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    • Great question. Unfortunately there’s no simple answer.

      As a clinical physiologist and personal trainer I can put it one way- avoid or fix back pain with “stability before mobility.” At first its essential to develop the synergy of the core musculature.

      The core has many layers of muscles which do activate in a pattern to accommodate changes in tension which allow for any active and fixed movement. This can be accomplished via core stabilization exercises. Then the introduction of modified to full mobility exercises can be done.

      The key to no back pain besides stability and mobility is consistency. You’ll have to do and stick to a routine, especially to offset the lower and/or upper cross syndromes which are also known as “Computer Programmer Posture” - try to increase the scapulo-humeral rhythm, strengthen the rhomboids and stretch the chest; and try to mobilize the hips, strengthen the abs and hamstrings and stretch the hip flexors and quads.

      It’s a start. But whether it’s any activity or a professionally devised plan- do what Dory in Finding Nemo says, “Just keep (moving).”

    • And here, apparently, is the correct way to do it. She hauls wood this way for many hours over a great distance down a mountain.....

    • Brian Strong

      I'm not an expert and some of the following is probably an over-simplification of the body's physiology.

      Back pain wasn't something I had until I started working from home full-time. It's easy to just blame it on sitting in a chair too much and fixing it with pain medications, but I was determined to learn more about the body and fix the underlying problem.

      One place a lot of people start, is exercising to try and achieve a "strong core". It makes sense since if I want to be capable of lifting heavy objects with my arms, I would strengthen the muscles that support those bone structures: the biceps and triceps. So if I want to be capable of lifting heavy objects with my back, I would strengthen the muscles that support my spine. Right? Well... it seems that the muscles around the spine act quite differently than others. For example if someone were to slowly pretend to punch me in the gut, I could anticipate by crunching my ab muscles. Now if someone were to slowly pretend to punch me in the lumbar area of my spine, my brain can't seem to tighten those muscles like it can with my abs. So how am I supposed to strengthen those muscles?

      This is when I started to learn the importance of neutral spine position.

      When your spine is in neutral position, the muscles supporting the thoracic and lumbar areas are already activated. To can test this yourself: stand up and put your back into neutral position. To circle back to the original article, a part of getting into this position is rolling your hips forward. Now use your fingers to press around your lumbar and the muscles should feel activated. Now slouch over. Touch the same spot and the muscles should feel relaxed. People tend to slouch because it relaxes those muscles and relaxing is much easier to do. After many years of slouching, those back muscles have a hard time supporting your own spine during the activities you engage in and boom, you get loads of back pain.

      So the easy fix is to always maintain a neutral spine position no matter what activity you are doing. By doing that, you are continuing to activate those muscles and strengthen your back. Now the hard part is always maintaining neutral spine position. 😀 It's so much easier said then done. It sometimes looks outright silly trying to maintain this position, but it has really helped me quite a bit.