When I was 9 (1999), I was on vacation in Algonquin Park (a national park in Ontario). I was diving into the lake, and I tried to surface too early.
I felt like I bent in half. I hyper-extended my back, and I was in immediate back pain.
From that day on I had chronic back pain. I tried to continue with my martial arts, and swimming... but I would have consistent back pain.
Since that time I've learned 3 major things about rehabbing my back pain.
1) Find the true cause of the problem.
At first passive care helped my back pain. I went to a chiropractor that followed a traditional chiropractic approach. Care focused on electric stimulation therapy, moist heat packs, manual therapy, and spinal manipulation. This all helped my back pain, but with enough time and exercise my back pain would come back. So as I grew older, I would continue to see him on and off to maintain my back.
2) Get what's working hard to start to relax.
Early on, I was told that if I slouched my it would make my back pain worse. So I did my best to stay up right as much as possible. Whenever possible, I would be bolt up right under a lot of tension through my low back. Something had to change, so I started to stretch and move more. I started to slouch more and my low back discomfort eased. I still struggled with back pain with exercise but it wasn't bothering me as much during my day to day activities.
3) Get what's not doing it's job to start doing more work.
I thought that focusing on strengthening my low back and core would prevent my back pain. It definitely decreased my pain in the moment, but everytime I would try to exercise, my back would start to hurt. I found that one day I could squat 225lbs with no pain, and then the next day I could barely squat. As I switched my training around, I discovered that I would have better back pain days following days I focused on hamstrings. As I focused on strengthening my hamstrings, my low back loosened up, and my back pain decreased. I was able to start exercising with more consistency and less back pain.
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