Low Back Health
How Crunches may be destroying your back
By Eric Noyes
It’s no secret that the prevalence of low back pain is incredibly high. Approximately 80-90% of the population will experience a bout of low back pain at some point in their life. As a trainer, the majority of clients I work with or have worked with are experiencing pain in their low back. Whether the pain stems from an injury such as a car accident or sport or as simply as feeling pain while sitting or tying your shoes, the high prevalence of low back pain is staggering.
Stuart McGill is a former professor of spine biomechanics at the University of Waterloo. He is considered a leading expert in spinal health research. McGill has published over 240 peer reviewed journal papers detailing his research, published 4 books pertaining to the topic of low back health and has spoken at over 600 events worldwide on the topic of low back health. Throughout his research, Dr. McGill has concluded that disc herniation is closely linked with repeated flexion and extension of the spine.
Research suggests that increasing the range of motion in the spine may actually increase the risk of future back problems. While performing exercises such as the back extension and the ab crunch, you are placing large amounts of force on the discs of the lumbar vertebrae that may lead to a disc herniation.
To learn more about low back health, please join me on Sunday November 19th at 11am as I will be diving deeper into the science and research of how commonly performed ab exercises may actually be doing more harm than good. Sign-up at the front desk today.