Reduce Low Back Pain Right Now! | NoobStrength
4 Ways You Can Reduce Low Back Pain Right Now
Sigh. Low back pain. It sucks and everyone has it at some point. You know the feeling when you stand up after sitting on your ass for too long? Oh yeah you probably know that feeling all too well. Let me tell you, nothing will crush your dreams of being a superhero faster than feeling like Gandalf the Arthritic every time you get out of a chair or bed. Sadly, our modern lifestyles make this extremely common so we need to take extra initiative to reduce low back pain.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the modern world. We no longer have to worry about getting eaten by predators, where our next meal comes from or dying on the job (for the most part). But unfortunately, low back pain has become increasingly common thanks to the fact that most of us sit on our butts for hours everyday. And the damage adds up over the decades.
I dunno about you, but I want to be like Gandalf the White when I’m older. That fool is still riding horses, conquering evil and beating up orcs at the ripe old age of 2000 something. I bet he doesn’t have back problems.
If you do have back pain (or any kind of pain really), you’ll naturally want to reduce it. Here are a few things you can do right now to reduce low back pain.
1) Wear flat shoes & ditch the heels
Almost every shoe these days has a heel. And I’m sure that there are a variety of reasons for that. Maybe it’s to make us look taller? Well, taller people do make more money so there’s that. Or perhaps, it’s to make us better looking. After all, why else would high heels exist?
Unfortunately the heel in your shoes causes your lower back to arch, therefore putting pressure on your lower back. In the case of high heels, it’s quite a lot of pressure. Ironically that arch is what makes women look good in heels because it makes your butt stick out more. And then if you take into account the fact that you might be wearing these heeled shoes 8+ hours a day, its easy to see why we might have a problem here.
So ditch the heels and wear flat shoes to reduce low back pain. Or at least minimize the amount of time you wear heeled shoes. Humans evolved walking barefoot. Our bodies are not prepared for high heels.
2) Do the couch stretch everyday
Take a look at the sitting position. What do you see?
Look at the legs. Notice how they are in that position? The funny thing is, our bodies adapt to the positions that we’re in. There’s even a case of a woman whose body adapted to being stuck on a toilet seat!
If you spend 8+ hours sitting, your body is going to adapt to that hip flexed, sitting position. This is going to make your hip flexors monstrously tight. In the long run, it can cause an anterior pelvic tilt. This means that the tightness has gotten to such an extreme that your hip flexor muscles can’t fully lengthen even in a standing position, therefore tilting your pelvis forward and creating an excessive low back arch (and causing pain).
Funny enough, an anterior pelvic tilt arches your spine the same way that wearing high heels does, causing a lot of the same problems.
When you do the couch stretch, you are working to correct this fault. You are restoring your range of motion. The great thing about the couch stretch is that you can do it anywhere! Just pick a wall and boom! There you have it. So do the couch stretch every day to untighten those hip flexors and reduce low back pain.
3) (Wo)Manspread like a champion
Since we can’t avoid sitting, we can at least try to improve our positions while we’re doing it. This is where (wo)manspreading comes into play. This is what it looks like.
You’re essentially going to sit on the edge of your seat and spread your legs wide. You’ll notice that it’s a lot easier to maintain good posture in this position. And maintaining good posture will reduce low back pain because you’re putting less pressure on it.
If you’re a man and you feel uncomfortable spreading your legs, suck it up you big baby. People might laugh at you now, but you can laugh at them when you’re 60 and still moving like a gymnast. If you’re a woman and you’re gonna do this, you might want to wear pants instead of dresses/skirts. We wouldn’t want anyone to get any funny ideas now.
4) Put a pillow behind your low back when you sit
Alright alright you’re too self-conscious to (wo)manspread. That’s fine. There’s another way you can optimize your sitting!
Enter the pillow. Or really anything you can put behind your low back to give it some extra support. Your spine actually has a natural curve to it. What the pillow behind the back does is encourage your spine to maintain its natural curve by making it harder to round your low back, thus reducing low back pain!
And that’s it my friends! Try these out simple tips to reduce low back pain! Let me know how it goes in the comments! Oh? No need to thank me. You’re so very welcome. If you enjoyed this article, share it with a friend, subscribe to the mailing list (for weekly fitness tips) and follow me on social media using the links below!
I’m a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer and StrongFirst Bodyweight Instructor based in West Los Angeles and Santa Monica. I offer 1-on-1 personal training, group/couples training, and online fitness coaching!
If you’re interested in working with me or have any questions, feel free to reach out!