Did you know that 8 out 10 people suffer from acute or chronic back pain? I know that better now than I did a few months ago as my husband has been afflicted with and incapacitated by it for the past 4-6 weeks. For a runner who has been waiting for spring to arrive it is very cruel to be watching everyone else run and walk and not be able to join in.
The root cause for his pain we are sure, is sitting at a desk, even with an ergonomic chair for too many hours, at work and at home. Having a good chair is helpful but we would all be better off if we stood up and moved around at least every 20-30 minutes.
When you aren’t confined to a chair, stand up and stay active. By exercising you strengthen those muscles surrounding your spine. Maintaining a healthy weight will also lighten the load that your lower back must bear. With a healthier body overall, you’ll feel better and sit a little taller.
One other personal observation: we all need to do more stretching and cross training. Walking is terrific, better on the knees than running, but we need to work harder to stretch – after a short warm up when we start to walk, and more importantly after exercising – regularly and completely. Take as long as 20 minutes after a long walk. Do it, you may even save on massage and physio visits.