How we can relieve back pain by releasing the muscles in the posterior chain!
DISCLAIMER, see a physician about any long term injuries you may be dealing with before trying these mobility drills.
Posterior chain is a douchebag way of saying “back of the body”. In this instance, we are directly referring to the back of the lower body. The glutes, the hamstrings, the calves, and achilles.
When we think back pain or any muscular pain, or immediate thought is to stretch, foam roll, or “fix” that part.
When in reality, the problem normally lies beneath it. As long as there has not been an impact injury like a car accident, awful fall or broken bones, normally most muscular and joint pain can be significantly reduced with dedication to proper stretching and mobility work.
What I mean by “lies beneath” is not a reference to a horror movie starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfieffer from 2000. What I mean, literally, is most problems in a human body come from the bottom up.
The examples I am about to list off are where the COMMON causes of pain begin. It is not always true, but often can be.
- Neck pain normally comes from tight traps from sitting hunched over at a desk.
- Shoulder pain normally originates in the lats… also from sitting hunched over at a desk.
- Low back pain normally originates in the glutes and hamstrings… also from sitting hunched over at a desk.
- Why do we sit at desks?
There’s a running joke that I am never in my office. I am pretty sure my calendar is still on March. I hate being in an office. After like 10 minutes of sitting my back is hurting, my neck is tightening, my hips start to cramp and don’t even get me started on road trips. I will pull over at a gas station just to stretch and look like a freak doing it. I do not give a damn!
Unfortunately, in the “I WANT THIS NOW” generation, we are not willing to wait a few weeks, months or possibly years for our bodies to naturally heal with properly taking care of it. We would rather a doctor cut us open and put some metal in there, risk infection and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Seriously, that is what most people would rather do.
WT the actual F.
BUT, what I can do and what I will show in this article is a few tips and tricks that, when done on a regular basis, can help reduce that back pain.
First off, there are thousands of ways to relive all sorts of pain, but in this article, I will show you 3 tips that really helped me to relieve a lot of pain caused by 2 herniated discs and to help limit the amount of information so nobody is overwhelmed and easily readable and can be practiced regularly.
- Roll your Booty!!
- Grab a foam roller.
- Sit on it.
- Cross 1 leg over in a figure 4 position.
- Put all pressure on the butt cheek of the leg that is crossed.
- Roll up and down until you find “hot spots”
- No need to define a hot spot, you will know what I mean when you hit it.
- When you hit it, stay on it until the pressure dissipates and is no longer as painful.
- Repeat on other cheek.
- Fly like a Pigeon! (Stolen straight from yoga)
- The Pigeon stretch is one of the best stretches ever.
- Start on one knee.
- Take the knee that is up and turn it to the ground so that the outside of the calf and ankle are on the ground or as close to it as possible.
- Take the leg that is behind you and slide your foot back as far as your body will allow it to go.
- The further away you can get your foot from your crotch, the better. But that may not be available if your hips and glutes are too tight.
- Hold for 1-2 minutes. Repeat on the other side.
- You should feel discomfort, but never pain. If you feel pain, discontinue the stretch immediately.
- ** The Picture on the bottom shows various modifications if you have severe knee pain in this position. The heel closer to your crotch focuses more inward, whereas moving the heel up higher enters the glute more, but also puts extra stress on the knee. The 3rd picture shows the pigeon stretch with a bolster underneath the knee for added support.
- Honey Baked Hamstrings!
- For this mobility drill, you will need a squat rack or something similar.
- Set a barbell on the rack at about hip height.
- Straddle the bar (that sounded awful) and place the back of your leg over the barbell.
- Put as much pressure as you can bare on the bar and and slowly bend at the knee over and over for 30-40 seconds or until you feel the pressure dissipate.
- Repeat up and down the leg on hot spots and on the other leg.
- Cuss under your breath because you are going to want to.
- But keep the cussing to a minimum, do not be a bad influence.
- Again, discomfort. NOT PAIN! Stop if it is legitimately hurting you.
There is 3 tips to get you started on reducing some low back pain as well as hopefully making those other monster muscles in your body a little more mobile.
Nothing in fitness is one and done so this is something you should be trying to do 2-3x per week to really see any benefits from whatsoever.
Hopefully you will follow at least one of these tips and see some real benefits from them and want to do more.
When you want to do more, you will see more results, I promise.
Stay tuned for the next blog!