By: Erin E. Ducat DC, CSCS, CCSP
I’ve been reading a book about low back pain (yes, my life really is that exciting), and I came across the term “creep,” which isn’t just the guy down the street who is a bit weird, but a technical term for what happens to your discs and connective tissues when you spend too much time in the same position.
Basically, creep is plastic deformity of those tissues. They change shape as we sit leaning forward and it takes time to get back into a more neutral shape. For this reason, it can be especially hard on the discs of the low back to hit the gym or track after a long day in the chair.
The answer is to spend a little more time warming up, and to avoid any heavy lumbar flexion (bending forward through the low back) while the warm up is happening. In truth, avoiding heavy lumbar flexion is probably a smart thing to do for most of us most of the time. One of the most common descriptions I hear about how a patient’s back pain got started was “bending over to pick up a pencil.”
All of this to say–it’s good for your back if you’re a bit fidgety. Those who get up and move around the most have the best chances of avoiding back pain. So go chat by the water cooler for a minute. You’re back is going to thank you for it!
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