Nine out of ten people will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. In fact, it’s the second most common reason for checking in at the doctor’s office in the US.
While this condition may be indicative of more serious health issues (i.e. auto-immune disorders, infections, cancer), those cases are few and far between.
Chronic back pain, more than anything, is the physical manifestation of bad habits. Being overweight, sedentary, and lacking core strength are largely responsible for this modern menace.
What Causes Back Pain?
Most individuals suffering from a back condition pop painkillers like Tic Tacs and spend a fortune on therapy. But all this does is mask the symptoms without addressing the root cause. As soon as you miss an appointment or ditch the pills, the pain takes over again.
The pain is there for a reason, however. And pills don’t address that reason.
If you want to get rid of back pain, you need to build up the muscles supporting and protecting the spine, and reduce the things that agitate your back, like poor posture and sitting. Get to the root of the issue and quit wasting time and money on band-aid solutions.
I do most of my work sitting and noticed my lower back getting increasingly tighter the busier I was. Long drives (4h+) would also cause discomfort (a sharp stinging pain), but after using the exercises detailed below I had zero instances of pain in my lower back. I put it to the test again a few weeks ago driving non-stop for 6 hours. When I got out of the car my back felt as good as ever. I knew I was onto something big.
Before you go on, know that I’m not a doctor. Never attempt a new exercise or nutrition regimen without consulting your health care provider first. With that out of the way, let’s get to the meat and bones of this article.
Building an Iron Corset
The following routine was designed to build the muscles supporting the spine and to shield you from future assaults. I found this gem in the book Convict Conditioning 2 (must read). The Trifecta, as the author calls it, is a combination of three isometric stretches/ holds that will turn the muscles of your core into an iron corset.
Check out this demonstration by Aleks Salkin:
The Trifecta consists of the following static holds:
- Full Back Bridge
- Twist Hold
Start with easier variations and work your way up to the full back bridge, twist hold and, L-sit (V-sit if you’re a badass).
Never take these exercises to failure. You don’t want to fatigue your muscles, you want to “wake them up” and have them ready to fire for the rest of the day. Think of the Trifecta as a back treatment, not a workout.
For best results, you’ll be doing the Trifecta multiple times per day, 2-3 minutes at a time. Once you’re able to hold the back bridge and the L-sit for 10 seconds each, you can scale it back to a couple times per week.
A pleasant side-effect of incorporating these exercises into your daily routine is a chiseled set of abs.
Why is it so effective?
Because it addresses the root cause of back pain (lack of core strength) instead of masking the symptoms. This is your first line of defense. You won’t find a more effective protocol to strengthen your core and bulletproof your lower back.
How to Get Rid of Chronic Back Pain:
- Lose the excess weight
- Perform the Trifecta daily
- Stay in motion
Give this routine a shot. Your back will thank you.
Thank you for reading
Frymoyer JD. Back pain and sciatica. N Engl J Med. 1988;318:291–300.
Han TS, Schouten JS, Lean ME, Seidell JC. The prevalence of low back pain and associations with body fatness, fat distribution and height. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1997;21:600–7.