I was 21 when I had my first bout of low back pain. I had just graduated college and was starting my first week as a personal trainer, and I had no idea how to manage it. Another trainer told me to go get my back “cracked”, which was not the answer at the time. (This is no shade to Chiropractors, this was ONE person who was not well educated, not a generalization.)
I could barely move but then had to go sit for my Certification of Strength & Conditioning (CSCS) exam, which only made it worse. It ended up going away because I did the gentle movement. Then I did nothing about it for a few years until it came back. It was during a time I did not have a gym membership from moving for a few months and was running and doing bodyweight exercises.
How I manage my low back pain
I occasionally have mild pain and haven’t had debilitating low back pain since then.
- Strength training regularly, including deadlifting.
- Get up ~1 an hour and try not to sit for long periods of time. (Drinking a lot of water will force you to do this :))
- Move more often around my time of the month (walking and mobility).
- Manage symptoms once they begin instead of ignoring them. It doesn’t take much of my time and makes me more comfortable to enjoy activities I love.
What to do if you have acute low back pain
The management of acute (sudden intense bout) vs chronic (over a long period of time) back pain is not exactly the same.
Acute: Gentle movements, short walks, frequent change in positions, smaller ranges of motion (Check out my post for 4 exercises for acute low back pain.)
Chronic: Strength training, getting up ~1x/hour, longer walks, doing what you enjoy
Learn the Tools
I highly recommend you work with a physical therapist to guide you through this process. You do not need to be in PT forever, but, learning the tools that help you manage your acute or chronic low back pain is key to allowing yourself to continue doing the things you love.
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