Ever since I was about 15 or 16, I’ve had some issues with my lower back. Every so often, my back will seize up and become terribly stiff and sore. Anyone who has experienced lower back pain will know just how debilitating it can be. Worse still, to get better we need to keep moving and keep the back active to prevent any further deterioration, which inevitably leads to a good deal of pain.
I’ve recently suffered a bout of quite bad (almost chronic) back pain for the last 5-6 weeks. This has been due largely to the fact I failed to do preventitive maintenance, such as massage and consistent stretching. So the tension and pain accumulated and all came to a head a few weeks back (as things like this do…)
I’ve since made some really good improvements in the past week and am probably 90% right.
If you suffer from lower back pain, I’ve got some field tested personal experience to share with you:
- See a professional. I went and saw a Traditional Chinese Medicine man who was fantastic. His name is Nick Conquest and he is based in East Brighton. Massage, acupuncture and manipulation all-in-one. Some of the acupuncture points, and the muscles they released, were sore for over a week. Well worth it. I would not have improved without some kind of help like this.
- Be PRO-active, not RE-active. Much of this pain could probably have been prevented by regularly stretching. Since visiting Nick (above), I’ve stretched my back most days and also done some rudimentary Yoga-type exercises (YouTube). All have helped tremendously.
- Don’t ignore the niggles! It’s rare that I suddenly ‘wake up’ with terrible lower back pain. It usually begins as a small little pain and progresses until it is bad enough to stop me from living life normally. I guess this ties in with the point above – the niggling pain is a warning to take care of yourself BEFORE it progresses to something more sinister.
- If you do CrossFit…stretch. CrossFit-style heavy lifting and pushing your body’s limits takes its toll (no-brainer, I know) but it is super important to remember to look after yourself, even more than if you’re sedentary. The analogy I use (I love analogies!) is like imagining your body is an F1 car, you race around the track as hard and as fast as you can, but then choosing to ignore your pit crew until something is critically wrong with your car. Stupid, yeah? Take your pitstops regularly to ensure you don’t have a catastrophic failure, instead of asking the pit crew to clean up the mess after you’ve already wrecked your car.