Understanding your back and back pain
Keeping your back in healthy shape and focusing on back injury prevention starts with knowing how it works. Your back holds your spine, which is the primary structure that keeps your body upright. Keeping it strong and healthy can help you feel energized and unintended pain.
Your spine consists of 24 vertebrae stacked on top of one another. In between the vertebrae are discs, which absorb shock and cushion the vertebrae. Each vertebra has a facet joint, which helps you to move and bend your back. The facet joints are held together by ligaments, which support the spine.
The spine works together with the muscles that surround it. Together, these affect spinal performance. The muscle groups that affect the spine are:
- Back muscles
- Stomach muscles
- Hip flexor
- Side muscles
Prevention of back injury
To work towards back injury prevention, stay active. An active body helps blood flow and nutrients get to the various areas and muscles along the spine. Stretching can also help increase nutrients and blood flow to these areas.
As always, when exercising or stretching, use the proper form and technique. If you’re not sure how to exercise with proper form, ask for help. If you’re using any exercise equipment, make sure you’re using it the right way, and for its intended purpose only.
When exercising any time, remember to not overexert yourself. You should listen to your body and only push yourself as far as it can go comfortably. If you begin to feel pain, stop. Don’t overexert yourself. If you exercise without pushing your body through pain, you will avoid injury. You will want to maintain a healthy balance so you can be ready to exercise again safely in the future.
Between exercises, give your back time to rest. The back is a part of your body just like the other parts, and each part needs rest and oxygen in order to function properly.
Don’t focus on too much repetition. Instead, focus on exercising the whole body. You can’t safely only exercise just one muscle or muscle group. Since the whole body moves together, exercise the whole body. This will give you better balance, flow, and response to what you want your body to do.
Stay hydrated! Are you wondering how much to drink? Look in the throne: your urine is the best indicator of if you are drinking enough. The clearer your urine is, and the less of a smell it has, the better. The recommendations vary from 8-10 glasses a day to half of your body weight in ounces. For most people, often drinking more water is better spread out throughout your day. It is possible to over-hydrate but it is really hard (as in drinking 6-10 liters in 3 hours).
Back injury prevention exercises
Being aware of how you’re taking care of your body is one of the best ways to prevent back injury. While practicing back injury prevention exercises, focus on these tips:
- Stretching – Maintain good form and technique. For help, contact a personal trainer.
- Strengthening – Don’t overdo it! Listen to your body when you’re doing exercises and stop before you are in pain. Do slow, gentle reps.
- Focus on good posture when lying down and standing up – This can help train your body to have good form while exercising and can help oxygen and nutrients get to all the areas of the spine and back.
Want to strengthen your back muscles to prevent injury? Contact us today for a free consultation!