Unlock the Back

Back pain can significantly disrupt our quality of life and is very common.  Up to eighty per cent of Australians will experience back pain at some point in their lives and 10% will experience significant disability as a result.
 

Causes of Back Pain

Pain in the top region of the back is often due to lots of sitting and rolling your shoulders forward say at the computer or in the car.

Mid back pain can be due to:

  • overuse, muscle strain, or injury to the muscles, ligaments, and discs that support your spine;
  • kyphosis which is excessive forward curvature of the thoracic spine in the upper back; or
  • poor alignment.

Lower back pain is most commonly due to excessive tension in the lower legs, hamstrings and hips.    

Reducing or Preventing Back Pain

Back pain can be reduced or prevented by increasing the range of motion in the spine as well as the lower legs.  Yoga is a great for increasing range of motion.  Also try a hamstring stretch.

Hamstring Stretch

The beauty of the hamstring stretch is that it can be done almost anywhere.

Hamstring Stretch at Windy Jan Juc Beach

Stand up with your feet pelvis width apart and toes pointing forward.  With straight legs, move your butt backwards and hinge forward from your hips, keeping your spine in a neutral position (don't let the curves in your back change).  Think of your pubic bone dropping down towards the floor or your sitting bones lifting up and back. 

References
"Back pain: a National Health Priority Area in Australia?" Andrew M Briggs and Rachelle Buchbinder, Med J Aust 2009; 190 (9): 499-502.

"Kyphosis" (2012). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved July 13, 2012, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/kyphosis/DS00681/

"Upper and Middle Back Pain Cause". (2012)  Healthwise. from http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/tc/upper-and-middle-back-pain-cause