sure you activate your posterior chain, midline, and other muscles needed to properly perform the movements.
- Recover: After physical activity, try to avoid sitting or laying down. Rather, try to move and lightly stretch to help relieve tension and promote recovery.
DISCLAIMER: These tips are not necessarily a roadmap to solve low back tightness. Everyone is different and most cases require a targeted approach which begins with determining the root cause. If you experience chronic low back pain, please reach out so we can connect you with the appropriate professional.
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