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Exercise to reduce back pain

ysc

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Due no doupt to my degenerate student lifestyle and being stuck at a desk for horrible amounts of time my back hurts often and quite a bit. Exercise definitely reduces this, I do a few press ups sit ups etc. and it hurts less that day.
Are there any exercises I could do that might help with my back specifically?
Ideally ones I can do without going to the gym, I have some fairly light hand weights from some physio I had to do but apart from that nothing, I would do pull ups but there is nothing suitable to hang from and I can't install a bar in this place.
Its just for a few months till I finish here and hopefully will pick up a more healthy lifestyle again.
 

sho'nuff

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one advice from me: a korean method to sitting at the office.

position your chair height so that the knee is slightly higher than your hip.

most people here at the office sit way too high on their chair. i would say about a good 90% of the people i work with at any company ive been at. (i know this, because i am in desktop support)

this causes an unnecessary torque to your lower spinal bones.

at first it will seem weird. you will be looking more head level to your desk and monitor.
at the end , you'll thank me.
 

Johnny_5

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The key to a strong back is strong abs.
 

ysc

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Thanks for the link Gradstudent, that looks pretty handy

That sounds sensible sho'nuff, sadly my cheap ass chair is not adjustable, but I will bear that in mind when I leave here and can buy one for myself.

My abs are actually not too pathetic, I used to sail a lot so I have a fairly strong stomach as a legacy of that, I can do quite a few sit ups or whatever just fine, although after 4 years of uni it doesn't look like it did..

Thanks
 

thinman

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Doing stretching exercises regularly (every day) and strengthening core muscles has been a key for me. The book "Stretching" by Bob and Jean Anderson has an everyday stretching routine (as well as sport-specific routines and routines for those with desk jobs) that my osteopath adapted for his patients. Stretching out your hamstrings and pelvice muscles, as well as your lower back, is beneficial.

If you were willing to spend time weightlifting, I would advise squats and deadlifts, but strengthening your abs and lower back so they are balanced is also good.
 

why

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Originally Posted by Johnny_5
The key to a strong back is strong abs.

Not really, and the pain he's experiencing isn't related to abdominals.
 

sho'nuff

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Originally Posted by youngscientist

That sounds sensible sho'nuff, sadly my cheap ass chair is not adjustable, but I will bear that in mind when I leave here and can buy one for myself.


please take this into serious consideration. it really is something that will make a big difference in a matter of days or weeks. the force of your weight of legs when sitting too high up, fulcrums up your hip bone toward your spinal bones and puts tremendous strain throughout the day.
 

kever

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My lower back was really really bad for about a year, and the chiropractor helped get it back in place, but by FAR the best thing I've done is yoga. My muscles are really really tight from years of sports and not stretching enough, and yoga is amazing for correcting my imbalances and increasing my flexibility. My back pain is pretty much gone after a few months of doing it.
 

ysc

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Thanks to all for the advice, I am going to try and do something about my sitting posture, and I will be trying some of the exercises in the pdf

I have thought about a little weight training, its never really appealed to me, but I can see that it might be a good idea. Something I am going to look into, but not something I am going to try when I only have a couple of months left here and quite a lot to do in that time, I don't want to start something new. Maybe in 6 months or so when I start real life after uni I might solicit some advice on this one.

The upper body thing looks pretty good CasinoRoyale, if I can find something like that in blighty for not to much I may pick it up, trouble is I already have loads of stuff to try and haul home at the end of the year and I don't want to buy something and ditch it after just a couple of months.

My gf has been trying to get me to do Yoga with her for a while now, looks like I may try it out if its helped others with stuff like this
 

skidsm

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Originally Posted by sho'nuff
please take this into serious consideration. it really is something that will make a big difference in a matter of days or weeks. the force of your weight of legs when sitting too high up, fulcrums up your hip bone toward your spinal bones and puts tremendous strain throughout the day.

this is very interesting to me, because it's the precise opposite of everything i've read. i struggle with lower back pain from seating, despite working out 5 days a week. i do have flexibility issues from running.

i thought the conventional wisdom was that your hips could flex about 60 degrees without affecting the lumbar curve of your back, but a 90 degree angle while sitting forces your lumbar curve to invert from an "S" to a "C." most of the ergonomic site i've read suggest either a kneeling chair or some chair with your hips elevated, so that your hips are more open than 90 degrees, and that your lumbar curve can maintain itself.

is this incorrect? or is there any reason why the opposite would work? (raising your knees above your hips would cause hip flexion of greater than 90 degreed). at this point, i'm interested in anything that will give me some relief.

thanks.
 

why

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Originally Posted by skidsm
this is very interesting to me, because it's the precise opposite of everything i've read. i struggle with lower back pain from seating, despite working out 5 days a week. i do have flexibility issues from running.

i thought the conventional wisdom was that your hips could flex about 60 degrees without affecting the lumbar curve of your back, but a 90 degree angle while sitting forces your lumbar curve to invert from an "S" to a "C." most of the ergonomic site i've read suggest either a kneeling chair or some chair with your hips elevated, so that your hips are more open than 90 degrees, and that your lumbar curve can maintain itself.

is this incorrect? or is there any reason why the opposite would work? (raising your knees above your hips would cause hip flexion of greater than 90 degreed). at this point, i'm interested in anything that will give me some relief.

thanks.


It's wrong. Hip extension (not flexion as you said) is dependent upon flexibility.
 

skidsm

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Originally Posted by why
It's wrong. Hip extension (not flexion as you said) is dependent upon flexibility.

yeah, i agree that. i don't think my post was clear.

this is a good article that describes my understanding of the problems and solutions for back pain deriving from seating: http://sitting-comfortably.co.uk/pos...blications.htm

the gist of it is that sitting leads to tightness throughout the legs, but primarily in the hamstrings. tightness in the hamstrings causes the base of the spine to move forward and the pelvic girdle to tilt back when seated, especially if the hips are at 90 degrees. the forward slide of the spine and the tilt to the pelvis cause the lumbar curve to invert, causing back pain.

the solution i've read about is finding a chair that keeps your hips less flexed, which will reduce the pull of hamstrings on the pelvis, and therefore allow your spine to stay in its natural curve.

i had just never heard lowering your seat as a solution, so i was curious about the physiology behind that recommendation.
 

Ludeykrus

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My understanding is that ab and back muscles work together.

I would suggest sit ups/crunches, good mornings, and other light lower-core building exercises.

Oh yeah, and fix your posture.
 

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