I see a client almost everyday with back pain. We have been very successful correcting acute or chronic back pain in all of our clients. I will share with you several solutions which we used to remove clients from years of back pain. Even though you have back pain the problem which is causing the back pain is in another part of your body.
1. The most common problem we see with back pain is tight hamstrings. Tight hamstrings decreases the amount of forward hip flexion at the hip joint. This increases more movement in the lumbar spine and overtime the muscles of the lumbar area(low back) become tight from overuse. The muscles will also develop scar tissue, and weaken leaving the muscles shorten. The tight hamstrings are mainly caused by sitting for prolong periods, or inactivity. Some of us are born with tight hamstrings and over time this creates the same problem. What also causes tight hamstrings is tight hip flexors and a weak core. What we see from this problem is low back pain and hamstring pulls combined together.
Most of the time when the hamstrings are tight the glutes are weak because the hip can not reach full hip extension. The shorten hamstrings inhibit the glutes from having a full hip extension therefore reducing the glute strength. What happens is we become knee extension dominant and our quadriceps become over developed. We then have the appearance of big quads with a small butt or just tight quads and a weak butt. Overtime the large quads tighten the front hip flexors and weaken your core by causing to much anterior pelvic tilt. We are caught in a loop at this time, where you have two causes of back pain present in your body. This is called a muscle imbalance in flexibility and strength.
Here is another cause of back pain. A weak core. This is a little tricky because when the core is weak it could be the initial cause or the result of tight hip flexors which also is caused by sitting to much or being inactive. I will say if the core is strong it should support the body after hours of sitting. But, I also will say what we find is people with weak cores most of the time. The solution is simple if you only think about the core. Strengthen the core. However, you still have to check and correct the hamstrings as you strengthen your core. This is a little challenging but if you think and assess yourself or client properly you solve the pain issue.
How do you get out of this predicament? I will keep this answer simple because there are many options you can follow. We have to first assess the movement patterns to see which muscle is the original cause of this imbalance. Most of the time its the hamstring shortening from sitting for prolong periods or working out with bad technique(incorrect form).
The simple solution to start a program to lengthen the hamstring. Here is a very simple one we use which is highly effective.
Before you start the program check to see how close a person can come to touching their toes after you complete the program check it again to see the improvement.
**This is a hamstring program with no hip flexor or quad tightness.
1. Foam roll hamstrings
2. Active stretch hamstrings. Sit on a bench with the lower leg hanging off at the knee. Extend the knee as far as it will go 20 times. Make sure the back stays very straight. No rounding in the mid to low back.
3. Strengthen quad with single leg knee extensions on a machine or ankle weights.
(Recheck the length of the hamstring by having them try and touch their toes.)
4. Do a step up on a bench 3 to 6 inches off floor. 10 - 20 times each side
Check out some of other pain fix programs in the future or just email us if you have questions.
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