Back pain sucks. Give a strong, confident person a good dose of back pain and it can reduce them to a hunched over, tired shadow of their normal self. We all know people like this. It might be your dad, who after years of manual work can no longer drive for more than 30 minutes because of his pain, and so visiting friends and family is a struggle. It might be your friend, who used to run marathons but now squirms when tying their shoe laces. Or it could be a work colleague, who “threw out their back” when they were trying to move the new printer into the office, and is still waiting for their claim to be processed so they can progress with their treatment.
Recent estimates suggest that 80% of people will at some point experience back pain in their life. The majority of back pain is caused by mechanical stress. Mechanical stress is increased by:
Certain postures (sitting, slouching and excessive arching all increases mechanical load)
Heavy lifting (which when paired with poor posture is a recipe for disaster!)
Vibration (such as sitting in a car on a bumpy road)
For people with back pain caused by a specific injury, it is important to seek out the correct medical professional to assist you directly. However, for people with less severe pain, or no pain at all, it’s important to be able to perform basic back maintenance. In this manner you can reduce your pain or prevent its onset.
The Founder is an exercise which teaches people how to fully recruit the muscles of the posterior chain (back of legs, hip, and back), strengthens them, reinforces proper movement, and assists spinal decompression. The technique might look simple, but performing it correctly can be a challenge for anyone (even if you’ve got six pack abs and glutes like an NFL linebacker.)
My full Foundation Training sessions can be found any time in the Centr program to provide a solid base for all your workouts, sporting activities and daily life. If you are suffering from a bad back, I recommend a daily dose: the Founder (and other variations of this movement) can be performed throughout the day to reduce back pain or incorporated into your workout routine as part of a warm-up and/or cool-down.
Pain free living should be a central goal on which your daily exercise or movement routine is built. Be proactive, and put back pain behind you!
As the creator of Foundation Training, Dr. Eric Goodman has made it his mission to help people manage chronic pain and improve performance. A chiropractor with expertise in physiology and biomechanics, his exercises will help you retrain your body to take the strain off your spine and joints. Eric is also the author of True to Form, which features a foreword by Chris Hemsworth.
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