Unless you have actually had back pain you can’t even begin to know what it’s like. Totally debilitating, every move you make you are reminded of how much your lower back muscles are involved in every waking (and sleeping) move. Turning over in bed, getting up out of a chair, carrying things, lifting things, just standing up straight or sitting itself is a major task and one you are worried constantly will aggravate your lower back.
Rehabilitation to those angry back muscles takes time, diligence, and a multitude of various actions care. Having had lower back pain and severe pain at that, I am the first to attests that rest is essential but not enough, especially if you want to decrease the likely hood of it happening again.
What did you do exactly? I can’t be one to say, but most likely the blame you give is more than likely not the only straw in the bushel, but simply the one that broke the camels back.
When combining very gentle movements with massage therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, gentle walking, and proper nutrition (because that is what is fueling your recovery) and weight consideration, the likelihood of you gaining a full recovery is very high. Unfortunately for many they rush rehabilitation or only do the bare minimum and expect miracles.
If you are currently nursing your lower back I want to encourage you to keep up with your recovery from every angle and be willing to go the extra mile, if that means weekly massage appointments, lots of water and good nutrition. Calling up your chiropractor or incorporating the following suggested movements into your day-several times a day to increase the likelihood of a speedy and healthy recovery, I urge you to go the distance, because this is your body and life’s vehicle we are talking about here!
5 of my TOP move for back care!
1. Brace Your Core! Knowing your core is vital in maintaining back support and reducing back pain, yet few really truly understand where their core is, how to access it and how to safely use it. When you are in pain the last thing you want to do is hurt yourself again, so starting small is essential, but that doesn’t mean it’s not powerful. Bracing is a position or movement that teaches us how to co-contract our core (contract our entire core muscles simultaneously), that does not require us to suck in our push out. Bracing give us the strength, and feeling for what it is like to use our core in everyday life, exactly what we need to do in the future to not end up here again. (video clip: https://youtu.be/iutINM8uAqs )
2. Get tilting with pelvic tilts. Let me start out by emphasizing gentle movement as you start your journey back to normal function and movement. That feeling of your lower back being locked up is nothing short of depressing, but if you are patient and start small your back is sure to be better than before if you keep up with your back therapy. Pelvic tilting is not a forced movement but one of grace and core leadership. Understanding your bathroom muscles is the first step to a proper pelvic tilt as the core leads this movement. As you begin your recovery pelvic tiling can help you keep everything mobile and willing, practicing lying down, seated, standing and while you’re at it use this movement to prepare for larger ones that require more muscle or strength. Moves like getting up out of the care, rolling out of bed or as a beginning point prior to your exercise routine or used as your night cap to help sleep more soundly.
3. Roll it out. Using a (soft) foam roller allows us to access various levels of tissues in our bodies. Imagine you are wearing a unitard and that unitard is stuck somewhere on your body, that sticky part creates a pull that will affect everything else. Foam rolling allows us to release the snag and move the tissues (fascia, muscle, connective tissue) around in a way that will make it more pliable for movement and more user-friendly for stretching, like the described here.
4. Roll out your feet. If everything is connected then the health of your feet are surely connected to that pesky back pain (and they are). Walking around in casts (aka shoes) all day is bound to eventually wreck havoc on the rest of your body above, combat that pain by rolling out your feet. Using an acuball (if all you have otherwise is a tennis ball or golf ball then use that, but sports balls are meant for sports not our tissues) is a great way to relieve tension, tightness not only in our feet but in our legs and lower back. With 72,000 nerve endings on the feet we are bound to strike one that hits a nerve (pun intended).
5. Psoas stretch. Addressing your hip flexors is vital to getting to the bottom of lower back pain. When our front butt is tight it can enable our back body to go haywire. Unlocking your hip flexors and psoas will not only help you feel relief in the lower back (and hip flexors) but also releasing your psoas– due to the nature of our psoas attaching into the diaphragm and ribs, is linked to better breathing as well. (video clip: https://youtu.be/NyPOf6cYBeQ )
Back pain is a plague that due to our choice lifestyles-either aggressively active or incredibly immobile, or both with no bridge to fill the gap between the two, leave many of us pained, suffering and restricted. So let today be the beginning of you treating your body as a temple, honor it, respect and remember, replacement parts are never as good as the originals.