Do you think that just “happens” because of “old age” ?
That happens because of habits kept over a long period of time.If you hunch every day for 80 years you get that, if you pay attention to the body you don’t.
It is that simple.When you look at our evolution you will notice that we are a PEAK POINT IN HISTORY when it comes to SITTING DOWN AND STARING AT A SCREEN.We are constantly sitting, and not exactly keeping good posture.
Then we wonder why our backs hurt?
1. Relax Your Face, Jaw, Eyes, Neck, Shoulder… Ahh
I do these every time I remember, and immediately get to take a deep breath.
2.- Check Your Posture
- Lead with the chest, as you walk and seat, not with the neck…
- Keep the back as straight as you can within normal life
- Watch yourself when you are at the computer.
The interesting thing about the lower back curve is that as you straighten this area, the other two tend to FOLLOW
3.- Beware When Driving
Driving is a dead trap for the back.
There I said it!
Even after all the ergonomic design advances on my 2013 model I still cannot drive more than three hours without feeling my back hurting.
I see people on the road and I cringe!
Some of them have their chins forward, overcompensating for the back being so slouched back.
Some never adjust the length for their legs and so they are forced to almost round their backs to reach the wheel.
When driving, it all comes down to awareness.
When you drive, be VERY CONSCIOUS of how you are treating your back.
Take usual breaks (every three hours max), and do the exercise I recommend in point four.
Because your back will thank you.
4.- Stretch the FRONT of the Body, Often
I suggest you do this every hour.
YES, you heard that right…
EVERY HOUR 🙂
Because your back needs to be healthy to support your brain so can become an idea machine!
Here is a SHORT video of the exercise…
Notice the warning at the 1:33 minute mark
Stand up, feet hip-with distance, put your hands behind you on the lower back, and stretch back as far as you can. Breathe there. Then come back on an inhale.
The YOGA SECRET HERE is to INHALE AS YOU COME BACK UP.
But when you breathe IN as you come back up you are getting your whole body to collaborate because you are using the power of the inhalation, of oxygen coming into the body to re-align it, after stretching the front.
Stretching the front of the body HOURLY re-sets the back, and reminds us of the curvatures.
We get to respect the spine!
5.- If You Wake Up With Lower Back Pain
It is the go-to first thing to do if your lower back ‘goes’…
6.- Right Breathing is Key
Check this out…
Yogis measure their life-span in BREATHS rather than in years. Who said that? I did, because I noticed…
I don’t have a Harvard research backing me up but just look around…
Do you have a cat or a dog? Did you notice how fast they breathe? and how long do they live? not that long….
On the other hand, turtles (of special kinds) that breathe very slow get to live hundreds of years!!!
The back cannot function well if the “THREE PART BREATHING” is not in place.
And the three-part breathing also helps us live longer, so it is a DOUBLE WIN!
I made a podcast (see below) so you can learn this exercise to the sound of a drum.
It is very easy AND EXTREMELY RELAXING so be careful…. You may fall asleep.
Whenever I offer this exercise at workshops people tell me they LOVE IT.
Try it once and you will see how easy it is to become aware of breathing into all parts of your torso.
7.- Take A GOOD Yoga Class
I know it is not easy finding a good teacher, I am as disillusioned as you are with the amount of b/s and fluff on the internet about people who call themselves yoga teacher when in fact they are just “only more experienced in asana”…
Because a good yoga class un-does the damage we inflict on the body by poor breathing and bad posture
8.- Lift Heavy Object By Bending Your Legs
Or, for example, when taking things out of the trunk of your car:
Bend your knees as you lift heavy objects, because that way you leverage the weight within your body as it goes through a powerful exertion
Your back will thank you.
9.- NEVER talk on the Phone by Placing it Between Ear and Neck
If you need to multi-task (I recommend not doing that as the brain simply cannot do it), then put it on speakerphone.
When you put the phone between your ear and neck you are causing the equivalent damage as if a tornado, a tsunami and an earthquake hit your back… No kidding.
10.- Financial Problems Cause Back Pain
Can you believe that?
Make a plan, talk to someone, find a way to start dealing with financial issues, because that way you will avoid future back pain.
11.- The Yoga Pose Endorsed By The Mayo Clinic
I usually get a chuckle when something yogis have been using for over three thousand years appears as a “new discovery by science”
That is the case with “shalabasana” a popular and easy posture from yoga which can help prevent back pain.
For a 30 minute class with the minimum viable poses needed to stay healthy use this
Healing Back Pain, By Dr. Sarno – This is the book Howard Stern recommended and in it he goes over how financial stress is sometimes the cause of acute back pain attacks.
Treat Your Own Back by Robin McKenzie: This amazing little book has all the seven exercises you can do on your own whenever back pain appears. It is simple and easy to follow, and the best part is that it works.
Treat Your Own Neck by Robin McKenzie – Also with seven short and easy exercises to treat acute neck pain. Of course, nothing beats prevention as per the post you read here, but if it strikes, these work… Although, I will say I had better luck with the previous book than with this one… The neck is a lot more delicate, so take care of it.
The McKenzie Roll – Design by him and his team this is what I use at my desk to ensure that the lower-back stays in place (as much as possible) and then the rest of the spine follows its lead…
Pain Free by Pete Egoscue – This book has gotten a lot of attention lately, and so has Egoscue and his method. I found the book to be relevant and helpful, but it does have too many exercises, which compared to McKenzie (above) makes it seem more cumbersome, more like I would need to go to one of his classes.
Email me (see the right bar of this site) if you have questions.
You can also click to enlarge the infographic below… You could print it and keep it near your area of work…