Editor’s note: Enter Santa’s Day for a four-part series to learn how you can recover from and prevent back pain. Santas, known as the “Mobility Maker,” is a professional sports strength and conditioning specialist and certified mind-body coach, and author of the book.Practical solutions for back pain relief“. Here is IV.
Too often, after fruitless searches for a single magic bullet to eradicate chronic back pain, people decide that experiencing discomfort is a normal fact of life. But living with back pain is neither normal nor necessary. This final installment in our back pain series will empower you to create your own personalized long-term strategy to maintain back health and lead an active, pain-free lifestyle.
If you’ve been following along, you’ll remember that in the first article we explained how back pain is a very personal experience with different causes and treatment options, but research has shown that exercise is the most effective way to achieve it. permanent relief I also explained the importance of establishing a mind-body connection and harnessing the power of the breath to calm your pain response, but also to restore proper rib cage, pelvic and spinal alignment to relieve pressure on your back.
In the second article, we discussed why your body needs movement to heal, and I explained several exercises to try to determine which ones work for you. For those of you who suffer from sciatica symptoms, in the third section, we have looked specifically at exercises to relieve sciatica.
Finally, it’s time to put together a long-term, exercise-based plan to keep you pain-free.
Important note: As with any exercise program, consult your doctor before starting.
In previous articles and videos in this series, I’ve shared more than a dozen exercise options, and I’ve asked you to try them all while listening carefully to your body to see which ones helped you find relief and start regaining your strength and mobility.
To complete a long-term back care strategy, you will need to continue to trust and develop your instincts. Don’t be afraid to trust your mind-body connection to guide you in choosing the right exercises to incorporate into your daily life and to meet your specific needs, as your back occasionally sends you signals that it needs extra attention or a slightly different approach.
These signs can be as strong as a temporary return of sciatica symptoms or as subtle as the whisper of a back muscle that feels out of place. Now that you’ve invested time and energy into learning how your body responds to different exercises and techniques, in each case you’ll need to go back to what worked for you before.
You should feel empowered to be proactive and confident in your self-care!
There is no passive approach that will keep your back healthy. Because your body is designed for movement, daily exercise will be your most effective preventative medicine. In fact, in addition to keeping you pain-free, even 11 minutes of moderate exercise every day can help you live longer, according to research.
There are many ways to get 11 minutes or more of daily exercise. Since we’re focused on your back health, you should choose three exercises from the previous articles in the series that have helped you find relief and incorporate them into your daily routine.
Because of the role of your breathing pattern in maintaining posture and alignment, I recommend incorporating the breathing bridge exercise into one of your three.
The three back care exercises only take a few minutes to complete, so you’ll need to incorporate other daily exercises to help you reach that minimum threshold. Consider this 10-minute bodyweight exercise routine, or it may help to restart your training streak.
As well as or in addition to your daily exercise allocation, I recommend at least eight to 10 minutes of mindful walking each day. As you take each step, be aware of the synchronicity of the movements involved and your ability to breathe properly as you walk.
Walking is an alternating and reciprocating pattern, meaning one side of the body does one thing while the other does the opposite to create a full range of motion. This includes the upper and lower halves of your body and includes all the supporting muscles of the spine. Proper foot position and heel strike allow you to absorb shock and move your body weight with balance and control. Arm swing is essential to a functional walking pattern because it creates healthy movement in the rib cage in coordination with each step, facilitating core, hip and trunk strength that helps prevent spinal stress.
Maybe walking has been painful for you in the past, but it’s more likely that your back muscles are to blame. By carefully training your gait to be a symphony in motion, you will be able to initiate and maintain healthy movement to prevent future pain.
For some easy-to-follow tips for proper walking mechanics, watch the video at the top of this article.
Living pain-free doesn’t mean limiting your activities or numbing your pain with medication. It’s important to keep moving proactively! Be mindful of when you’ve been sitting for an hour or more and proactively get up, stretch and move around to counteract the effect sitting has on your back muscles and posture.
Once you’ve found the right daily exercises to keep you pain-free and start getting consistent benefits, you’ll find that you’re more and more motivated to exercise. That’s because it’s designed to reward your body with what it needs to stay healthy and strong. Exercise affects our physiology, increasing the production of feel-good hormones and decreasing our stress response. And, like anything that feels good and produces positive results, you’ll want more.
I encourage you to go through all of the articles in the series and find exercises that will help you create an effective self-care program that relieves you of pain and prevents future pain. My goal with this series has been to provide education and resources to proactively care for your back and live a better life.