The body is a holistic being. It needs to be nurtured and treated as a single entity rather than separate parts. As a naturopath, I am acutely aware of the ways in which imbalance in one part of the body can cause pain and discomfort in other seemingly unrelated body parts. I am currently studying to become a chiropractor and these links are becoming even more obvious to me. Over the years, family and friends who were initially sceptical about my medical advice have been amazed by the results when they combine alternative therapies with conventional medicine. I’m sure there are thousands of people out there who could benefit from a different approach to their health. I have started this blog to merely inform about the possibilities and allow readers to make up their own minds. Enjoy reading and best of health to you all!
Do you find that despite effective strength training and regular trips to the gym you're still plagued by lower back pain? Whilst it's great that you may be working hard towards improving your fitness, you need to be careful with your lower back to ensure that you don't cause more damage than good. The lower back enables you to maintain your centre of balance and is imperative for supporting heavy weights that allow you to increase your strength in everything from squats to overhead presses. Yet failing to strengthen or engage the abdominal muscles correctly during any exercise that requires total back support can cause hyperextension and flexion, leading to pain, swelling and muscle strains.
Wear Your Support
Weight lifting belts are often viewed as pieces of gym kit that only the strongest of lifters use when deadlifting or squatting extremely heavy weights. However this couldn't be further from the truth—in fact a weight lifting belt can assist even the newest of weight trainers to protect their core and perform exercises with confidence. It doesn't stop you from engaging the core muscles, but allows slight lapses in technique and assists in avoiding debilitating injuries by reducing hyper-movements of the spine and local muscles.
Flexible Legs Equal a Pain-Free Back
Like many people you may find that you have tight hamstrings, which is especially common in people who sit down at a desk for a living. Because the muscles in the body interconnect, muscles in one area can have a direct effect on another part of the body. For example tight calf muscles can lead to tight hamstrings, which in turn can cause tension in the lower back. To mitigate this issue always make sure you stretch after each workout and consider using myofascial release, otherwise known as foam rolling.
Nowadays people frequently refer to the abdominals as the core, yet this is partially incorrect. The core itself is made up of multiple muscles including the upper and lower abdominals, the obliques, the lower back (the lumbar region) and the erector spinae (which surrounds the spinal column). Just like when you train your biceps and chest, you want to ensure that you create muscle balance and strength. Constantly training the abdominals and forgetting to include exercises like dorsal raises and hip flexor strengthening can lead to a Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Postural Distortion Pattern, where the pelvis tips forwards and causes discomfort in the lower back. Make sure whenever you train any muscle you balance that out with the opposite muscle group for all round strength and stability.