back pain

Managing Lower Back Pain

As a brand, our objective is to help people live a healthy, active and happy lifestyle that is heavily linked with being sickness and pain free. What we do in the present will ultimately impact the quality of life we have in years to come.

One area that seems to have become a lot more prominent over the past 12 months has been Lower Back Pain. At ION, we believe, this is heavily linked to the increased time being spent in a sedentary state as a result of WFH. Less daily movement – no walking to the office, no popping out at lunchtime.

Even if you are a regular gym goer, its understanding that overall daily movement is one of the single most important aspects of staying fit and healthy – far more so than going to the gym for 60 mins, a couple of times a week.

For many people, long hours are spent in a sedentary state as working environments require people to be sat behind a desk. The reality of this is that there is approx. 40% greater compressive forces going through the discs of the lower back when in a seated position in comparison to in a standing position. These forces are also increased further when seated and in a ‘slumped’ position that many of us find ourselves in. Over time this causes the discs of the lower back to become irritable and surrounding area to become inflammed leading to back pain. On top of this, being sedentary for hours on end leads to weakness of our core and tightness in muscles around our hips that cause further issues for our lower back.

Work is work and often there is very little that can be done with regards to working environments, however there are a few things to consider implementing –

  • Purposeful movement regularly during the day.
  • Consider investing in a stand up desk
  • Prioritise Specific Core & Mobility sessions

I definitely have noticed I’m having more and more conversations with our ION members that are suffering from lower back pain, at times the gym may feel it’s the catalyst for the pain but in reality it’s our lifestyles away from the gym that is the real cause.

Tracking your daily movement through a simple steps tracker is one of the most effective health and wellbeing metrics you can be aware of.

Attached are 3 short videos that we had made a while back to show some simple exercises to complete as often as possible – either from home or in the gym.

1. Bullet Proof Shoulders – Upper Cross Syndrome (sloppy shoulders)

Addresses Upper Cross Syndrome – a very common condition, due to working environments that causes internal rotation of shoulders and over time, kyphosis of our spine to develop – hunched backs and leaves people with poor shoulder mobility and back pain. Here are some simple exercises to do at the gym prior to classes.

2. Bullet Proof Hips

We address the hips and the imbalances in muscles around the hips – (hip flexors, abductors, adductors, glutes, hamstrings). Sitting down for long periods of the day, over time, will cause our hip flexors to tighten and our glutes, abductors, adductors and hamstrings to become weak. When this happens, the placement of the hip shifts forward causing an anterior tilt, this will lead to lower back pain due to the overloaded pressure on the spine. With imbalances in the muscles around the hips this can also cause knee and ankle pain that results in poor movement mechanics stemming from the issues at the hips.

I know at times mini band warm ups get tedious but carried out over and over again will help to address some of the issues above. We have a load more mini bands coming in this week if ppl wanted to buy one to use at home, these exercises are low threshold so can be done multiple times a day in between sitting down for long periods.

3. Bullet Proof Trunk

We use some of Dr Stuart McGill key core exercises. McGill is a leading specialist that has helped many elite athletes rehab back from potentially career ending lower back injuries. Developing a rock solid core (that mitigates muscle imbalances) includes far more than just ‘strong abs’, it also I includes the erector muscles of the back, the larger muscles that span across multiple joints (lats and hip flexor muscles) and it even includes your glutes. All of these muscles work together to provide stability. However, if the core fails to meet stability demands placed on the body during a certain lift or movement, parts of the spine will be overloaded with forces that increase injury risk.


At ION, we have a team of highly experienced coaches that work with individuals on a 1:1 basis. Whether that’s a focus on building general strength and conditioning or rehabilitation and pain management.

If interested – email at and we can arrange sessions for you.

We also have run a weekly 60 min ‘Movement and Mobility’ class on a Thursday evening at 6.30pm. This is avalible to members and non members. If you’re a non member and would like to attend a class that is for all levels of ability then click the link and book in.

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