If you have back pain, the fear of exacerbating your pain further is real. So you stop moving. But what about all of the things you used to love to do? Even just walking, or getting into the car, or lying down for bed without pain?
I’ve been there. You have to start somewhere. Living with pain, and living unable to do the things you love is not an option.
So, here are some places to start. The key is to start re-introducing certain movements to your body, and to start reawakening parts of your body that haven’t moved for a long time. Your body is likely experiencing pain due to muscular imbalances, joint dysfunctions and an overall lack of high quality movement.
But, like I discussed in my Facebook Live video the other day, we can’t solely treat the symptom – back pain. Yes, there are issues going on in the back muscles & relevant joints, but we must address the rest of the body. Everything in our body is connected – it is referred to as the kinetic chain. In fact, we really are one muscle. So, in order to alleviate pain & rebuild strength to get you back on track, we must address the areas of the body that are typically under lots of distress.
Here are 5 exercises to start taking care of the parts of your body that are feeling quite neglected and are likely contributing to and/or exacerbating your back pain:
Pelvic Tilt – It is critical to learn to isolate this part of your body. If the pelvis is shifted out of alignment, or immobile, this causes issues with the hips, the low back, the hamstrings, and basically every part of your body. TIP: Incorporate with diaphragmatic breathing as shown in the video to really get those core muscles firing up!
Shoulder Drivers – We must also build stability & mobility in the shoulder joints. If these aren’t functioning properly, then certain muscles in your shoulders & back will try to take on work they weren’t designed for. Typically, our low back likes to take on the brunt of the work, instead of the shoulders. TIP: During this exercise, be sure to focus on driving the shoulder blade straight back, without any lifting of the shoulder or any bending at the elbow. Performing up against a wall, for sensory feedback on the shoulder blade, is also very helpful.
Tennis Ball Trigger Point Release – Most people’s hips are extremely tight from sitting at a desk, sitting on the couch, sitting in a car, etc. Using a tennis ball as a trigger point release is a great way to provide much needed “information” to the hips that they haven’t been getting due to their restricted movement. This tends to open them right up, consequently releasing the SI joint & low back.
Hip Drivers – As a consequence of our tight hip flexors, the muscles on the other side of our rear ends, our glutes, tend to “shut off”. The tight front of our hips limits proper muscle activation in the back of our hips. This one is great to work on both stretching the front of the hips and activating the back of the hips.
Child’s Pose Reach – This exercise also works on shoulder mobility but is really powerful because it locks the low back in place so there is no way you can compensate using the low back! This will completely take pressure off of the low back and restore function to the shoulder so that your body can start working optimally again! TIP: It is critical to avoid arching the low back, as explained in the video.
Try performing these exercises twice a day – morning and evening – for one week.
You should already start to feel some relief!
Please leave any comments with questions/concerns! Good luck!
To learn more about Melanie Daly and her personal training, please visit her website: http://www.backpainpersonaltrainer.com/