Finding Relief in Park Slope: Exploring the Benefits of Personal Training for Lower Back Pain

More than 80% of people in the Park Slope, Brooklyn community will experience lower back pain at least once in their lifetime. Don’t worry – PhysioRX can help!

Ryan Brennan

“Lift with your legs, not with your back” is a saying we’ve all heard before. It sounds cliche, and most people say it as a joke – but it’s no laughing matter. In fact, it could be the reason you're missing work. 

That’s right – lower back pain is one of the most common reasons people call out of work. 

It’s also the leading cause of disability, affecting more than 600 million people globally. 

In fact, new research estimates that more than 80% of all Americans will experience lower back pain at least once in their lifetime – including four out of every five residents living in the Park Slope community. 

That doesn’t sit right with us – so we want to help!

One of the first things we do when treating lower back pain is find the root of the problem – something is triggering the pain, and we want to get to the bottom of it. Here are some of the most common causes: 

  • A torn, sprained, pulled, or strained muscle or ligament
  • Improper posture when sitting or standing
  • Improperly lifting, twisting, and pulling large or heavy objects
  • Carrying a heavy bag (or purse) over your shoulder or on your back
  • Over-doing yourself during a workout
  • A weakened, bulging, ruptured, or herniated disk
  • Conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, and more
  • Trauma, compression fracture, or a deformity

The exact cause isn’t always obvious, but understanding your symptoms can help your personal trainer build a game plan tailored to your specific needs. At PhysioRX, that usually involves a combination of posture training, stretching, and regular exercise to help strengthen the muscles in and around your back.

Our goal is to arm you with expert-backed tips to reduce back pain and improve mobility, so you can get back to doing the activities you love pain-free. Here’s how our expert team can help you achieve that!

Posture Perfect: The Secret to a Pain-Free Lower Back

Who would’ve thought that all those years of being told to ‘sit straight’ and ‘not slouch’ would come back to haunt us? It turns out there was a reason our teachers, parents, and coaches kept telling us that. 

Posture refers to the way you hold your body while sitting, standing, lying down, or performing everyday tasks – such as lifting, bending, or twisting. Believe it or not, there is a wrong and right way to do this. 

Don’t worry – that’s where we come in. 

Maintaining good posture distributes your weight evenly over the body, requires minimal effort to balance, and doesn't place undue strain on any one part of the body – which, in turn, reduces the chance of injury.

Here are some posture-perfect tips to think about throughout the day: 

  • Avoid slouching or jutting your head forward
  • Make sure your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles are even and line up vertically
  • Roll your shoulders back and down, keeping them relaxed and in line with your hips
  • Whether standing or sitting, distribute your body weight evenly between both feet or hips
  • When sitting, keep your feet flat on the floor and your knees at or slightly below hip level
  • If you have to sit or stand for long periods, take regular breaks to move around and stretch

As your personal trainer, our job is to not only help you improve your posture and form while working out, but also improve your posture at home, work, or while driving. By making the right lifestyle changes now, you can set yourself up for a pain-free life – but first, we need to make good posture a habit, not a chore!

Flex and Relax: Stretching Techniques for a Stronger Lower Back

Stretching plays an essential role in managing and preventing lower back pain. It not only improves our flexibility and ability to move freely, but it helps ease tension, enhance mobility, and reduce back strain. 

That translates to a happier, healthier, and more rewarding life.

With consistency, you may find stretching helps relieve aches while supporting overall back health. That’s why we recommend incorporating lower back stretches into your daily routine – with or without pain!

There are five primary muscle groups we want to target when stretching the lower back: 

  • Spine - stretches to consider include the back flexion stretch, knee-to-chest stretch, kneeling lunge stretch, and piriformis muscle stretch. 
  • Hamstrings - you can stretch the hamstrings by standing, using a towel (while lying on your back), or with a wall (to keep legs straight). 
  • Hip Flexors - some stretches and poses to target the hip flexors include happy baby, goddess pose, standing lunges, and low lunges. 
  • Gluteal Muscles - the seated twist is a popular stretch for the gluteal muscles, but you can also do the downward-facing dog and pigeon pose.
  • Quadriceps - the most popular stretch for the quads is grabbing your foot and gently pulling it towards your butt, but the frog pose is another good one. 

It's essential to perform these stretches gently and gradually, avoiding any movements that cause pain. Start slow, focus on your form and posture, observe the body, and analyze how it feels as you stretch. As always, don’t hesitate to contact your personal trainer or physical therapist if the pain suddenly worsens.

Get Your Groove Back: Effective Exercises for Lower Back Pain Relief

One of the best ways to prevent further pain or injury to the lumbar region of the spine is by strengthening the muscles and ligaments that surround and support the lower back. A strong back is a pain-free back. 

Don’t worry – we have exercises designed for that specific reason. 

And it’s not just the lower back that stands to benefit – these types of exercises generally target the core muscles (abdominal, hip, and gluteus muscles) as a whole, as well as improve mental health and acuity.

Here are three of our favorite exercises for lower back pain relief: 

  1. The Curl-Up - similar to an abdominal crunch, but your hands are under your lower back, and one knee is bent while lying down. Lift your head, shoulders, and upper back for 10 seconds. 
  2. The Bird Dog - in a quadruped position (hands and knees), raise your right hand and left knee so they’re parallel with the ground. Squeeze your glutes and maintain the position before switching.
  3. The Bridge - lie on your back with your knees bent. Raise your hips off the floor and tighten the muscles in your stomach. Hold this position for three deep breaths before relaxing and repeating. 

Strengthening the lower back through exercise is a delicate and intricate process. It’s important to start gradually and progress slowly to avoid exacerbating any existing pain or causing any further injury. You know your body better than anyone else, so make sure you’re listening to it and not overdoing anything.

PhysioRX: Experience the Joy of a Pain-Free Life

Do you wake up in the morning with a stabbing or aching pain in your lower back? Did you recently injure your lower back at work or while lifting? Are you worried that you won’t ever move properly again? 

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, then you’ve come to the right place. 

At PhysioRX, we’re not just personal trainers – we’re physical therapists, too!

That means we have the knowledge, skill, and creativity to not only reduce your back pain, but strengthen your lower back to prevent pain from making a return in the future. We have one goal and one goal only for the Park Slope, Brooklyn community – give you the tools you need to live a happy and healthy life. 

If you’re experiencing lower back pain, schedule a consultation with one of our experts today – you won’t regret it!

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