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back to ' Posture & Back' articles

Improve Your Back

Do you suffer with lower back pain? You are not alone. About 60-80% of the population will at one time or another in their lives suffer with some form of lower back trouble. Part of this pain is due to sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, poor range of movement and flexibility or lack of it. Other contributory factors are driving, slouching in chairs or couches, prolonged standing, lifting heavy objects incorrectly, standing with a heavy bag over one shoulder or propping a child on your hip. All of these put excessive stress on the spine and can lead to strain, pain or injury. A lot of these problems are to do with poor strength levels of the core area as well as lack of flexibility endurance.

  

What or where is your core? Your core is basically your abdominals and back muscles that act like a corset to hold everything in. With good core training the result will be a slimmer shape but more importantly a spine that is supported against strain, pain and injury. The spine is intended for motion and designed to allow for a wide range of movements. The muscles of the spine must remain strong throughout our lives to allow us to continue to move the way our bodies are supposed to. Regular exercise with special attention to strengthening the core area and stretching tight muscles in the core area can reduce the majority of peoples back pain. Talk to your instructor if you are in a gym for some core specific exercises and once learned can be incorporated into any individual’s daily lifestyle. You don’t have to make significant changes in your daily routine to reap the benefits of a pain free and mobile spine.

  

To build core strength the core muscles must be strengthened in a proper balance to each other (abdominals and lower back). The best way to achieve balanced strength, endurance, stability and mobility within the spine is to ensure that you always incorporate exercises for the shoulder and scapular area (shoulder girdle) spine and pelvis (hip girdle).

  
Start off gently with these types of exercises remembering that quality is always better than quantity. Build up your strength over time. Ask your instructor for the right advice. Pilates and yoga based exercises are excellent.
  

 
   

Boyne Valley Country Club, Dublin Road, Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland
Phone: 041 9843280 | Fax: 041 9841119

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