Tips for Not Blowing Out Your Back

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ghost_cat

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#1  Edited By ghost_cat

After today's podcast and hearing the GB crew (plus handsome boy Danny O) briefly talk about failing back health, it got me a little concern about their back health and anyone else out there suffering the same problems. It's not a body part you might think of or look at everyday, but when your back takes a knee, you're basically out of commission (and it's very painful). So I felt like starting a thread to talk about and promote better back health for those either suffering from it, or looking to just prevent it as much as possible.

So I know a lot of folks will talk about trying to not sit for long ours, periodic stretches, or just getting a standing-desk situation, but this is my suggestion from experience: core exercises. I'm almost 35, and I sit a lot for both work and gaming (or movies), but I also workout as well. I used to get back pain at times even with a workout routine, but I was never serious about core exercise until two or three years ago, and that was life changing for me. It's probably the most boring set of exercises in the world, but building a stronger core has done wonders for my health, and I can't remember a time in recent years that I suffered from bad back pain, no matter how bad my posture would be. Core exercises don't have to be intense, and you can do them at home with no equipment. Mix in some stretching/yoga along with a good diet, and you'll be golden.

What do y'all do to solve or prevent back pain? Better backs make a better world!

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laughingman

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Core exercises are key to good back health. Like you said, it doesn't have to be a lot, either. Some crunches on a mat every morning can help immensely. Also, really pay attention to engaging your core during everyday activities like walking, sitting, doing dishes, and so on. It will help posture and keep pressure off that lower back.

It's also incredibly important not to lift more than you can handle. If it's too heavy, get help. And NEVER twist at the waist while carrying something heavy. You're just asking for an injury.

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ghost_cat

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#3  Edited By ghost_cat

@laughingman: I totally forgot about paying attention to engaging your core throughout the day. Yeah, if you can engage (squeeze) your core during other light activities, it goes a long way, while building a mental habit to check your posture at the moment.

If you're just starting out with core exercises, there are plenty of easy and light reps to do, such as planks and bicycle kicks. There are plenty of videos on YT for more variety, so finding resources to learn and get motivated is easy.

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laughingman

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@ghost_cat: Glad to help! It's one of those things that once you get into the habit of doing, you forget you're doing it.

It's important to note that even light exercises will benefit you a lot over the long term. Your core's one of the easiest muscle groups to make moderate, consistent gains in as long as you're consistent.

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csl316

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#5  Edited By csl316  Online

DDP Yoga helped me a lot. I was around 28 and felt old. Grew up exercising constantly but stopped in college. I got some of those DDP DVD's and have been pain free ever since.

Nowadays I do those exercises once or twice a week, but I have a variety of other things I do on the other days, too. 20 minutes to an hour, maybe more if I go bike riding or something. Yoga stretches and core work have gone a long way, but I feel like just being active consistently is the main thing to prioritize. Especially since I'm 35 now and have to actively take care of myself.

If you're still working from home, just replace that commute time with some exercise 2 or 3 times a week. You'll naturally start doing it 4 or 5 days a week over time. And you'll be glad you did. I usually have a video or podcast playing in the background that makes the time fly by.

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Gundato

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Yeah. Yoga and light strength building exercises go a long way. Being a super heavy grunting lifter isn't going to do it but having a balanced workout regiment (and obviously the two are not mutually exclusive but... yeah) goes a long way.

Usually I get my exercise from rock climbing and (getting back up after falling down in painful ways while) snowboarding. Lockdown has... sucked. Still making it a point to do stretches and work with dumb and kettle bells around the apartment but managed to pinch a nerve the other week and getting that mix of pain and sudden flare ups as my body heals up.

Liked ring fit for a bit but having to deal with the switch and joycons was just such a cluster. I know a lot of folk both ironically and unironically love ddp yoga but is anyone aware of any good youtubes or (preferably free but...) websites for yoga and "lighter" exercises like pilates that focus on things as exercise with a lot of isometrics rather than a spiritual awakening?

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ShaggE

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My back has been through the wringer, threw it out twice and years of sitting way too long has made it so that standing for any length of time is mildly painful, and standing for an extended period of time (hour or more, but sometimes less) can be agonizing. Doesn't help that I'm tall, or that my feet are structured oddly which gives me an unusual gait (god, I'm going to have so many hip problems when I get old).

Like @csl316 said, I'm in my mid-30s and can't just abuse my body without a care anymore. I'm trying to get in the habit of forcing myself to exercise daily to hopefully undo some of the damage I've done. Seriously, anyone in their 20s or younger reading this: TAKE CARE OF YOUR BACK. You may feel fine now, but it's going to catch up to you way faster than you might imagine.

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Slag

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Always spend decent money on your mattress, your shoes and your most used office chair and that should all go a long way in keeping your back healthy.

Lift with your legs for anything heavy, and do core exercises of course too.

Also as gamers, take regular breaks from sitting to get and move around.

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Shindig

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Stretch. Posture counts but if you can't maintain a good one, get up and stretch out. Should take pressure off any nerves, at least.

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Bane

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I hurt my back in high school playing backyard football with my buddies. The doctor said "This injury will be with you for the rest of your life." He was right! 25 years later and it still goes out occasionally.

A cousin who used to have cronic back issues told me about Foundation Training. I feel like a shill, but in all honesty it's an amazing program. It works wonders for the both of us. They've got a YouTube channel if you're interested.

If I did the exercises every day like I should (like my cousin does) my back would probably never go out (his doesn't anymore), but I don't because I'm dumb.

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fantasticasm89

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#11  Edited By fantasticasm89

I've got some minor scoliosis. I started using an inversion table this year and it's been really effective.

The one time I blew out my back was from not getting enough sleep. I also sleep on my back with my legs elevated on two pillows.

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CurseOfTheWise

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@csl316 said:

DDP Yoga helped me a lot. I was around 28 and felt old. Grew up exercising constantly but stopped in college. I got some of those DDP DVD's and have been pain free ever since.

Nowadays I do those exercises once or twice a week, but I have a variety of other things I do on the other days, too. 20 minutes to an hour, maybe more if I go bike riding or something. Yoga stretches and core work have gone a long way, but I feel like just being active consistently is the main thing to prioritize. Especially since I'm 35 now and have to actively take care of myself.

If you're still working from home, just replace that commute time with some exercise 2 or 3 times a week. You'll naturally start doing it 4 or 5 days a week over time. And you'll be glad you did. I usually have a video or podcast playing in the background that makes the time fly by.

I fell off from DDP Yoga's regular workouts, but I remember the stretches and the resistance training and still implement them all the time.

It REALLY is a great system to try out, and his positivity is so infectious! You expect the dude to be super-aggro and "NO PAIN NO GAIN!", but he is the exact opposite, always calling out when people are modifying and taking their own bodies into account as "really GETTING how it works" instead of "doing it wrong."