Make Friends with Your Back
By Carol Bucci
Are you at peace with your back? Since we spend more money on chronic back issues than any other part of our body, not liking our back is a major problem. Unfortunately, we cannot get away from our back; and if our back is in chronic pain, we usually don’t enjoy ourselves or anyone else around us either.
When a new client comes to me, we spend the first 15 min. going over their health history. Almost every person that comes to me has had or currently has back issues. What frustrates them the most is that the back never seems to totally feel good again once they incur their first back issue. Even if the pain isn’t showing up at the present time, the client knows that it can surprise them at any given moment in the future. Why is that?!!
It is made clear to my clients that there are three areas of their daily living that we need to look at together before they even start personal training with me. These areas are what everyone spends the most amount of hours doing in the course of the day. They subtly will turn your back against you.
Question 1 - What does your posture look like when you are sitting down? Do you use a lumbar roll in your car, at work, at your computer at home and in your living room while watching television? If you answered no to most or all of these, then you are slouching for hours a day with pressure in your low back.
Question 2 – What does your posture look like when you are walking? Do you wear good supportive shoes throughout your day and in your house at all times; or do you wear a shoe style during the day that is too flat or high and then come home and walk around in socks or soft slippers. If you answered the later, then your back and knees are going to let you know it. I always tell clients that it is much better to have a healthy back wearing shoes in their house than clean carpets by wearing just socks.
Question 3 – What does your posture look like when you are sleeping? Do you use a good supportive head pillow, knee pillow and pillow between your arms? If you answered no to even one of these, then your back, hips, knees and shoulders are going to be talking back to you in the morning.
I take each new client through these three areas on the first day we meet and show them what a difference it makes to their posture with just a few small changes. They always come back to the second session saying that they can immediately feel an improvement in their low back and entire body.
Helping my clients build strength without addressing these issues is like trying to build a house without a foundation. Start making friends with your back by changing the way you sit, walk and sleep. Your back will thank you for finally taking the burden off of it and giving it to other areas that should be doing the job.
Carol Bucci is our certified personal trainer at Greater Rochester Chiropractic. She is nationally certified through ACSM, AFFA and the YMCA. She also has Kickboxing Certifications through AFAA, YMCA and Turbokick. She provides both individual and group personal training at her private facility at Greater Rochester Chiropractic.