If you have ever suffered with back pain, you will know the impact it can have on your everyday life. Simple movements that you take for granted like putting on your socks in the morning, become an effort. Your patience with the kids can be a little bit shorter and by the end of the day, your wrecked.
Presuming that you do not like living with back pain and you are like the majority of people, then chances are that you have looked up things that you can be doing to ease your back pain.
So no doubt you will have sites where people are advising certain exercises on Google and Youtube that are designed to strengthen your back, or tighten your core or correct your posture.
I hear it all the time from patients in the clinic. Often they will have tried a few weeks of core exercises or glutes exercises to strengthen their back but the result is often the same.
They feel good for a while after the exercises, but then their back always returns.
Why is this?
Well, there a few reasons and in this article I’m going to go through 3 of them.
1 – The True Cause Was Not Found.
This is really the most important reason. Often back pain results as a reaction to something else in your body and until the reason behind this is found, then your back will continue to get aggravated. If your back keeps getting aggravated, then your body will produce pain and stiffness as a way of letting you know that something is not right.
Quite often when people come into see me with back pain, they have tried exercises to strengthen their back because they think their back is weak. But in fact, when I assess them, I often see that their back muscles are actually very strong and working really hard. In these cases, strengthening their back will not help their back pain.
In fact by strengthening them more, it can aggravate the problem more. Which brings me on to the 2nd point.
2 – Not Addressing Inefficient Movement Habits.
This is a term I like to use for habits that your body develops after pain, injury or repetitive use. Basically, if you hurt a part of your body, like in an ankle sprain for example, your body will naturally take the pressure off it to allow it to heal.
In order for you to continue functioning and going about your daily activities, other parts of your body will have to work harder to compensate, every time you walk, bend or lift. This is useful initially around the time of injury but if this strategy continues, it can develop into a habit.
An Inefficient habit where you may be using for back muscles excessively to stand, bend and lift because the muscles in your leg are not doing their job as well as they should.
So, if you have been spending a lot of time on exercises strengthening your core or glutes, where the real weakness was in fact in your calf or hamstring, then you are not helping this inefficient movement habit and your back pain will keep returning when you walk, lift, pull, push or stand.
3 – Not Following A Graded Exposure Plan.
The third reason why generic back exercises will not help your back pain go away is because they do not follow a graded exposure plan back to the movements and activities that you need to do.
Lets say you have back pain that is aggravated by lifting and twisting and the last time you hurt it, you had to lift your child or grand child out from their car seat. In order to prevent this from happening again your body needs to be exposed to this movements in a gradual way so that it can adapt and build resilience to them.
Then, the next time you go to do this movement, your body will be able for it and you won’t get that painful reaction. If you are just relying on doing general exercises for you back, then you missing out on a big part of getting rid of your back pain and ensuring that it doesn’t return.
So I hope this gives you a better idea of why your back pain may not be going away. To recap, exercise is great for you body in general but if you want to ensure that YOUR back problem does not return then the only way to ensure this is to get a treatment plan that incorporates exercises that is specific to YOUR life and YOUR back problem.
If you would like more help on getting starting the process to getting rid of your back pain then why not read my Back Pain Help Guide. It’s available for free download by clicking on the link below and you can start the process to easing your back pain today.