Back pain, whether as a symptom of injury, illness or the syndrome itself, is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with right away. Because when the condition becomes chronic, it can have serious effects on many aspects of your daily life, such as the quality of your sleep, as well as the ability to exercise and report to work. In fact, back pain is recognized as one of the leading causes of absence from work in the U.S

If you recall from Dr. Paul Christo’s video on treating lower back pain, non-pharmacologic methods effectively provide relief to many people suffering with chronic back pain. Non-invasive and drug-free treatments are vital for chronic sufferers, especially in terms of avoiding dependence on opioids. The options include acupuncture, massage therapy, thermal therapy, physical therapy, and chiropractic care. An important parting message from Dr. Jeannette Anderson, D.C. is that your lifestyle is the best way to prevent back pain from manifesting.

Exercise, or physical activity in general, can go a long way in preventing or managing problems with your back. 54% of Americans who complain of back problems are actually desk-bound, and over 80 million have a sedentary lifestyle. Lack of physical activity causes stiffness in the tissues and weakens the muscles. We tend to neglect the importance of our core, specifically deep core muscles. The deep core, made up of the transversus abdominis, multifidus, and pelvic floor, is responsible for maintaining spinal stability. As suggested in a study published in the Journal of Biomechanics, deep core muscles are more important in managing back pain than superficial muscles. A person with strong deep core muscles generally has a better posture, lowering the chances of experiencing tenderness in the back.

Instead of countless sit-ups that create a six-pack, exercises such as planks, birddogs, deadbugs, and scissors target your deep core. You might also want to consider completing a few gentle reps on a back stretcher. These moves engage these muscles in order to maintain your balance. In a video shared by ESPN, 33-year old LeBron James is seen training with his personal biomechanist, Donnie Raimon. His routine involves a plank variety where the feet are resting on a physioball to maximize the engagement of the deep core. James pays great attention to core strengthening because he, too, suffered back pain a few years back. He even got to a point when he needed anti-inflammatory injections. Now, James has fully recovered, and was identified by Ladbrokes as one of the highest paid players to have ever played the game. He’s a prime example of how lifestyle adjustments can have a far-reaching impact on your physical ability and longevity.

Of course, you don’t necessarily need an elite conditioning coach to train your deep core. One of the things you can incorporate into your lifestyle is a 30-minute daily yoga practice which features the exercises mentioned above. Yoga flows go through numerous planks and several balancing postures that you have to hold. Increasing range of motion is also very important in yoga and the stretches recommended by yoga teacher Shanna Tyler gently release the tension in your back muscles and joints. Lastly, it helps with increasing body intel so you can correct your posture and better manage chronic back pain.

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By: Luna Bella