Back Pain and How to Fix It: Part 1


According to data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 11.2 percent of American adults (25.3 million people) have experienced some form of pain every day for the past three months. Much of this pain is due to acute causes such as accidents or injuries. A sizable percentage, however, is not due to an acute reason. Many people suffer from chronic pain that lasts long after the initial injury has healed. Sometimes there was no injury at all. In my  years as a personal trainer one of the most common types of pain I have seen is back pain that was NOT due to injury, or at least the initial injury was years ago and yet the pain persists.

The majority of chronic pain I have seen in clients was the result of poor movement and muscle recruitment patterns. Either these patterns caused bad movement which set them up for injury, or these bad movement patterns caused wear and tear in the spine or inflammation in the muscles of the back which cause terrible daily or almost daily pain. The good news is that pain due to poor movement patterns can typically be fixed in relatively short periods of time when the right types of stretching and exercise are introduced and even through dietary changes. A movement pattern is literally HOW your body moves when you do things.

These patterns are learned through repetitive movement or lack of movement and ingrained as “default” patterns. An easy example is how we walk. You inevitably have an ingrained default walking pattern that you have developed throughout the years. For better or worse this is your pattern. Now think of the things you tend to do most throughout the day…maybe you sit a lot in traffic or at your desk…maybe you stand all day…maybe you activate some muscles repeatedly while others almost never get activated…basically EVERYTHING you do frequently throughout the day creates patterns in your body. Many times, these patterns are less than ideal and they result in joints that move poorly which results in inflammation and pain.

That’s the bad news…now here is the good news… Most cases of lower back pain can be FIXED! Yes, you can live a pain free life and enjoy all the fun and extraordinary things your body can do like running, jumping, climbing trees, hiking up mountains, and lifting HEAVY SHIT! To start you off here are 4 of my personal favorite mobility movements and stretches I use for myself and my clients when addressing lower back pain… Enjoy.

90/90 Hip Stretch

Play Video

Couch Stretch

Play Video

QL Straddle

Play Video

Cat Cow Stretch

Play Video