Low back pain is something that almost everyone at some point in their lives has experienced or knows someone that has dealt with it. It starts as the typical, “I tweaked my back, I’ll be back to normal in a few days” or “I moved the wrong way, it’ll be fine”. Often you work the muscles out, it feels great for a short time but then the same nagging pain comes creeping back. So now what? Do you work out the muscles more, does it work the second, third, or fourth time? If pain keeps creeping back, most likely, your particular type of back pain will not fully resolve on its own. These are merely suggestions, if you think that there is something more going on please contact ourselves or your primary care physician.
This isn’t a scare tactic, this isn’t to stop you from working out; this is to tell the truth and be honest with you. What is likely happening, is that your back is having a stability problem, not a mobility problem. What this means is that strength and stability is not where it should be. The sore muscles are there for a reason and working them out only shuts them down. Our muscles are tightening down to give us stability, which is what your back desperately needs! By working out those tight, sore muscles, you are causing your own instability issues. Pain can be tricky and hard to figure out.
So, what can you do at home to figure out what to do? Being sore after a workout is completely normal; but being sore for more than a few days should be something that you pay attention to and listen to your body. Pain is the last symptom to show up; meaning by the time you feel pain the problem has been going on for a long time (unless it’s an acute injury). The problem is that pain is also the first thing to go away, like the analogy earlier, it may disappear but can come creeping back. Don’t get us wrong, active warmups before and stretching after workouts are important but solely relying on these to fix every problem isn’t realistic. Being aware of your posture at home and at your workplace is crucial. Heat in general will relax sore and tight muscles; movement is key to reducing soreness.
Move better, feel better. This should be everyone’s moto. If your body could truly function and move the way we were created; there would never be pain or injuries. But in this world, we sit all day, eat bad food, deprive ourselves of enough water (not coffee, tea, or soda), don’t listen to our bodies and then wonder why our body gives out on us. The best thing you can do for yourself and your life is pay attention to your body. Passive care is a wonderful tool but finding out the improper biomechanics and fixing the problem of why you are overloading your back and muscles is our job.