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Published on September 14, 2017

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.

    What Really Works: How to Relieve Lower Back Pain Effectively 7 Super Fast Remedies for a Pulled Muscle in Neck Is Building Muscle Possible in Your 40s? (Build Muscle the Batman Way) How I Lose Weight, Get to 9% Body Fat and Build Muscles with Vegan Diet How to Gain Muscle Mass Naturally (A Step-By-Step Guide)

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    12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

    12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

    Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

    But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

    I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

    Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

    1. Nuts

    The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

    Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

    Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

    Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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    2. Blueberries

    Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

    When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

    3. Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

    4. Broccoli

    While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

    Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

    Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

    5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

    Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

    The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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    Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

    6. Soy

    Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

    Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

    Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

    7. Dark chocolate

    When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

    Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

    15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

    8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

    Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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    B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

    Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

    Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

    To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

    9. Foods Rich in Zinc

    Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

    Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

    Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

    10. Gingko biloba

    This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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    It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

    However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

    11. Green and black tea

    Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

    Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

    Find out more about green tea here:

    11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

    12. Sage and Rosemary

    Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

    Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

    When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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