It could be due to stress, long hours of desk work, bad fall on the slopes last winter or many winters ago. The ache may be from carrying the little ones around or raking leaves all weekend. Sailing may or may not be the cause but almost everyone at some point in their life has a good old "back ache".
There are so many ways to injure and stress the muscles of the entire back region since they are used everyday in virtually every action we do. These days the calls, emails and skypes are less associated with sailing but from those who have been putting in long hours at the desk for work and school. They are all sailors and all have achy backs and they are not currently sailing.
So when you are riding the desk more than the rail and the lower back is sending cries of help - get up. The primary cause of lower back pain from those who invest long periods of time sitting are tight hamstrings. The tightness is facilitated from the long periods of being stationary, stationary bodies do not circulate fresh blood to the deeper tissues as well as mobile ones.
Take the time to walk about the office, speak with a colleague or fellow student, trip to the water cooler, etc. and encourage blood flow to the muscles, helping them properly ease. Staying hydrated will support this action of "work-day rehab" and the looser hamstrings and glutes will pull a little less on the lower lumbar muscle attachments.
The SailTrim July 2006 Issue may be of use here!
Feeling the pain in upper back and neck?
Question: Do you look down or up at the computer screen?
If the answer is either, consider tweaking your posture to set eyes straight head, encourage a healthier alignment of the spinal column while sitting and alleviating the strain on neck, shoulders and upper back muscles.
Finally, the muscles of stressed bodies are normally contracted and tight holding in place the cellular by-products of over worked muscle cells and unless they relax, the circulatory system can not properly flush the tissue and replace it with a fresh supply of oxygenated blood, carrying away the cellular by-products.
When feeling the weight of the holiday, final exams and last quarter deadlines - stop for just a moment. Take a deep breath and slowly exhale, repeating a few times. The respiratory and circulatory systems are "business partners" and when you breath the circulatory system responds with increased flow in and out of the tissues.
The holidays can be bitter-sweet, but should be fun times spent with family and friends. To ensure the daily grind does not interfere - take a deep breath, walk about for a minute or two and think about all the sailing 2008 will hopefully bring!
Wishing all the sailors a little less stress this holiday season!