Lower back pain (LBP) is a significant source of disability in our nation. Over 80% of the U.S. population will suffer from at least one episode at some point in their lives. In addition, more scientific evidence is surfacing which links chronic LBP to depression, anxiety and insomnia. Steps toward preventing and and rehabilitating this condition are clearly beneficial to our health and the health of our society.

Believe it or not, exercise and lifting heavy objects are not common causes of lower back pain (LBP). Prolonged sitting, inactivity, poor posture and lack of core strength are, and the millions of Americans who sit at work are a large part of the at risk group. In fact, lower back pain and injury is the most common reason for disability in the workplace. Smart companies are realizing the value of exercise, providing fitness, stretching and myo-fascial release programs to keep their employees remain healthy and happy at work.

While exercise is the best way to prevent lower back pain, once it has become chronic it must be managed properly. Some forms of LBP may require exercises that promote stability of the spine, while some will require a mobility based program. Understanding the nature of the injury is an important part of relieving the cause and treating it. For these reasons, a consultation with your healthcare provider is a smart first step toward recovery. Once a doctor or nurse practitioner has assessed the issue, they will likely recommend rehabilitation with a Physical Therapist or Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist. This approach can help you manage pain and, depending on the severity of the issue, continue living and active life.

The “no pain-no gain” approach does not apply to back pain – pain is a clear indicator to stop the movement immediately and modify to a modality that does not cause it. The muscles surrounding the spinal column require endurance in order for us to enjoy activities of daily living like standing, walking, bending over, picking up groceries, and sitting. It is critical to promote endurance of these muscle before increasing their strength. Low impact cardiovascular exercise like walking or biking are proven to be beneficial to maintain back health and rehabilitate the back. If prolonged walking or sitting on a bike hurts, then these activities should be limited to smaller bouts throughout the day.

Remaining sedentary has been proven to exacerbate symptoms for many people who suffer from LBP. It may take months to reduce pain and increase function, but more often than not, exercise has been shown as the best way to treat it. Because of the complex structure and specific task load that the back is responsible for, patience and consistency in retraining is critical. Fear of exercise is understandable when you are suffering from chronic back pain. A qualified professional will provide a safe and effective training program so that you make efficient progress while minimizing the risk of re-injury.

Human evolution has blessed us with many wonderful ways to make life more convenient. While that is clearly a benefit to our society, it also requires us to make time to move. Prioritize your health early in life so you can enjoy the privilege of growing old gracefully, and be LPB FREE!

To your health, Coach Michelle


A healthy back makes push ups fun!

Gumsaba Fitness Class schedule Friday 7/17/15

5:30AM Sunrise Danville Womens only class – Coach Michelle – Treasure Hunt!

5:30AM Sunrise Danville Mens only class – Coach Joel – Partner HIIT Friday

6AM Sunup Moraga Womens only Class – Coach Briana – Met Con Friday

8:15AM Sunrise Moraga Womens only Class – Coach Briana – Met Con Friday

9AM Sunshine Walnut Creek Womens only class – Coach Michelle – Treasure Hunt

11:00AM Cytosport Boot Camp – Coach Michelle (private class) – Obstacle Course + Circuit

12:00PM Cytosport Boot camp Benicia – Coach Michelle (private class) Obstacle Course + Circuit