How to move more effectively and off load strain your back is discussed in this blog. This is achieved by working other areas of your body more efficiently.
Keeping things simple
Think of your body as a simple machine. It operates by forces (your limbs pushing and pulling) working across fulcrums (your joints bending and straightening). If the forces are greater than the design can tolerate, the machine will keep working but inefficiently. If you are lucky this can be for some considerable time (years and years) but for most people at some point the pushing and pulling results in mechanical strain on joints and muscles which is eventually felt as pain.
Therefore, starting to use your body as it was intended will load and move it more efficiently. This in turn will help strengthen where you are weak and stretch out where you are tight.The most common strain our body endures occurs when bending your back to pick things up.
How do you lift?
Do you always lift ‘correctly’ when something is heavy or awkward but don’t to pick up light items? In most cases the times you lift heavy objects is minimal compared to the repeated bending you do to pick stuff up off the floor, reaching into low cupboards or shelves, loading or unloading the washing machine, tying laces, working in the garden, placing a cuppa on a coffee table, leaning over a work bench; the list is endless.
The weight you are lifting is pretty irrelevant. It is the accumulative amount of time your back is held in that bent over position each day, over the weeks, months and years that counts. It is this repeated, seemingly low grade strain, outside of the design remit that causes your back to grumble at best and at worst immobilise you in pain.
So bend your knees regardless of the weight
Provided you are prepared to work at making changes and you keep the changes small and steady, progressing forwards is very do-able. For those with a long history of back pain this may mean simply slowing the rate of further deterioration down.
Even if you only bend your knees a small degree within your limit of knee or back pain occasionally through the day, accumulatively over the weeks, months, years this will equate to a significant amount of ‘offloading’ for your back. It’s the sum of the parts here that is important not an isolation movement.
1. Golfers bending
Instead of bending your knees, keep your standing leg straight and raise your back leg, tipping your upper body forwards.
Pivot at your hip, keep your back straight.
Hold onto something if it helps to balance.
If you are able to bend your knees or one knee, squat down as far as is comfortable.
Keep one foot forwards and one back.
3. Pert squatting on a high stool
If you would like to try improving the strength of your legs but your knee pain limits you, try a tiny big bottom happy back manoeuvre.
Remember to tip your body forwards from your hips keeping your back straight.
I’m here to help
As always, if you have any questions regarding any of the above or regarding some other health issue, please feel free to contact me either by email or through the contact form on my website. Alternatively give me a call. It’s always good to talk!