One of the main reasons your back may hurt is that you’ve never learned how to properly lift anything off the floor. You bend with your back, instead of with your hips and knees, and so you’re pivoting and twisting off the vulnerable lumbar region, resulting in shearing forces, strained lower back muscles, and in some cases nerve impingement and disk bulging or disc herniation.
The 3 main causes of back pain are:
- Not stretching and not doing core exercises.
- Sitting too much.
- Lifting improperly.
We covered not stretching, and not doing core exercise, and we also introduced the detrimental effects of sitting too much. When you lift something off the floor, you should maintain good alignment in the spine. The spine should always have this “S” Shape when lifting.
Your axis of rotation for lifting should ALWAYS be at the hips, not at the lumbar spine.
The following pictures illustrate the 2 different ways you can healthily pick something up:
1) The Squat– this photo illustrates how straight the back should be when lifting something off the ground, though obviously in this picture the weight is on the shoulders, and not in the hands. 2) The Hinge– This photo illustrates a deadlift, or hip strategy “hinge” movement to pull something pff the ground. Notice how the alignment of the spine never changes. It is always the same whether or not you hinge, or you bend at the knees. The back should always remain “flat” and in perfect alignment. If your back hurts, its probably your fault. The good news is that by:
A) sitting less
B) doing stretching and core exercises
C) lifting properly
you can decrease the frequency and intensity of back pain. Give these 3 tips a try, and remember that carrying around extra weight can cause back pain as well.
Here’s to a healthy and pain-free back!