Did you know that I used to suffer from back pain? I knew there had to be a better way to deal with it than injections, medication or just “dealing with it”. I wanted a strong healthy back so I could live life pain free and able to do the things I love. Yes, exercise decreases our risk for chronic back pain but doing the right exercises specifically designed to promote a healthy back is crucial and why I feel compelled to share this information with you.
I have seen someone close to me struggle with chronic back pain. She's had multiple back surgeries but sadly the pain is still there. It limits her and she can't do some of the things that used to bring her so much joy. 80% of the world will struggle with back issues but that doesn't have to be you!
In this article I will be sharing all that I know about how to have a healthy, strong back. Studies show that 80% of back surgeries could be avoided if we took proper care of our back. As you work this info and the workouts I will be sharing, please pick the level that is best for you. Make sure to really listen to the verbal cues I give during the workouts. It is super important that you use proper form to get the most from these exercises.
The Importance Of Stretching
Did you know there are 40 different muscles that make up your back?! The flexibility and strength of these muscles can have a huge impact on your daily life. Stretching is often overlooked when it comes to exercise but it should be an important part of your weekly routine.
Stretching keeps our muscles flexible, strong and healthy. We need flexibility to maintain a range of motion in our joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on those muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains and muscle damage.
When stretching many people don't realize that our leg, glutes and hip muscles also play a role in how our back feels. We can't limit our stretches to only back muscles if we want to relieve the pain. For example, tight hamstring muscles are actually a common contributor to lower back pain. Stretching your hamstrings will make you less prone to injury and decreases the strain on the back.
Bottom line: regular stretching exercises helps to keep our back muscles flexible and less prone to injury!
Give these Beginner back stretches a try and as you improve try the more intermediate/advanced back stretches. It's good to challenge yourself but if you experience any pain or discomfort, always listen to your body.
Range Of Motion & Form Rolling
This week, I am introducing you to something you may have never tried before: foam rolling.
Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique and it can help relieve muscle tightness, soreness inflammation and increase your joint range of motion. Some studies even suggest that foam rolling can be relaxing and decrease feelings of stress and anxiety!
I have a foam roller and use it often! I don't sell them but here is a link to one on Amazon. I suggest getting one that is at least 18" long but 24" may be better if you are a larger person.
In addition to foam rolling, I share about the importance of “Range of Motion” exercises. Both foam rolling and range of motion exercises play a role in a healthy back.
Remember, if you experience any pain or discomfort, always listen to your body.
Millions of Americans experience low back pain and while lifestyle adjustments and remedies can improve these symptoms and even prevent them in the first place like exercise, upgrading to a high-tech mattress or an ergonomic office chair but new research suggests there is a less obvious (and less expensive) route: with an anti-inflammatory diet.
The research, presented at the February 2021 Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP) digital conference, found a link between what people ate and their chances of having low back pain.
Their findings suggest that diets that are more anti-inflammatory tend to be better for back pain. An anti-inflammatory diet would include whole grains, lots of fruits and vegetables as well as limiting refined added sugar as much as possible.
Chronic inflammation, inflammation that occurs in healthy tissues and lasts for months or years, can cause damage and plays a role in conditions such as arthritis or back pain.
So I thought it only fitting to wrap up this article with this important information so you can strive to make healthy choices every day that will not only improve your back but your overall health!
You can find FREE resources to help you reach our faith and fitness goals at FaithfulWorkouts.com. Find 100's of workouts for all fitness levels, meal plans, cooking videos, recipes, Bible reading plan and more!