Right now in the UK it can be very difficult to get the help you need if you’re struggling with back pain. Today we’re bringing you some more information on how back pain happens, what kind of mistakes you can avoid, as well as just telling you a little bit more about our free membership area, which you can sign up to at www.backinshapeapp.com, as phase 1 offers stretches you can do to help ease the back pain you’re experiencing at home now. We’re often told that our advice is different to things you may have been told in the past to do, but we are back pain specialists and we see how our advice really helps people in our Back in Shape community as well as the patients we see in the clinic, so we hope you find it helpful as well.
What Causes Back Pain?
You might have varying degrees of severity of back pain, and this will determine what kind of approach you’re going to be taking to it. On the surface level, if with lower back pain you might just experience the pain there, you might have pain lower down around the sacroiliac joint or you might have referral pain that’s going down into your legs and feet. Inside your spine, you have discs in between the vertebrae that provide cushioning, little holes behind that nerves travel through, followed by the facet joints and ligamentous structures behind and intertwined to give your spine stability and flexibility. Poor posture or repetitive damage over time can cause your ligaments to realign your spine, which can mean your spine is no longer aligned in the best way to absorb shock. This can cause degeneration on the structures as well as pressure on the discs which may later result in them bulging or slipping.
What Is Often Recommended?
So often, exercises like knee hugs or nerve flossing can be recommended to help ease lower back pain. These exercises can feel quite good at the time that you’re doing them because the little holes behind the vertebrae open out. These holes are typically where inflammation will pool and fill when you have an injury, so by opening those out there will be less pressure on the nerves. However, at the same time you also pull on the injury itself which will then be causing further damage. You’ll also likely find it very difficult to straighten yourself out again because it compresses down on those holes again. So what should you be doing instead?
How To Relieve Back Pain At Home
The first step for this type of injury will be to relearn engaging your core muscles. Very often, loss of core strength comes when you’re adopting poor or rounded posture as you’re not using the muscles to stay more upright. Learning to engage your core involves an exercise called vacuums, essentially practicing switching it on and switching it off. This is something you can practice throughout the day to get the hang of it as it forms the basis of all the exercises to come in the later phases of our membership area. It’s also a technique you should use throughout the day whenever you bend down or lift anything, as it protects your spine.
Join The Back In Shape Program
A full protocol to support you get out of back pain in the short term and then rehab safely and effectively to deal with the issue for the long term.
The next step involves introducing stretches to relieve any pressure from structures potentially pulling further on your back. Chances are if you have back pain, you probably feel stiff and generally inflexible on a regular basis, so introducing targeted stretches will be really helpful for making you feel a bit more back to normal. These stretches include hip flexor stretches, as well as glute and hamstring stretches. It’s important that you do these stretches correctly by isolating the area as otherwise you may be incorporating other areas of the body and not getting a proper stretch. For that reason, we show you exactly how to perform these exercises on the membership area.
The towel exercise is then used after the stretches to help with taking the pressure off the structures and muscles in the lower back. If you haven’t read any of our previous articles before, the towel exercise involves essentially rolling up a towel to about the size of a foam roller and popping it underneath your lower back about an inch above the dimples at the bottom of your spine and lying on it for around 3-5 minutes. This may be quite uncomfortable at first but you should go on to find it more bearable after a week or so.
Following all this up with ice, rather than heat products, on the lower back will really help to just bring down the inflammation and calm pain levels. We know that a lot of people prefer heat over cold, it’s only natural. But having a hot shower feels good whether you have back pain or not. Heat only serves to make the inflammation worse, so please do avoid using heat on the area and replace it with an ice pack wrapped in a towel a few times a day on the lower back for no more than around 5 minutes at a time.
We hope you’ve found today’s article helpful. For a full rundown of how to perform all of the tips we’ve recommended today, sign up to our membership site for free and full instructions of the protocol will be explained, alongside lessons of mistakes you might be making at home that make the problem worse. To sign up visit www.backinshapeapp.com! If you have any questions about the protocol or about the information here today, please do get in touch with us either via our social channels or by tuning in to the livestreams we do every weekday, as we host live Q&As during these.
0203 947 32 22
4 Cavendish Square, London, W1g 0PG.