Do you suffer with back pain? The solution to your problem may be easier than you think, say Dominic Munnelly and Grainne Parker
The majority of the population suffers with back pain from time to time, but how can you solve it? It’s easy to ease back pain, say Dominic Munnelly and Grainne Parker of The Way.
They say you don’t truly appreciate your health and fitness until you lose it, and that couldn’t be more true if you have back pain. We’ve worked with everything from helping clients rehab after spinal surgery to dealing with that ache you get in your back which just won’t go away.
The key to understanding back pain is to understand that the lower back is a stable joint that doesn’t like excessive amounts of movement. Yet the joints above and below, the hips and thoracic spine respectively, should be mobile and move freely. Problems often arise when you start asking a stable joint (your lower back) to become mobile because the mobile joints (your hips and thoracic spine) are stiff, weak and tight.
So what’s the solution? Knowledge and repetition.
Other common solutions we see for most back issues can be resolved through three main relatively low investment means.
Stretch and roll the front and side of the hips. Use a foam roller and ball to work on the soft tissue around the hips and use the couch and pigeon stretches respectively to assess what your hip mobility looks liker. Try to repeat the stretching and rolling daily.
One of the easiest ways to help improve back pain is to simply walk for 30-60 minutes daily. If that’s too much to begin with then start with 10 minutes and build it up. Or try walking in a swimming pool to build up to walking outside. If you have a sedentary job like most people, it is especially essential to introduce more movement into your life. Take time at lunchtime for a walk outside. Both your back and your head will thank you
Strengthen your core
If the back is being asked to become excessively mobile, then one of the common reasons is because the core is weak. You can strengthen your core to force it into a more stable position. We suggest paying attention to the most common mistakes people make in plank, mistakes that can actually hurt the back rather than strengthen it.
In summary, the lower back is essentially a stable joint and in order to keep it that way we should keep the joints above and below it mobile, strengthen our core safely and ensure we’re taking regular walks. When we have no pain, keeping it that way will be greatly enhanced by following this guide.
For more on the essential mobility movements see Move Train Nourish, The Sustainable Way to a Healthier You by Dominic Munnelly and Grainne Parker. Join Dominic at our KBC WellFest Summer Tour on 11 August in Fitzgerald Park, Cork. Find more information and registration details here