There is an epidemic of back pain in our country. I meet at least one person a week that has some history of back problems. Some are serious and others are pretty minor but all can be improved if not fixed with the proper protocol.
Begining at a very young age we sit for up to eight hours a day at school or work and then sit on the couch for a few hours watching television when we get home.
It's almost impossible to sit in a stable and good position and even if you could your hip flexors would still be spending most of the day in a shortened state. Our tissues have memory and they will only work up to the point that they are regularly required to work. This means that if your hip flexors are in a shortened state the majority of your day that when you go to stand up they will prefer to be in that shortened state and be extremely tight.
Some of your hip flexors actually attach onto your spinal column. So if your hip flexors are cronically tight and shortend they will be pulling on your low back and pulling it into a poor position. So stop sitting so much and stand when you can. Limit the time your hip flexors spend in that shortened state.
The Couch Stretch
If your hip flexors are tight then just standing all day won't nessesarly fix the issue. It will play a role in preventing them getting worse but we'll need to take some action to return full range to those muscles.
The couch stretch is very effective at fixing tight hip flexors but it's not a once and done fix. If it took 35 years for them to get tight it's not going to be fixed over night. Performing the couch stretch for 2 minutes a leg every day will go a long way to helping your back pain.
When we hear about "the core" most people think about the abdominal muscles, commonly refered to as abs. While these are part of the core muscles they are not the entire core.
Our core is comprised of all the muscles in surrounding our torso in the front and the back. The majority of these muscles are are not the muscles that do the work of moving our bodies or lifting objects. These muscles are primarily stabilizers.
These core muscles keep our spine from moving while our bodies are moving or we're lifting objects. Back strain comes from a lack of stabilization during movement.
Some basic exercises to strengthen your core include:
- Plank Holds
- Hollow Holds
- Deadlifts (using just enough weight to challenge your ability to brace your spine)
Living with back pain is horrible and no one should have to do it. Through improving how you move and live everyday and adding some basic stretching and strengthening you can greatly improve your quality of life.
Now go live better.