How to Stop “Throwing Out Your Back”

What does it mean to throw out your back?

The phrase “throwing out my back” takes on different forms. Sometimes it happens immediately after a certain activity (usually this entails moving incorrectly) and sometimes it comes on gradually. In either case, what is happening in your back is almost always the same. Under certain stress the spine buckles and the surrounding muscles seize up as a protective response. This usually results in a lot of pain and restricted movement. And, unfortunately, it tends to happen again.. And again.


How to stop the cycle!

In order to stop the cycle of throwing out your back, we have to look at what causes it. As mentioned above, usually it is brought on by incorrect movements. This can include using pore posture when lifting or twisting in a way that your back doesn’t appreciate. Essentially, anything that brings your spine out of alignment creates a greater risk for you to throw out your back.


Step one of prevention is to improve mobility and motor control. The incorrect movement could stem from a restriction that you have in one of the joints of your spine or pelvis. Finding any restrictions and treating them with a variety of stretches is essential to getting your spine into a safe and pain-free alignment. Some therapeutic movements include cat-cow and Mckenzie extension.


Step two is simply to strengthen your spine by applying those proper ranges of motion that were achieved in the previous step. Basically, learn the correct ways to move and then move in that way. There are several basic movements that aid in strengthening the core/pelvis/spine. These include planks, side plank, single arm planks, and bird-dogs. All of these movements are designed to strengthen the spine and lock it in place so that you can perform movements safely and from a place of strength.


Of course, all of this is easier said than done. It is always helpful to work with a professional to get you moving in the right direction.