chronic backpain

General Advice to Treating Chronic Back Pain

Getting relief from chiropractor when it comes to treating chronic back pain might be a good idea but you don’t need to see them often, as it might leave a major dent went it comes to your wallet.

These general tips and advice would come in handy and they are not that hard to do:

 

  • Working out and strengthening your core muscles will help as it can support the weaker muscles and strengthens the ones causing the pain. Start small if you have to and build yourself up week by week. Regardless, you should notice an improvement. Bite the bullet and ensure you get more exercise. Swim if you have to. Find someone to keep you motivated, it will help you on bad day.

 

  • One thing that is rarely mentioned out there is diet. Eating a good diet helps as well. Different foods can affect your body and could be one cause (if no previous traumatic injury). Try switching up food to see if an improvement. It doesn’t take much to try and may find something new to eat at the same time.

 

  • As for medication, consider risks and duration but also think of them only as a temporary solution. Making it your long term solution is a big mistake you want to avoid. Some work great for short term relief but you need to consider side effects. Especially if you are well over your 30′s, you will not recover or heal like you used to. It will take a lot of humility to realize this but you have to convince yourself of that.

 

  • As for sleeping, investing in a good bed could make a big difference. Even just getting a new top portion/memory foam cover could be all you need. A bad night sleep can domino the rest of your day and cause the back ache and/or amplify it.

 

  • Lastly, if you spend a lot of time sitting, get a good chair. Also get into the habit of standing or stretching every hour or so. Bring a heat and cold pack to work to help on the not-so-good days. Little things like this could also alleviate or reduce the pain.
black muscle

Pro Tips to Create a Wide and Thick Back

I’ve been reading a few weightlifting books lately from some of the best in the business. I filtered out their views on how to create a wider and thicker back.

Here are some short but sweet tips from some of the seasoned pros:

1. Your primary exercises should be deadlifts, chins, and all types of rows.

2. Pull-ups, lots of them.

3. When doing shrugs be sure not to just pull your shoulders straight up and drop them straight down. Pull them up and back simultaneously so that you’re pinching your scapulae together. Be sure to hold that contraction for a good 2-4 seconds, then go into your next rep.

4. Poor back development is often caused by poor exercise selection and incorrect form.

5. You must perform full range of motion of all back exercises–especially chins. Start from a dead hang and pull yourself all the way up. If you’re not starting each rep from a dead hang, you can forget maximizing your back width.

6. If you could only pick three back exercises to do, deadlifts, chins and barbell rows are it.

7. The general rule is: chins/pulldowns for width, rows for thickness.

8. Since the back is such a large collection of interconnected muscles, it responds well to volume and variety (exercises, grips, and rep ranges).

9. Go Rock Climbing.

10. Do Kroc Rows with Weights.

singlelegsquats

One Legged Squats for Bigger Buttocks

To get bigger buttocks, you may have to turn the volume up a notch when it comes to eating food. But doing these squats will destroy your buttocks – in a good way.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Stand on one leg then lift your other leg and hold it in front of you (you don’t have to have it straight) at a 90 degree angle. You can be fully bent at the knee joint which will help maintain pelvic alignment and ab contraction.
  • Put one hand on your tightened mid section. At this point you want to keep your chest high by contracting your diaphram, or the muscle in your upper abs beneath the solar plexus.
  • Now go down as far as you can and keep your lower back straight. Then begin to tilt your pelvis backwards. If you put your hand your lower back while doing regular squats, it’s the point where your lower back starts to hunch over instead of being contracted.
  • At this point, you could try to look down at your knee the first few reps. You want to make sure that your knee to stays in line with your foot. It’s quite common for the knee to go inward when your press up. Focus on the heel pressure and the outside of the foot. With the help of your tightened abdominal muscles, actively try and prevent the knee from traveling inwards.
  • Use a mirror to look at yourself from a profile. You don’t want your knees to travel in front of the toes. Doing this puts an excessive amount of force on the knee joint and makes the exercise heavy on the quads which in turn, takes the target away from the buttocks.

Notes: Only go as far down as the form allows. This is very demanding doing on one foot and is an excellent exercise for unilateral leg work and learning proper form. Also, try doing these with one hand on a wall or something stationary, because most likely your legs will wobble a lot in the beginning.

Hamstring Stretches to Prevent Back Injuries

Keeping your hamstrings flexible is the key to prevent lower back pain, disk injuries or any type of back injury from any physical activity.

Hip mobility is a vitally important factor for lower back health, and hamstrings are a major part of that (though not the only part). Mobility lost at the hips can only be compensated for by a decrease in stability at the lumbar spine, and that inevitably ends in injury.

Here are some stretches that can specifically target hamstring flexibility:

Stretch 1:

- Stand perpendicular to a bench or high box step
- Put one heel on the bench, keep the raised leg straight (locked) the foot flexed (toes up towards you)
- Bend at waist, keeping hips SQUARE to the box, and pull your hips away from your foot.
- Change legs, repeat.

hamstring stretch for back 1

Stretch 2

- Lay on your back on a mat, rug or pad. two ways to do this. with assist or without (using a towel or rope).
- Loop towel around one foot or ankle, raise one leg while keeping it straight, and keep other leg straight on the floor.
- Raise leg to the point where you get slight resistance. Push your raised leg down, take a few breaths, and then pull your leg upyou should gain a few degrees towards 90 degrees, repeat a few times
- You can also do this with a partner instead of a towel, so if you have a friend or Significant other, they can help you.

hamstring stretch for back 2

Supermans – Build Your Lower Back Without Equipment

You won’t always have the benefit of having modern gym equipment at your disposal. Sometimes, you will find yourself in situations where you need to go somewhere far from your local gym. In these cases, you don’t need to stray away from your ultimate goal.

If you are trying to build or strengthen your lower back, you can do a bunch of exercises without any equipment and we want to feature one exercise that we highly recommend:

Supermans (known by many names) are when you lie face down, arms straight over your head, and lift your feet (straight legs) and hands to arch your body as much as you can. You can either do pull+hold for a second or two before release, or kick your arms and legs up and down continuously opposite of each other (right/left alternating).

Superman_Flying_Model

 

For the ladies, instead of lifting both arms and legs at the same time, you can lift one arm in an L-shape at the same time as the opposite leg.

The Alternating Superman for Lower Back

Lay on your stomach with your arms in a goalpost position resting on the floor. Alternate between lifting your right arm and your left leg, and lifting your left arm and right leg accordingly. Make sure to squeeze your glutes with doing this one.