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5 top tips to prevent lower back pain

5 top tips to prevent lower back pain

If you are experiencing lower back pain that persists more than 6 weeks, please see a health professional to rule out anything serious. Please read this before continuing – What is lower back pain?

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  1. Keep moving and participate in regular exercise. According to the ACSM guidelines adults should exercise at least 2.5 hours a week. This can be spread over 5 days a week for a quick half hour moderately intense workout or 3 days a week of high intensity exercise for 20-60 minutes. It is important to train each major muscle group 2-3 times a week using different equipment and a varied resistance training program.
  2. Warm up and Stretch regularly and stick to a flexibility program 2-3 days a week. The type of stretching depends on what you do in the gym, what sport you do and generally what movement patterns you do. For example, doing static stretching is great after working out, but generally it is better to do mobility exercises that specify that same movement you are about to do in your sport or gym session. If you like jogging or running, try some jogging on the spot and heel flicks. Get those arms moving and hips moving through the same range of motion that you would need to when actually doing your running/ jogging sessions.
  3. Take breaks often to avoid repetitive tasks and vary your position every now and again. For example, people that sit at a desk all day, circle your wrists, shoulders and head every couple of hours to avoid stiffening up. For people that drive all day, can you adjust your seat angle half way through your journey to change the back’s position? People that lift heavy objects all day, try squeezing your buttocks when you lift, this will protect your lower back from working too hard. Mums need to watch out for carrying heavy bags on one shoulder, or carrying heavy shopping bags. The weight of these bags should be evenly distributed across the back to avoid a pelvic tilt and back pain.
  4. Correct your posture! Avoid standing on one leg more than the other as this can contribute to imbalanced movement patterns and cause one hip to be higher than the other. This will inhibit the glute stabilisers and cause an over-active lower back leading to more back pain! Avoid using your shoulder to talk to people on the phone, this can cause tension headaches and back pain along with neck stiffness. Avoid slouching in the car and at a desk, imagine someone is pulling the top of your head and chest upwards causing your back and head to be more upright. Use your deep core muscles and practice deep breathing.
  5. Treat yourself to a massage when you are feeling muscle tightness or a bit limited in your range of movement. Sports massages have been proven to reduce pain, stiffness and improve range of motion. It also makes you feel better by improving your mood, decreasing stress and tension, and generally making you feel happier.

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For more tips on back pain, click here!