With everything going on right now, who’s got your back? Having a few people that you can count on for support, is worth it’s weight in gold. Speaking of which, after having my Dad here for a week, hunched over in a chair, with a magnifying glass as big as an ipad so he could see the print, it was apparent why he has nagging back pain. It was so painful to witness and no matter what I did to try to help his ergonomics, with macular degeneration and glaucoma, it was a fruitless endeavor. Most of the time these are tried and true tips If you suffer from pain so keep reading; I’ve got your back.
Everyone is sitting a lot more that they used to these days and with that, comes expanded waist lines, pounds and pressure on our skeletal system and joints and ligaments. This throws our system out of wack, creating weak links that result in back pain.
- 80% of all people will experience back pain at one point in their lives.
- About 50% of the population that work complain of their aching back regularly.
- It is the leading cause of missed work and and accounts for more than 264 million people world wide.
- Most back pain is due to improper body mechanics as opposed to inflammatory arthritis, cancer, fractures or infection.
- Most back pain will subside by proper body mechanics and proper treatment.
In general what happens when we sit, is we are shortening our hip flexor muscles (inner groin muscles and part of the psoas) and psoas; (the muscle that extends from your lower lumbar spine through your hip to the femur), and allows the hip to flex, as in walking. If we slump all day we are elongating our back muscles which decreases strength and weakens our chest muscles, (pectoral muscle) and core muscles that support our back. This puts too much load on our discs and joints unnecessarily, which results in pain.
The visual below pretty much explains it. See how when the body bends forward it creates a compression/contraction in the entire front of your body and makes for an unhappy or a really angry back. Also, look at what happens to the head as it jets forward taking our cerival spine (neck) out of alignment and pulls on the back. The cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (mid back) and lower lumbar (lower back) are actually all one even though they are broken down into different segments and referred to separately at times. Each structure has an impact on the other. Our neck weighs between 6 and 12 pounds and when that happens, neck and shoulder pain also get into the action.
And that friends, is how the saying it’s a pain in my neck or ass came into play. That is why I often ask someone “what or who is a pain in your neck or arse”? In Reiki (hands on healing), it is believed that low back pain in associated with guilt. Sometimes, when I ask the question and someone can see what is triggering the sensation it will disappear if it has an emotional component to it.
Of course falls from sports injuries or loss of balance etc. can result in fractures and back pain but most back pain is from improper mechanics. Bulging discs are also often a result of poor body mechanics.
Proper Body Mechanics
- Sit or stand with your vertebra stacked from your sacrum to the top of your head.
- Keep space hip width apart between your legs, even when you are sitting, (no crossing your legs please). You feet need to be flat on the floor.
- Keep your pelvis slightly tucked for proper curvature of your spine.
- Keep your shoulders, hips and knees in alignment with your head directly over your cervical spine.
- Your chin should be tucked so that it is in alignment with your shoulders.
Modalities That Help:
Stretching is vital to lengthen muscles to release tight muscles. Generally holding 30-60 seconds is a good rule of thumb or every second for each year you are.
Exercising helps you strengthen muscles so they can give you the support you need to keep you uplifted and strong. Strengthening your abdominals and back are vital to eliminate back pain.
Massage is a wonderful modality to loosen tight muscles and lets them relax, giving you relief. There are many different types of massage depending on what you need. Swedish, Trigger Point, MFR (myofascial Release), ART (Active Release Therapy) are often great massage forms of body work for back pain. Modalities such as Rolfing (restructuring), Thai, or deep tissue might actually throw your body into spasm; making it worse.
Craniosacral Therapy is the connection of the bones in our head and the dural tube in the spinal column that connect to our sacrum. We use the bones as anchors to release tight connections and allow the cerebral spinal fluid to move which helps release stuck areas through sensory and skilled hands. It can be very effective for back pain, anxiety, stress, insomnia etc.
Chiropractic or Soft tissue mobilization
If you need to move a bone back into alignment, this is a great modality as long as you don’t use high velocity chiropractic which uses force. 1-3 people in 100,000 people can have a stroke when using force. While this may not seem like a lot; If you are the 1, it’s 100 %. In my certification exam for Swedish Massage which is a light touch with long strokes, someone went too deep on an older woman and their client had a TIA (mini stroke) and was rushed to the hospital), so I always aim for using the least amount of force to accomplish the same result and use soft tissue release to help move the bone in place while I help guide and support the process.
The principle is based on opening up channels in the body through the 14 meridian lines where chi might be blocked. Needles are placed in different parts of the body with either thin Japanese style needles or thicker, Chinese needles in particular areas to stimulate neurohormonal paths, and blood flow releasing pain. I personally have had both the chinese needles which for are very painful for me and the Japanese which I barely know are in me so I much prefer those.
Exercises That help The Back:
- Note: Take out the side plank until you are pain free
15 Minute Daily Back Exercise Routine
Avoid The Following If you have Back Pain:
- People that drain your energy
- Heavy Lifting
- Bending at the waist: Bend both knees with and squat to pick up any items.
- One sided activities: try to alternate sides
- Golf: Puts more pressure on discs because you bend to pick up the ball and twist.
- Spinal Twists: Avoid at first and add slowly.
- Heat usually; Ice is the general rule of thumb for the first 48 hrs to reduce inflammation.
- Soft chairs and couches and don’t forget to loose some weight-:)
* Topicals such as biofreeze, juniper, peppermint, helecrysm, black pepper (essention oils) can help you feel better but don’t solve the issue. I use a homeopathic Arnic 200 or 30 3-4 times a day.
Keep Moving and please let me know if this might have helped you in any way.
I really appreciate you taking time to read, liking (if you do of course), commenting and or sharing. Thank you so much.
You can also follow me on Facebook | Instagram | Youtube
Thank you Cindy for sharing such a well researched post.💜
You are so welcome and thanks for commenting. It’s a twofer since my newsletter is coming out tomorrow for clients. 🙏🙏❣️
How serendipitous that you have written this today. On Saturday I was in a squat while weeding and reached about 4 inches when my back went into spasm. Could not get up and was pretty incapacitated for 18 hours. Not new to back spasms through my life, I have been doctoring myself and finally more mobile. A higher power is telling me to rest. I am obliging.
Oh honey… I am sooooo sorry to hear that!!!!
Think about what else you have been doing becauase it wasn’t the weeding, it was what you have been doing on a regular basis and I have a pretty good idea of what that is… GOOD YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO!!! I know how incapacitating it can be. Good you are listening to your messages from a higher power! And btw NO POWER LIFTING OVER HEAD.
You got that? ❤️🤗❣️
A really helpful post. Thank you!!
You are most welcome!!!
Very informative. I like the diagrams for proper posture for sitting. Thank you and take care, Cindy.
So glad, thanks for letting me know. I had others that were better that wouldn’t let me loads. I’m trying to figure out which ones are copywritten and which aren’t. Do you by chance know? Thanks again!
Search for “Creative Content.” Those are free to use and not copywritten. That’s what my research turned up.
YOU ARE THE BEST!!! thanks, can I hire you?! lol. I have to remember as this is what my kids tell me.. google it..
I think that if you can’t find it on Google, it doesn’t exist. Thank God for my kids. They keep my blood pressure down when I’m trying to learn something technical.
Great post Cindy! Interesting that back pain is associated with guilt.
Avoiding people who drain your energy… 🤔 Looks like I will kicking my husband and kids out today! (I will let them back in later 😂— maybe… muhahaha )
On a serious note: I’ve been sitting a lot lately and honestly you might have just saved me some aches and pain.
Spine erect! Thank you!!!
Hey There you are Beck. Thanks so much for responding to this. Yes, and there are different emotions connected to each one actually which is fascinating. That is hysterical. So glad I found this in spam because, I’m laughing hysterically righ now. I have a dog house you can borrow. 🤣 lol. Oh good to hear and so hope it is helpful. I left a note to Kally somewhere here as well for pain behind the shoulder blades. Let me know if it helps you. Have a good rest of the day! ❤️🙏
Better also to do various types of excercising to stretch various parts of the body while seeing an expert who supervises you …
It is better also not to stand for long hours all at once but take a break walking or sitting …
Excercising is better in moderation and is more effective and safer to be gradual or like increased step by step …
Yes, did you want to hire me? lol.
For big injuries that don’t heal, always seek an expert for sure.
my dog keeps barking and getting me up while I write so that’s the good news. thanks for your thoughts!
Pets have love within them in many cases… They care more than we may think …
Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post. Its really helpful
You’re so welcome and thanks for commenting Dulcy!
Oh i can really understand what back pain feels like. Studying for hours or sitting at a table has been the most cruel to me. Bad posture has always made me look really bad when I stood up. Such an important post Cindy in these times when everyone is either working from home through their computers or studying. 😇
You look like you have great posture Kumar!!!
thanks and lmk if the exercises help. Have a great day! 🤗
Haha. Thank you Cindy. You too. 😇
It is advisable to xhange body posture even at work . Do not always remain sitting or standing , just change your body position from time to time to give yourself more flexibility and natural movement.
This is what I read and hear and even experience myself in life …
All the best…
I know we all often do.. Oh you are killing me.. lol.
just practice or I’ll have to come tie you to your chair. ha!
I’m already sitting better – thank you.
Good to hear!!! You are most welcome!!! Good posture for opening up chakras and energy for your proposals. fingers crossed
🙂 Thank you.
Change your posture when you can to allow your body to move as much as you can …
Such an informative post! I used to suffer from sciatic pain but since practicing shamanic healing, I ‘very realigned my chakras which relieves the source of that pain which was mostly emotional. It’s amazing the amount of energy we carry within our chakras and how balancing them relieves a multitude of issues. Practicing ballet and yoga for years keeps me mindful of my posture. Your diagrams here are clearly show how important proper posture is😊
Thanks so much for letting me know and that great info on chakras which are vital to keep open to release pain. I had to do a newsletter for tomorrow for my clients that are more main stream but what a GREAT post that would be. Ballet and Yoga for sure will do that. You are on my list today.. and will get to “my real work” for sure TODAY! lol
My pleasure always, that’s what kindred spirited friends are for🤗 I’m always open to learning and sharing about my favorite topic of self healing ❤
You are so right!!! Have I missed your posts lately?
Nope, about to post shortly! You’re right on time😊
OH Good!!! I’m missing some because I don’t use email only reader for sanity purposes and don’t want to miss you❤️
I understand….check in about 20 mins, it should me up😊
will check tonight.. off to a client.. xo🤗
This resonated deeply with me. I am guilty of poor back posture and typically my day does involve a lot of sitting, even when I incorporate daily walks and exercise. Clever title as well!
Thanks for letting me klnow Hannah! I too have suffered BUT not much anymore since It’s my job to be religious about it. However with that said, more sitting has made a problem in my hips. Good for you to walk and lmk if these help. Thanks, glad you like the title. ❤️
It’s a pleasure, Cindy! It’s a shame how work and so many other activities are designed around sitting and are hard to avoid.
I am only appreiciating it more in covid and you are soooo right!!!!
Thank for the reminder, my parents always tell me to sit straight!
You’re so welcome!!! Too funny, I do that to my kids as well!!!
So informative, thanks for sharing!
You’re so welcome! Thanks for your comment!
This is really interesting and useful. I love how you combine 2 different thoughts together….
Thankfully I don’t suffer back pain. I’m going to send this to a friend who does…
Love, light and glitter
Thanks for noticing that subtlety! I would have loved to have said more connecting them but it was already a long post. I’m glad you don’t have back pain as it can be pretty excruciating. Thanks for shairing it with your friend. I hope she finds it useful! ❤️
She really appreciated it…
It wasn’t subtle at all. There was so much I could say about it but you focused on one, and actually you joined them together a lot, too.
I hope you live without pain…
Love, light, and glitter
OH I’M soooo glad to hear that Eliza! Thanks for sharing that with me. I really appreciate that and your comements! I feel accomplished that the 2 merged so nicely. BTW were you the one sho said your parents always say to stand tall? I think I lost that comment.. If it wasn’t you, for anyone who is reading. I tell my kids that too.. to be fair, it’s always better to hear it from someone besides your parents.. lol
It wasn’t me 🙂
This is so interesting and useful. I maintain a bad posture most times and then get a back ache. This is so useful!❣❣
I’m so glad to her thant is’s useful Nawazish. Sorry you get back pain. Let me know how the exercises work for you…
Will let you know!
Awesome tips for those who have lower back pain. I wonder if you have anything focus on upper back pain that goes on in between the shoulder blades?
Thank you so much Kally!
The writers dilema between the shoulders for sure right?! Are you experiecing that? Actually, the postural piece is really important for helping the releive tension between the shoulder blades (Rhomoids are what the mucsles are called). Ergonomics is also critical so making sure that your set up properly, so you aren’t having to look down at your computer all day with your head haning forward. Many clients want us to dig into there back muscles and neck to releive that area and it might feel good for the moment, it doesn’t leave lasting results. The chest muscles shorten which is the real curprit so we must lengthen those muscles to get the Rhomboids to release. You can place both hands in the door jam and lean into them to open your chest, or lay down on a bolster to acheive that. Pushups shorten the muscles and should be avoided until posture can be corrected.
You can also sit at your desk and
squeeze your shoulder blades together for 5-8 counts and release for 8-10 times.( shoulder blade retraction). Try that 3 times a day.
You could also do a rear delt with bands or light weights with light weight 3-8lbs and do “rear delts”. Keeping your head in alignment with your neck is critical to release pressure as well so head retraction is important as well. Sorry if that was TMI? Perhaps another post could be helpful on that? My pics are seeming to upload here. ❤️
Thank you for your loving tips. I usually go to a chiropractor to “pull” my spine and you can hear a loud crack at the spine area between my shoulder blades, not so much the muscles. But you are right, my posture definitely need to change.
You are most welcome! It’s good you have a modality that works for you. Let me know if the tips help you or not. You may need to go less often and your treatments might hold better. I used to go to one as well but don’t need to anymore with all of my strength and conditioning.
Good information. Thank you
Thank you so much for sharing this one😊
This Is so informative
You’re most welcome!!!
I’ve got your back!
I love the title!
I think you’ve really got our backs.
Your tips are helpful and they seem well researched.
Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for sharing that! I really appreciate your comment!
You are always welcome.
Really interesting post! I don’t generally have back pain but I remember when lockdown started and I had to sit in one position for very long since I had online classes and I began to get back pain. Now I try not to sit for too long in one position and move around more.
So glad you don’t get it anymore. Moving is good and truly the key.
Sitting is a culprit!!!!
Glad you have figured out it!!!
You’re welcome and I’m glad too!
Thank you Cindy ❤
You’re welcome! Thanks for reading and commenting Gotfried. ❤️
It’s the least I could do 😅
glad to know you read “normal” writing too,,,ha🤪
Haha, I do. I’m no elitist 😂
🤣🤣🤣 No, but you are king of the pen.👑
Your posts are nice. You should also visit my blog and give your important comment.
Great tips for back pain…..thank you for sharing Cindy!
Oh thanks for letting me know. I hope it’s helpful for you!
Oh wow, this is so informative and well researched! I get back pain all the time. Makes me feel old. Following these might help!
Oh I’m so glad it was timely Rishika!!!!
Thanks, it is my business so I do try to get this kind of information out in my monthly newsletter to clients so they don’t wonder if I’ve moved into a totally new arena. That’s so funny you feeling old. Some of the worst cases I’ve seen are from young people. Think of the good news, you will have a head start implimenting these basic important things to keep you upright, stong and pain free 🤗 Thanks for taking time to share and lmk how it goes. 🙏❤️
Thankfully, mine isn’t that bad. But still hurts! Of course, I am going to implement your tips, I’m sure they’re great and will work like magic. Thank you, Cindy! ❤️🍀
good!!!! awesome.. Poof magic!!!
🙂Thanks a lot for sharing this post, Cindy. These days due to the pandemic there are many working from home and they don’t even care about their sitting posture, working posture. I had to face this neck and back pain for the past few days and am still recovering. And is the Chiropractic or Soft tissue mobilization safe?
You’re welcome Rez! I know it’s something I never have had to deal with before since I’m moving a lot in between. This is the hazard with sitting and studying alright!!! Oh bummer sorry to hear but maybe this is great timing for you. look at head retraction exercises on line which is really important. Soft tissue release allows the body to move in time with support rather than the slam bam thank you mam approach with rarely holds. Keep me posted🤗❣️
Thank you so much Cindy. I was doing some head retraction exercises, stopped it in between will continue again. Will keep you posted. 🙂
Thanks for letting me know.. you are a good student!
This is probably something for me
I hope it’s helpful for you!!!
I also hope
Nicely done my friend. Great information and really well written. I love Swedish massage. I don’t know why sometimes you actually have to tell someone that the pain from the massage is unbearable. I had no idea about the TIA possibility. That is very interesting. I love the little stick finger drawing that made me giggle. I bet you do great work. Thank you for sharing all this valuable information my friend. Hugs, and love to you and your lovely family. 💕🤗Joni
Thank you Joni!!! Thank you for reading it and thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. I’m so glad it was informative. I know scarey about the TIA’s right?~!!!! I too loved that stick figure. Glad you got a giggle. Thank you I hear I do but not ready anytiime soon.. Swedish is sooooo relaxing, I agree. Have a great day and you are most welcome.
Since starting my website I’ve been spending a lot of time at the computer. I catch myself slouching all the time and correct it. I really don’t want to give myself back pain
it’s so easy to do…I know trust me. Hope this helps! ❤️ Cindy
Such a thoughtful and informative post.👌
[…] favorite post from Cindy’s blog (so far) is “I’ve got your back” with some excellent tips for spine and posture health, sitting tips, and helpful […]
Hi Yvette, Wow, thank you so much and It is such an honor to be interview on your site, I’m glad you liked that post so much! ❤️ Cindy
[…] favorite post from Cindy’s blog (so far) is “I’ve got your back” with some excellent tips for spine/posture health, sitting tips, and helpful […]
[…] my post I’ve Got Your Back for a 15 min. back exercise routine and more […]
Very good information . My posture needs help from driving a lot in my business for over forty years the core muscles are weakened . I do my stretches faithfully every morning and walk on the treadmill at least four times a week . Need to be more mindful of my posture. Thanks for the informative post
Thank you so much Marlene. So glad you found it helpful. It is such a moment to moment activity and good for you you are doing your T.M and stretches. That’s so awesome! Keep it up. Try the tai chi movement too. Have a great day and you
re most welcome! 💖💖💖