Friday, September 04, 2009
If you're sitting... How's your back?
Well for all of you who sit for hours at a computer this blog is for YOU!
After being seated for a while many people encounter low back pain. Even if you are sitting with good posture, your hip flexors are in a shortened position. Try these few adjustments and they could make a big difference.
If your hip flexors are shortened from years of sitting, this be a huge part of your back pain. Why? Because your primary hip flexors (psoas & illiacus, sometimes referred to as "illiopsoas") go from your lumbar spine (T12 - L5, including the discs) to your thigh bone (the femur, the biggest bone in your body). They are naturally in a shortened position when you are seated. Are you seated now?
Try this: stand up. Now, while making sure that your pelvis is in a neutral position, use your butt muscle to extend one leg behind you. Switch. Try to get your leg to go straight back, with your hips even and squared to the front. Do not arch your back past neutral! Oh, and if you don't know what I mean be "neutral pelvis" (call soon! or) tuck your pelvis under, sort of flattening your low back, for the purpose of safety in this exercise.
Do you lock your knees?
Locking knees and slouching over work (posture issues) are often a big part of back pain. You can have the best chiropractor and personal trainer in the world, and un-do all your progress with a few bad moves or habits. Instead of locking your knees have your thigh bone directly over your shin bone using muscles to preserve the integrity of your knee joint.
Incorporate kinesthetic awareness into your life for greater ease and enjoyment! OK, so those may look like straight forward challenges for exercise to address, but what if you have peripheral neuropathy or disc issues? Can I help you then? Probably. I create the conditions for healing: restoration of proper length (and strength) of all muscles, tendons and fascia; restoration of elasticity of tissues + education for home care (perhaps a few stretches/exercises, habit/posture re-evaluation).
I do this with Active Isolated Stretching, the Mattes Method in San Francisco, CA. Please visit my website for details and special offers StretchingbytheBay.com. If you are not in the neighborhood there is probably an AIS specialist in your area (AIS therapists).
In addition to taking great satisfaction in assisting people getting out of pain (by creating the conditions for healing - length & strength), I also enjoy working with athletes. Having the range of motion and elasticity to perform the ideal movement can make all the difference! It can shave minutes off your time, or give you the ability to change direction quickly to steal or protect the ball, or simply give you the optimum swing so you can play your best game and still be happy in your body later!