The 5 biggest mistakes when it comes to taking care of your back

1. Slumping
– No posture is good posture if sustained for long periods. However if your lower back, hip or leg pain is aggravated sitting or with repeated or sustained forward bending activities like gardening or lifting, then your back problem has an important postural component. No amount of acupuncture, massage or spinal adjustments/manipulations can change this fact.

2. Ignoring the early warning signs – Severe bouts of back pain are often preceded by lower back stiffness. Patients will often inform me that they encounter back stiffness on waking, rising from sitting or simply standing. This is not normal, nor is it just a sign of aging. Don’t ignore it.

3. Lifting weights is bad for your back – Poor technique and rapid progressions are likely to lead to lower back pain, however, when sufficient emphasis is placed on technique, lifting weights is not bad for your back, in fact it can reinforce efficient and safe movement patterns.

4. It’s just tight muscle – While massage may feel good and “target all the right spots” it often falls short when it comes to eliminating back pain. Although muscle tightness can give rise to lower back pain, it’s not the most common cause and simply addressing muscle tightness or spams will generally not have a long-term effect. It can in fact make certain back problems worse.

5. Back pain is recurrent – Research demonstrates that roughly 40% of people who experience back problems are likely to have ongoing issues. While we all want pain relief, it’s very important to make sure you implement prevention strategies. This does not mean regular visits to your health professional, but learning how YOU can prevent pain from returning and what to do at the first sign of symptoms returning.

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