Statistics show that 80% of the population will have a back pain issue at some point in their life). Here are the top reasons why:

LACK OF FLEXIBILITY in the shoulders, back muscles, hips, and tops of the legs can lead to injury and chronic pain. How does this happen? Working at a computer all day, commuting to work, lifting weights all create a “locked-up” spine. A locked-up spine is at least 2-5x’s more injury prone than a loosy-goosy one. In this way, mobility and flexibility are essential for long-term spinal health.

LACK OF STRENGTH in your core leaves your spine unsupported and vulnerable. The abdominal muscles are actually spine supporting muscles, and a weak core means you’re at risk for injury. When you strengthen your core, you strengthening your spine—it’s that simple.

STRESS & TENSION in your muscles lead to dysfunctional movement patterns that cause back pain. Both physical and emotional stress often manifest as tension in your upper back, neck, and shoulders as you clench those muscles creating discomfort, pain and even injury.

LACK of MOVEMENT in our day-to-day lives means that most of us simply do not twist, shake, rotate, or backbend nearly enough (if at all). As the saying goes, “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it,” and this is why people injure their back while doing simple things like lifting a box up off the floor.

Dozens of activities can cause back pain, but the root problem is almost always the same: compression. When vertebrae are squished into one another it often irritates or pinches a nerve. You can do massage, sauna and medicate yourself all day long. If you release that compression, even just a millimeter, it can massively reduce your pain, in just seven minutes hanging upside down, do some flying press-up (awesome core and upper body workout), hang in an inverted full wheel.

Lumbar disks 4 and 5 are typical “hot spots.” Still, injury can happen, as low down as the sacroiliac joint with pain that radiates into the bum and legs; or as high up as the cervical spine. Maybe disks are just inflamed or they’re bulging, herniated, thinning, compressed, particularly as we age. We need to take action to reverse it. Any back specialist will prescribe a 3-pronged approach for long term back pain relief: traction, strength, and flexibility.

Functional strength must include pushing, holding, and pulling. Mat-based yoga offers thousands of opportunities for both pushing and holding, but without lifting heavy things (like your body weight or a dumbbell), pull-motion is missing. As a result, many yoga students have poor grip strength, weak wrists, shoulders and upper back and neck pain, most-often due to weakness not poor alignment.