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The Straw the Breaks the Camel’s Back Should NOT Be the One That Breaks Yours

Ways to Improve the Strength of Your Back

The back is one of largest muscles in the human body. Although the back may seem functionally underutilized when compared with the arms and legs, it is probably the most important muscle when it comes strengthening, stabilizing and mobilizing the human body. As humans age, the muscle that is most prone to pain and injury is the back. Up to 85% of all people have low back pain at one time or another. Each year, about 2% of American workers are compensated for disability caused by back pain. Low back pain is often triggered by some combination of overuse, muscle strain, or injury to the muscles and ligaments that support the spine. Less commonly, low back pain is caused by illness or spinal deformity.

Factors for back pain are listed below:

  1. Lack of regular exercise.
  2. Job and/or other activities that require long periods of sitting, lifting or pulling heavy objects, frequent bending or twisting, heavy physical exertion, repetitive motions, or exposure to constant vibration (as when using machinery that vibrates, or driving certain types of heavy equipment).
  3. Smoking.
  4. Being overweight
  5. Poor posture
  6. Stress
  7. Long periods of depression
  8. Chronic coughing
  9. Long-term use of medication that weakens bones

There are several techniques to minimize several of these factors. The list below provides key comprehensive tactics on how to strengthen the back, and protect it from pain and injury:
1. Cognizance of Potential Back Problems: No one should spend their life worrying about the daily deterioration of their bones, muscles, ligaments and joints. One should not think about the hyperextension of their back when they are trying to pick up that lucky $20 on the street. However, it is very important to make sure that stress is distributed equally throughout the back and the entire body. When someone is picking up a heavy item from the ground, they don’t just snatch it up with their hands and pull it up with the support of the lower back; They should slowly lean into the item with their entire body and gradually pick up the item, recruiting all muscle fibers to distribute the stress of the movement to minimize injury and pain to the back.
2. Weight Training: During a rear deltoid exercise on a selectorized machine, it is important to squeeze the rhomboids for 2-5 seconds during the concentric contraction. Strengthening and firing the rhomboid muscles will not only maintain, but improve the postural alignment of the back.
3. Stretching: A good stretch for the lower back can be done by lying on the floor (face-down), and then slowly lifting the upper body upward while keeping the lower body pressed against the floor. After holding this pose for one minute, the rear end can push back and the arms can extend forward to further target the extensibility of the lower back.
4. Massage Therapy: Although exercise can be seen as a prescription to ailing musculoskeletal structures of the human body, overtraining and overexertion can cause musculoskeletal dysfunction. Therefore, it is important for people to conduct self-massages on themselves by utilizing foam rolling, self-myofascial release (SMR) on targeted areas of the back or get massages from qualified and certified therapists.

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