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Do you suffer from lower back pain?

Categories: Exercise, Injury

Having a bad back can be so debilitating. It can stop you getting a good night sleep and have the knock on effect of getting you down and irritated.

When it stops you doing your normal everything things you know it’s time to do something about it.

In an ideal world we would all go and have regular sports massages, have a varied programme to do at the gym and have the perfect mattress to sleep on. But this isn’t always the case.

It’s time to take control of the things that can make a difference.

Let’s break it down into what can cause a bad back:

  • Lifting or picking something up badly
  • Twisting or turning too quickly
  • An external force to your spine
  • Poor sleeping position
  • Bad posture or work position
  • Incorrect training

The list could go on, but hopefully that covers a few things. The problem when you have a bad back, it’s likely to keep reoccurring because the muscles don’t know how to support your back correctly. Then when your back flares up the muscles tighten and go into protective mode, even if this isn’t necessarily what we want to happen.

Do you know what’s caused your back pain in the past?

I know mine was from too much impact work when I was younger that caused damage to the discs in my spine and now I have to be careful with rotation movements.

The muscles I’m going to focus on today to help you understand back pain is your Quadratus Lumborum (QL) and Glutes.

The QL runs from your lower rib and your pelvis on both sides of your body, this can feel tight either side of your spine when sore. This muscle is generally the one that responds well to massage and can ease pain.

Your glutes are the big muscles that form your bottom. However they attach at the top of your pelvis and lower back. If you have ever been for a massage and you have a bad back, this is why your sports massage therapist might do some work on your glutes to alleviate lower back pain.

Whilst these muscles are the ones that can cause the problems, to help prevent lower back pain you want to train you deep internal muscles, like your Transverse Abdominals and your Internal Obliques. These muscles encompass your spine and create the stability needed for a ‘strong core’.

Exercises that work on abdominal bracing and a twisting action will help to improve these.

What are your favourite lower back and core exercises?