Back pain? Try these exercises!

How-to-Alleviate-Back-Pain-Picture

Office worker? Driver? Construction worker? The chances are no matter what your occupation you will have experienced some form of back pain in your life. On average 80% of adults have suffered from lower back pain at some point in their life, a pretty staggering statistic! Back pain also contributes to more missed days at work than any other illness/injury. Americans spend approximately $50 BILLION dollars a year alone on just back pain!! So today I’m going to touch on a couple of exercises targeting the Hips, Glutes  and Lower back. Which anyone can do at home to try and hopefully bring you  some relief from that pain.

TIP- Make sure you warm the muscles up prior to stretching

Childs pose

Balasana-Child’s-Pose

Child’s pose is a classic yoga rest pose that stretches your upper, middle and lower back, as well as your glutes, which are all part of your hip complex.

  1. Kneel on the floor with both big toes touching and your knees separated about hip-width apart.
  2. Place the glutes onto your heels and lean forward, resting your chest on top of your thighs.
  3. Place your forehead on the floor. Relax your arms alongside your body. Slowly walk the hands forward until they are straight, trying to avoid the shoulders from touching your ears! Hold the stretch for around 30 seconds, repeat as many times as you see fit!

Hip flexor stretch

Hip-Flexor-stretch

A lot of back problems are down to the shortening of the hip flexors from sitting down for long periods of time and so on.This is a great stretch to try and get some release through that area.

  1. Starting in a kneeling position, place one leg up and in front of the other one. Keep the foot flat on the floor, on the leg you have just lifted up
  2. Try your best to keep the knee at a 90 degrees angle. Also ensure you keep the back knee in contact with the ground.
  3. Once in this position lean forward slightly until you feel the stretch through your hips, hold this for about 10-12 seconds and repeat. 

Piriformis stretch

The piriformis muscle is located deep in the area of the glutes. Stretching the piriformis often can lead to instant pain relief if performed correctly!

piriformis .jpg

  1. Start by lying on your back with both feet flat on the floor and knees bent, this can also be performed with legs straightened out.
  2. Pull the right knee up towards the chest
  3. Grab the right knee with your left hand and pull towards the left shoulder until you feel the stretch.
  4. Hold the stretch and then perform on the opposite side

 Cow cat back stretch

Yoga-Poses-Cat-cow-Back-Stretch-Pose.jpg
LEFT: Cow pose RIGHT: Cat pose 

A great stretch to help improve flexibility, posture and stimulating those abs!

  1. Start on all fours, placing the hands directly under the shoulders and the knees directly under the hips, Point the fingertips to the top of the mat.
  2. Have the spine, neck and head in a neutral positon (flat)
  3. Move into the cow pose, inhale as you drop your stomach towards the mat. Lift the chin and chest up and look towards the ceiling. Draw the shoulders away from the ears
  4. As you exhale move slowly up into the cat pose, pull your belly towards your spine so you are engaging your core and round the back towards the ceiling so it resembles a cat stretching
  5. Repeat 10-20 times

So INHALE for cow pose and EXHALE for cat pose.

Other things to consider to prevent back pain-

  • Try and limit the amount of time sat down
  • MUMS: Don’t always carry your children on one side
  • Bending down and picking stuff up properly, bending the knees to lift!
  • Work on your posture  (Sitting and standing)
  • Get a standing desk
  • Take breaks if you drive for long distances
  • Correct form when lifting weights
  • Strengthening your core
  • Activation of the Glutes/nerves

Treatments-

  • GP/Doctor
  • Physiotherapist
  • Chiropractor
  • Massage therapist
  • Yoga
  • Pilates

I have really tried to simplify and pick out some exercises which anyone can do at home no matter what your age or ability. This is really the tip of the iceberg when it comes to back pain, you could go on forever and in so much depth!

Once again thank you for reading! let me know if this was of any help to you. Any comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.

Matt

 

Advertisements

Top tips on working in Australia for backpackers!

Thinking of moving to Australia to work? Here are a few quick tips for you guys travelling out there. After all who wants headaches when you have just moved to a new country?! I hope you find these tips easy to follow and they were helpful too you!

IMG_0215

1.Visa- 417 working holiday visa

I think it’s clearly obvious that you can’t just move to another country to work without obtaining a visa. In Australia you will need a ‘working holiday visa’ in order to be able to work! The work visas in Australia allow you to work for one employer for a maximum of 6 months, then you must move along and find another job! As the main purpose of your visit is a ” working holiday” meaning it’s pleasure first,work second!! To obtain a second year visa you must complete 88 days regional work which varies from working on grape vineyards to helping farmers with their cattle! The maximum stay on a WHV is 2 years from the date you land.  To apply for a visa you can go on the aus.gov website. Agencies and travel agents tend to charge much more!

2.Australian mobile number

Having and Aussie number is essential when applying for jobs so employers/recruiting agencies can contact you easily,Using an English phone number can be pretty pricey as you would imagine! My advice would be to take an unlocked phone then look for the best prices on what the Australians call a “pre-paid” sim-card, this is a pay as you use sim card which you choose how much if any amount of money/credit you’d like to put on every month. The major providers are Vodafone,Optus and Telstra, All doing reasonable priced plans, some even include free international calls.

Capture.PNG

3.Tax file number (TFN)

So you are probably thinking what is a Tax File number? An Australian tax file number is a unique number issued by the ATO (Australian tax office), very similar to a National Insurance number in the UK. Getting a TFN straight away is pretty important, if you fail to do so you will risk getting  taxed at a much higher rate when you do start working. Applying for your TFN is pretty straight forward and can take up to 28 days to be delivered. Head over to the ATO website or alternatively head into an Australia Post building when you arrive where you can apply for one.

https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Tax-file-number/Apply-for-a-TFN/

4.CV/Resume

Having a current and up to date resume is vitally important when applying for jobs, so before heading over make sure you have tied up all the loose ends on there! From a personal experience I found the best job site to use whilst in Australia was 100% Seek.com.au. You will recieve plenty of calls from keen recruitment agents trying to get you into work! The main hotspots for work are Sydney and Melbourne so finding a job shouldn’t be an issue,so don’t worry!

whitsundays

So there are some handy tips for working in Australia- I hope these were helpful and the best of luck to anyone who is making the trip over to this amazing country, Make the most of it and stay safe! Any comments or feedback is appreciated.