Cure Back Pain and Improve Posture

The number of people consulting their doctor about back pain has risen in the past 10 years. It is estimated that by the age of 60 nearly 3 in 4 people have back pain with men being the greatest sufferers.

The number one cause of back pain

The majority of people suffering from back pain have weak core muscles and poor body alignment. This can be mainly attributed to lack of exercise and sitting down too much. The majority of people in this day and age have desk bound jobs. A typical day for most people goes something like this:

• Sit down on the way to work (car, bus, train)
• Sit down all day at work
• Sit down on the way home from work
• Sit down and watch TV after work

Sitting on chairs with back supports for long periods of time makes your own back support (core muscles) switch off and weaken. In addition, most sitting scenarios promote poor posture by tightening and shorting some muscles, and simultaneously weakening and lengthening others.

Poor posture and weak core muscles result in a greater activation of certain back muscles in an attempt to stabilise the spine. This is a compensatory mechanism which overloads the muscles in the back ultimately causing pain.

How to cure your back pain

In order to relieve back pain you need to strengthen your core muscles. Your core muscles are composed of the transverse abdominals, obliques (internal & external), pelvis floor, lower back, and diaphragm. In a balanced body these core muscles are activated when you perform any kind of movement. The problem is that most people’s core muscles are so weak that the brain struggles to activate them during these movements. To address this you need to perform specific core strengthen exercises on a regular basis until they are sufficiently strong.

How to improve posture

You can simply try to remember to stand up or sit up straight to improve your posture. However, this can be a challenge when certain muscles are tight and others are loose effectively keeping you in the poor posture. So to break out of this you need to stretch the tight muscles and strengthen the weak muscles. When this has been successfully achieved the body will go back into alignment.

Potential problems

Although I said you need to strengthen your core muscles, if exercises are performed with poor technique and are an inappropriate level of difficulty, you can cause more harm than good. Also knowing which muscles to stretch and which ones to tighten to improve posture is important. If this is done incorrectly, not only will your posture not improve but it may actually cause you more pain.

How to avoid the dangers

The best way to avoid these potential problems is to have a core and postural assessment performed by a specialist. After such an assessment they should prescribe specific exercises that are at the right level to strength your core and specific stretches and strengthen exercises to improve your posture.

This article was presented to you by Rob Jeffers, a highly acclaimed health and lifestyle coach, personal trainer, and motivational speaker. Rob is Founder of RJ Personal Training, who provide exclusive Personal Training in North London for weight loss, postural correction, injury rehabilitation, pre/postnatal, core conditioning, and golf performance training.

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