Frank Salvatore
Health and Lifestyle

How Back Pain May be Related to Your Leg Muscles

March 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Despite what you may think, people of any age are at risk for experiencing back pain. The way your body is positioned throughout the day, especially if you live a sedentary lifestyle, can influence your back health.

Back pain is very common, it is actually the primary cause of disability in people who are under the age of 45. The American Academy of Pain Medicine reports that over 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 experience back pain on a regular basis, and in many of them it leads to limited activity.

For young men, back injuries can often be the result of muscle or ligament strains after an accident. Alternatively, the cause of pain may be unrelated to a single trauma but linked to obesity, genetics, muscle weakness, or a sedentary lifestyle.

When this pain is not severe, but more of a stiffness, it will typically clear up on its own without treatment. However, if the pain lasts for over a week, or if there are other symptoms that are present with the back pain, you will likely need to seek medical treatment.

No matter if you are currently experiencing back pain or not, living a life that includes smart-spine habits at a young age can really help your comfort in the long run. A severe back injury in your younger years can result in chronic pain down the line. It is best to do what you can to decrease the chances of that happening while you are young. Here are a few tips to help optimize your back health while you are young and protect it for your aging years.

Keep Your Hamstrings Healthy

If your hamstrings are tight, your lower back absorbs any force that your legs would typically absorb. This puts a lot of undue pressure on the lower back. One very effective method of loosening up your hamstrings is to use a foam roller before and after working out. This will help release tension throughout the body and prevent the hamstrings from becoming tight. Consult a trainer or physical therapist to help you learn how to effectively use a foam roller.

Don’t Forget to do a Warmup

Warming up your body for ten minutes before exercising is a really important thing to do to avoid getting injured. Find a warm-up that increases your circulation and uses dynamic movements from side to side, front to back, and rotationally. These basic movements will help warm up the back, even if your workout has little or nothing to do with your back.

Lose Some Weight

The excess weight on your body can harm your back, especially with age. Losing extra weight can relieve some strain that is put on the spine, while also helping to increase blood flow to the spine and strengthen the core. This can all work together to prevent future pain. Some great programs to try aside from cardio exercises are Pilates and yoga.

Quit Smoking

Smoking tobacco leads to vascular constriction, so it limits the blood supply to various parts of your body. By strangulating your blood flow to vital organs, your spinal discs will wear out at a younger age than your would hope, or to a worse degree. Quitting smoking can also inspire you to eat healthier and pick up on some quality exercise habits.

Check Your Posture

Are you sitting with an arched back all day while typing away on a computer? When you find yourself in these unnatural positions, you may be contributing to later muscle pain. Often people’s chronic pain begins long before they are able to feel it, so start correcting your posture early so you don’t suffer the consequences in the long run.

Go Lightly on the Ab Workouts

Your six-pack muscles won’t do much good for any back pain. Instead of training these front muscles, focus on the transverse abdominis, which is the corset around the abdomen and the back. Training these muscles helps to protect and stabilize the spine, rather than just flexing the front muscles of the abdomen repeatedly.

Remember the Basics

You don’t need to go all out by doing heavy back squats to gain strength in your back. Just doing single-leg squats can help your gain the stabilization you need to squat safely.

In the end, it is important to remember when you are young that you have to weigh the risks and rewards of an exercise. Some high-risk exercises can really hurt your body over time, so it is important to train the right way. Start slowly, and build into more advanced training to help prevent injuries.

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Frank Salvatore