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Hidden Lower Back Pain Causes that Make People Suffer

Hidden Lower Back Pain Causes that Make People Suffer

I’ve recently trained a guy that is complaining about back problems. This person is completely young, muscular and mentally fit.

He is not working on a desk the whole time. He works in a job where he’s required to stand up. He’s even going to the gym frequently for years. What he truly lacks though is awareness of his own body.

What Really Causes Lower Back Pain

There are multiple causes that could lead to your pain. Your back pain could be caused for example by stress, diet, sitting or lack of physical activity to name a few. But the root cause is often simply a faulty proprioception. People are not aware about their position of their back.

Speaking of the guy in the gym, whenever I told him he should keep a straight back he couldn’t do it on his own. I was asking him if his back was straight while doing a certain movement and he told me that he thought it was. But it wasn’t.

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This person wasn’t aware of his own body movements. This may sound strange but this phenomena is all too common. I once spoke with a Salsa dancer, that told me that the teachers struggle a lot to teach their students certain dance movements because the students are basically not aware of themselves.

This faulty self awareness can lead to a constant bending of your back, without you even realizing it. This is extremely damaging for your spine in the long-term. especially if you’re training in the gym and lifting a lot of heavy weights with a bended back. You’re damaging your spine over and over again. As said in my previous article, back pain is a cumulative trauma disorder. Back pain develops over time.

I suffered from back pain too. The reason why I’m not suffering from back pain anymore, is definitely partly because of bettering my self awareness.

I realized that every time I’d work out and do the back squats I would go so deep that my lower back would be slightly bended. I would wake up the next day after my training and would feel pain in my spine. I thought this was a normal part of my leg day routine. I was wrong.

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Only later did I realize, during my Certification program, that I’m doing that exercise wrong. When a prof came up to me and asked me if I’m feeling any pain in my lower back, I was embarrassed but I had to agree.

How To Check Yourself

The only way to resolve a problem is to first realize that there is a problem. You could tell an alcoholic every day that he should drink less, but if he himself doesn’t realize that he has a problem, your suggestions are worthless.

I recommend people to talk to a certified Fitness Coach whenever they’re trying to minimize their back pain. Simply ask your coach that he should take a look at you while you’re sitting down and standing up from a chair. Also he should take a look at your workout routine. If he realize that your back is bending constantly, he should show you how to keep your back straight the whole time. A bended back is a warning sign and should be resolved immediately.

If you realize that you’re lacking self awareness, don’t beat yourself up over it. Move on. It can be fixed if you work on it.

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I didn’t even realize that my lower back was bending at a certain point. I didn’t have enough self awareness to realize that. Few of us have. That is why it’s so crucial to have another person literally watching your back.

    The young person that I’ve talked about in the beginning made a very important decision. He signed up to a gym and hired a fitness coach that took a look at his daily movement habits. This is crucial, I’m glad to say that he’s already improving. You could simply ask your spouse or a friend, but remember that the advice will not be as professional.

    Are you bending your back while you’re doing daily tasks? Like lifting up a pen? If yes, try to fix them as fast as possible. Once you’ve fixed them and you’ve bettered your self awareness, focus on the other tasks.

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    What’s Next After Realizing the Problem

    We start with fixing our self awareness because it’s usually the part that deals the most damage to your spine. It’s also the part that is the hardest one to change. Change your proprioception first and all the other habit changes will be easy. Like getting your diet in order, stop sitting, start stretching and exercising properly.

    If you’re looking for ways to relieve your back pain, check out my other articles:

    More by this author

    Florian Wüest

    Qualified and experienced fitness trainer and online coach.

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    Last Updated on September 16, 2019

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    More About Procrastination

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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