If you have a bad back then you are not alone. The Australian Bureau of Statistics reports that around 1.8 million Australians have back problems and that 70-90% of us will at some time suffer from a sore back.
Common back problems include
- pain in the lower, middle and upper back caused by a range of injuries and conditions
- pain including tingling, numbness and weakness in the legs that starts from the lower back
- narrowing in the canal of the spine through which the spinal cord passes
- degeneration of the spine caused by wear and tear on the joints
- pressure on a segment of the spinal nerve attached to the spinal cord
- neck pain/stiff neck caused by disc degeneration.
Lifestyle is the most common cause of back problems
Our modern lifestyle is the single greatest influence on back problems.
- Long hours sitting
- Minimal or no exercise
- Poor posture
- Inadequate nutrition
All the above significantly increase the risk of experiencing an acute or chronic back condition and like many common health ailments, by being proactive and with better management of self, they can be prevented.
Brian’s Coaching Tips for a Healthy Back
- Practice the movements in my video just down below. They are excellent for strengthening and improving your spine’s flexibility.
- Exercise your back regularly. Walking, swimming (especially backstroke), using an exercise bike are excellent for strengthening your back muscles.
- Always bend your knees and hips, not your back.
- Never, ever twist and bend at the same time = disaster for your back
- Always lift and carry objects close to your body
- Use a rucksack not a sling bag over one shoulder.
- Maintain a good posture whilst seated and standing.
- Sit with your feet flat on the floor and use a backrest.
- Quit smoking. Smoking reduces blood supply to your disks making them less flexible and supportive.
- Lose any excess weight. Obesity is a major and significant contributor to back pain. The back simply can not handle the weight it is being forced to carry all day.
- Get a good mattress suited to your height, weight, age and sleeping position.
Prevention is always better than cure.
A back injury can have a significant effect on the quality of your life, however many back problems are preventable. Please take note of my recommendations and put them proactively into your life. Be smart and look after your back and you can be a part of the 10% of to never to experience the back pain.
The Australian Government has a great website that aims to “promote health and wellbeing”. It provides an excellent summary of the more major signs, symptoms and causes of a back problem.