Back pain is something that most adults have suffered from during their life. It can be spontaneous, or can progressively get worse over time. If you have never suffered from this then I’m pretty sure you know someone who has.
I suffered from terrible back pain when I was 16. Over the summer holidays from school I had grown a fair few inches, and had grown into a 6ft bean pole; not ideal for the start of senior rugby at school where I was no longer playing against my own age grade, but two years higher.
In the first tournament of the year I started to feel my back get tighter and all of a sudden I was struggling to move.. Not something that had ever happened to me before.
Being 16 and keen to impress I played on – not my best idea. Towards the end of one of the games it became so painful I couldn’t move from the middle of the pitch.
This pain then prevented me from not only competing, but even jogging for over a year.
So what caused it? And did I help to speed up my recovery?
For me, my back pain came from growing and poor conditioning; so my muscles got longer, but not stronger. This coupled with competing at a higher level was not a good combination.
For those of you who already train in the gym, this is like going for a 1 rep max in your first session. Your body will not be conditioned to deal with that amount of stress going through it.
Did I help speed up my recovery?.. No.
As a 16 year old, puberty kicked in and I was too cool to accept help, and I spent my free time picking up MacDonalds and beer, further reducing my will to move and get this problem sorted.
This will not be the case for everyone.
For the greater adult population, back pain will more than likely be caused by environmental factors; working, driving, relaxing, the internet etc.
For most of us these days our working day may go something like this:
- Wake up
- Sit down and eat breakfast
- Sit down and drive to work
- Sit down all day before driving home
- Relax and sit down in front of the TV
- Head to bed and repeat
Can you spot the common pattern?
There is little movement and a lot of sitting. Like anything you don’t use much, your muscles will start to gather a bit of dust and may be a little bit creaky when you want to get going – showing up as pain.
As a result of this you may also start to put on weight, more than likely around the middle, especially at the front. This is going to move your centre of gravity forwards and is going to put more stress onto your lower back to support this.
So we have identified the problem and a cause, so all we need now is a solution.
Now this looks fairly obvious – start with moving more and spend less time sitting down. The trouble is, as we all know, getting started.
Our bodies don’t like change so much, they like to stick with what they know, where they’re safe.. It’s like going to your favourite restaurant each week, there may be better food out there but without taking the plunge you won’t ever know.
So now, after spending all day at work, with back pain, you’ve got to get out and keep moving?
For some, no problem. For most, like me at 16, not gonna happen.
What changed for me?
I love playing rugby, I’ve played at my local club since I was 12 and I knew if I wanted to carry on, I’d have to sort this out.
So it started with a training session a week, under supervision of a coach who had the balls to tell me to stop when I needed to, and push me when it was necessary, and make sure that a frustrated adolescent kept coming down and worked to get fit again.
Sometimes that is all it is, you just need someone to look after you, nurture your body and mind through the change, to keep you motivated, driven and on target to becoming pain free again.
If you would like help to get rid of your back pain, click HERE and we’ll be in touch to help you out!