We made it! The first month of spring is here and the sun is shining, so my favourite Stickman and I stepped out for a photo shoot to celebrate. Just look at his upright posture, so very apt for this month’s blog on looking after your back; part one!
There are few of us who can honestly say that back pain is a foreign phenomenon to them. Most of us have had back pain to some degree at varying times in our lives. Knowing how to look after your back doesn’t necessarily stop back pain returning or resolving but it will certainly help reduce the frequency and the intensity of future episodes.
The reason that back pain is such a common problem is quite simple. It is because we use our backs to do things that they are not designed for AND we expect it to be strong and supple without doing any ‘back specific’ strengthening or flexibility exercises. In a nutshell, we take it for granted. How rude. Seeing as ‘manners maketh man’ it’s time for a little rethink on the old behaviour front. Being respectful and considering the needs of your back will go a long way towards having your back as your friend not your enemy.
There’s an opportunity to improve the condition of your back if:
1) You never think about your back unless it aches or hurts.
2) You continue an activity until the discomfort/pain in your back forces you to stop
3) You accept that an achey back is just one of those things – WHEN IT’S NOT…
4) You know you slouch but you don’t correct it because it is such hard work or it doesn’t feel natural to do so.
The knack to a healthier back is to ensure that you keep things simple. My stickmen have gone for the blue man look this month to teach you some of these simple knack things.
Some simple back knack things
1) Keep straightening up! This is GOLD, PURE SOLID GOLD – I do this ALL THE TIME!!!
Lean against a wall, feet about 2 feet from the wall, flatten your lower back against the wall, feel your tum tighten. Don’t worry if your shoulders and head tip forwards. Gently lean your upper back and shoulders towards the wall until your lower back starts to lift off then stop. Don’t force your head or arms back. BREATHE!
2) Wiggle your tail!
Rest your forearms on a work top with your hips bent at 90 degrees. Stick your bottom out then tuck your bottom underneath you (You may want to be selective with regards to your choice of audience). Keep your shoulders and upper back still. Move within limits of comfort.
3) Roll those knees!
Lie on your back with knees bent. Arms out to the side and roll knees together left and right within your limits of comfort. Turn your head in the opposite direction to your knees.
DON’T WAIT! ACT NOW!
Whatever task you are doing keep straightening up to your full height at regular intervals, however good your back feels.
DO DO (just had to put that in) the exercises throughout the day especially One and Two. You’re on your feet anyway so no excuses. Little and often, drip drip drip to keep the joints oiled and the muscles free. The more you chip away the stronger your back will be and the easier it will become to hold a better posture. No time like right now so get wiggling……..
Next month – your back; part two ! Back pain is such a huge area and March has only touched on this complex and challenging subject. Therefore, I will also dedicate April’s blog to helping you understand your back a little better while my stickmen strut their stuff .
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!