Sitting too much, gaining excess weight in the midsection, and using incorrect form when exercising are just a few causes of conditions leading to back and neck pain.
With the SonoSpine/Crosswhite BSL (Back to Sport and Life) program, our first assessment is to figure out the root cause of the compression and begin the road back to the active lifestyle in a steady and progressive manner.
The top five issues I see most often are:
1. Sitting far too much. (One study defined sedentary behavior as sitting 12 hours in an average 16-hour waking day.)
2. Weak gluteal and piriformis muscles.
3. Inconsistent workout routines or complete lack thereof.
4. Formation of lordosis (sometimes known as swayback) due to excess body fat in midsection.
5. Weak paraspinal/core muscles.
All of the above points can be related or be the culprit for another. For example, if you sit too much, then indirectly that will cause a weak or underdeveloped core and/or gluteals. Moderation and balance is always the answer when it comes to a healthy back.
When I first see clients for our SonoSpine/Crosswhite BSL program, I establish which tier program they belong in.
This assessment is generated by a number of facets — including pain levels as well as where the pain is being produced, activity habits before injury or surgery, and core strength — using my ICE (Isometric, Concentric, Eccentric) test. This allows me to establish which band resistances I will be using along with repetition quantities. As our initial goal is to provide muscular spinal support, we ultimately strive to create a lifestyle change involving full body kinesthetics.
My Crosswhite Fitness team first started out taking on mainly weight-loss clients with health issues all across the board. We were motivated by the results of seeing immediate change and helping the quality of life for every client. As I began to see more and more back and neck issues due to lack of healthy lifestyle, I realized there was a calling that has not yet been met. The satisfaction of helping rid the pain of walking or even sleeping at night was unparalleled.
Although helping someone lose 200 pounds and helping someone become pain-free in their back or neck are vastly different, the gratification of helping with those goals remains the same.
• Benjamin Crosswhite is the owner of Crosswhite Fitness/Crosswhite Athletic Club in Lynchburg, Virginia. For more information, please visit www.crosswhitefitness.com.
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