Back Pain Expert Nick Clark: Apple Picking and Back Pain


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  • Nick Clark



Tara B asks “I was apple picking with my grandkids and had an increased level of lower back pain, why would this happen?”


Hey Tara,

Apple picking appears to be a benign activity at the surface but can be a lower back pain trigger. First of all apple picking usually takes place in a hilly region which means lots of up and down motion. Up and down motion requires a high amount of bending from the ankles and the hips.

The ankles and the hips tend to lose their ability to bend as we age. This leads to compensation at other joints including the lower back. This compensation comes in the form of rounding. Excessive rounding at the lower back can lead a number of issues including the dreaded bulging and/or herniated discs.

Secondly, apple picking requires repetitive overhead motion. If the mid-back (the area between the neck and the lower back) does not have the proper mobility overhead movement will lead to compensation. The lower back will compensate by overarching to reach for your favorite honey crisp apple. This can lead to issues like lower back arthritis or facet joint dysfunction.

How do you fix the problem? Make sure your feet and hips are pointed as straight ahead as possible as you move up and more importantly downhill. When you are going downhill, focus on landing softly, not allowing your feet to slap into the ground.

Lastly, when reaching overhead, attempt to make your belly tight by bracing your stomach as if someone was going to punch you. This will protect the lower back and incline you to lift through the mid-back creating less strain on the body as a whole.

For more tips and information visit our website at movementmattersny.org and download the free guide “The 3 Keys To Living Without Limitation” or call 1-845-283-0274 to schedule a FREE 60-minute consultation.

Nick Clark
214 West Street, Warwick, NY 10990
845-283-0274




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