Health: (lower) back problems

The lower back is a weak spot for many men and women. Where your back goes into the “hollow”, many people suffer from this relatively quickly. The back is a very important part of the body and the center of our movements. It is important that we handle that same back with care, something we – for all kinds of different reasons – are far from doing. As many as eighty percent of people will sooner or later have to deal with problems around the lower back. The main reasons for these complaints can be traced back to overload and incorrect posture. So what are we doing wrong and what can we do about it?

Back problems

Particularly focused on the lower back, a place that many people suffer from. There are a number of causes that can lead to complaints, but there is also a significant group of people who suffer from lower back pain and which cannot be easily traced back, we call this non-specific.

Overload

There is often a pain point in the hollow of the lower back and this can be caused by overload. Especially at a younger age, we assume that we can have everything and if not, we recover quickly. This is also the case, but if you often overload your back (and you are older) things become different. Overload in the sense of heavy physical work over a longer period of time, but also exercising in a way that has not been thought about or with little preparation prior to it.

Wrong attitude

In addition, incorrect posture also plays a role in lower back complaints. If you stand with your belly too far forward – we are all familiar with the position of pregnant women – the hollowed back can lead to problems. But a slight deviation of the hips, which can arise from various causes, can also lead to lower back problems.
Although not many people think about it, stress can also lead to poor posture.

Innate

Of course, there are always people who have a congenital abnormality of the spine. Depending on the abnormality, the doctor can discuss what is and what is not possible. Fortunately, not every congenital defect has far-reaching consequences.

Exercises for the lower back

In addition to coordination with the physiotherapist, yoga can work well for a certain group of people to (re)adopt the correct posture or which will lead to relief. Furthermore, there are always a number of things that you should or should not do in terms of attitude.

Right or wrong?

  • Keeping moving is important, but with a weak lower back, a sport that involves a lot of jerking movements is not good.
  • Never “just” exercise or do yoga with a weak lower back. Always coordinate with the professional.
  • With a weak lower back, staying active is important and sometimes standing, walking and sitting (also alternating this at work) is sufficient. Be consistent.
  • If you are going to exercise intensively, warming up your muscles is important. This applies to everyone, but certainly also to the man or woman with a weak back. The sun salutation in yoga and the well-known warm-up in regular sports is a must.
  • With a weak lower back, further arching the back and pulling the abdomen forward is not good. Abdominal exercises are possible, but put on a kind of corset for the back. This supports you and allows you to further strengthen your abdominal muscles.
  • Bending forward can be problematic for the weak lower back. So trying to touch the toes with your finger at all costs (with your legs stretched) is not useful.

Source: Antonika, Pixabay

Yoga exercises
If you do some yoga exercises, it is, as mentioned, good to warm up with the sun salutation. Starting the day with sun salutations is not a bad thing, but it can also be used as a warm-up.

The cat pose is a gentle dynamic movement to keep your lower back supple and warm. Sit on your hands and knees and, while inhaling, lower your back and stomach and arch your back in peace. As you exhale, tighten your abdominal muscles and arch your back. Now alternate.

The liberating pose provides some relief to the back and reduces stiffness. Lie on your back and raise your knees. Wrap your arms around your knees and, as you exhale, pull your knees close to you again. Your stomach is now pressed in, as it were, and your back is pressed gently against the mat. This has a massaging effect. When you inhale, the legs loosen up a bit and you start again.

Making the lower back nice and flexible works well by lying on your back and pulling up your legs and your arms are spread out at right angles to your body (at shoulder height). Now bring your legs sideways at a 90 degree angle (or slightly less if your back cannot accommodate this). Bring your head in the opposite direction. Now turn it over in peace and alternate.

Finally

The lower back is a troubled part of the body, but if you treat it carefully, keep moving and feel your body, it is possible to keep it all tolerable. If you do not dare to do it alone, go to a professional who can guide you (the physiotherapist, sports trainer or yoga teacher).