13 Jun The Cure for more than 90% of Back-aches
You have a physio on speed-dial, and pain-killers in your back pocket. You’ve been to an acupuncturist, a chiro, a reflexologist, an energy-healer, and – to your shame – even tried that horse-cream your grandmother swears by. You follow the latest blogs on ‘living healthy’, swallow a handful of ’natural’ supplements with your morning-coffee and spent half of your income on memory-pillows, mattresses and peculiar-looking self-massage tools.
And yet, it’s still there: that incessant pain in your lower back. Every expert has their own story and technique to treat it; you’ve done the recommended exercises (when you had the time), and some days the pain is bearable. But you just can’t get it under control.
Well, for more than 90% of you, here’s why:
Getting to the Bottom of it
You’ve just spent about 30 seconds sitting down, reading this post. How many hours on average do you spend sitting each day? If you have the standard-issue office-job, chances are that it averages anything between 6 to 12 hours! (Including leisure time). That’s not counting the hours you spend sleeping.
When you sit down, three big, bad shifts happen in your body:
- Your glutes (buttocks muscles) stop working.
- Your lats (wing-like back-muscles) switch off.
- You probably slouch forward slightly, which de-activates the long spinal muscle in the middle of your back.
And, guess what? Your glutes are the biggest muscles in your body. And, you spend the greater portion of your life doing…nothing with them.
When Your Body Eats Itself
What happens next, is quite intense: Your body is designed to move. It is also built for efficiency: every calorie in your breakfast this morning was used to get you to work, fire up your brain-cells and keep your fingers typing that urgent email.
Since you’re sitting on your biggest muscles, none of those calories will go to them. No, in stead, your body will start eating away the muscles in your bottom, replacing it with fat, and using that energy to feed your brain. So, after 1 week of doing financial reports, you may have a few new credits in your grey matter, but at the expense of your glutes and lats.
‘The foot-bone’s connected to the…ankle-bone, and the ankle-bone’s connected to the…knee-bone. The knee-bone’s connected to the…”
Nursery songs like this can teach us a lot, if we pay attention: Your glutes and lats form part of a group of muscles known as your ‘core’ : they keep your spine in place & upright. So, what happens when they start wasting away behind your laptop? Which muscles are keeping your spine upright?
This is where your paraspinal muscles come into play. ‘para-what’? Your paraspinal muscles. They are tiny little strings of muscle, smaller than your fingers, running all along the inside of your spine. They usually have a lot of help from the big muscles to do their work, but, now that the big muscles are wasting away, they’re on their own.
What can I do About it?
It’s simple. Start by restoring your glutes, lats and legs, with these easy steps:
- Exercise your glutes and lats.
- If you’re a desk-worker, try a standing desk, or walk around every half hour, to keep your muscles active.
- Get fit. If you start exercising, you may feel terrible, but once your body is fit, you’ll struggle to sit still: you’re body will basically get jittery, and tell you that it’s time to move.
Commit to these simple activities for at least 2 weeks, and see what that does for your back. If you feel that you need additional support, why not schedule a free discovery call to learn more about how we can help.