“All human beings should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves.” – Kelly Starrett
Welcome to the 21st Century…
A challenging and ever changing culture that continually pushes us to make sacrifices in multiple facets of our life.
However, there are a few areas (nutrition and sleep) I have briefly touched on in the last two weeks that we definitely cannot sacrifice for our health and human performance.
This week, we are touching on the subject of mobility.
One of the biggest issues we have run into in our daily grind in the DFW metroplex is the amount of time we spend sitting.
We know our average commute time in our car is 1 hour round trip a day (for most of us thats 5 hours a week just getting too and from work)
We also know that the average working American sits for 8 hours a day between work and home, not to mention the generous estimate of 7 hours of sleep a night.
Pretty bleak picture when you look at it from the perspective of a field that promotes movement as a form of wellness!
However, a Chiropractor is definitely not the end all be all for getting long term relief from back pain.
In fact, prior to going and spending your hard earned cash on a Chiropractor, I would propose that you take a month and incorporate the following mobility exercises into your daily routine to see if this will actually resolve your issues.
What is it?
“The ability to move or be moved freely and easily”
In the case of a majority of you who read this blog while you are sitting at your desk, the primary issue with your low back pain is definitely not your low back.
In fact, the issue actually originates in your hips.
You see, the sitting position limits our range of motion and keeps us from having a freely movable hip joint.
The referral pattern of the lack of motion and the tightness we experience from this leads to the modern day low back issue that so many of us, myself included, suffer from.
Thus, the solutions!
The first and most important stretch I incorporate into my morning, afternoon and evening routine is the Couch Stretch.
This stretch is designed with the purpose of creating a health psoas muscle.
As you can see in the diagram to the left, the Psoas is a major mover of our hip joint.
When shortened, it can cause changes in the structural integrity of your low back resulting in the grabbing, pinching, pulling and overall dull and achy pain you experience.
This video -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IioW8A3fgW0 -> changed my life seven years ago.
I was a religious low back injury athlete from years of throwing discus and olympic weight lifting (not to mention a few concussions). I always went to the chiropractor and it would feel great for a little while, but a few months later, I would find myself in the same position.
Then I discovered Mobility work and have incorporated the first stretch in this video three times a day into my life for a total of 6 minutes a side of daily work.
And guess what, in 7 years, I haven’t had a single issue with my low back.
However, I also discovered that there were two more stretches to incorporate into my daily routine to ensure that my entire hip girdle was taken care of from a mobility perspective.
So, you have implemented the couch stretch and are still finding issues with your lumbar spine – that’s a good thing because it lets us know that while this stretch is beneficial for our psoas, it may not be the primary indicator of our issue.
Thus, a traditional yoga pose -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zT657soclws
The mobility portion to focus on starts at 2:40 in the video.
What we find is that a majority of the external rotators of your hips are incredibly tight from sitting all day long.
By implementing this stretch in conjunction with the couch series, we are attacking both internal and external rotation as well as flexion and extension to provide some room in our normal range of motion.
Much like the couch series, I do this stretch 3x a day for 2:00 a side.
Last but not least, this last pose will help us open up the internal hip capsule to ensure we attack any area that could possible be referring our low back pain.
This large group of muscles are called our Adductors and can also contribute to our overall hip capsule range of motion.
This stretch -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtC7dz6lMqE -> will help this group of muscles develop the normal mobility we need to move our hip in a full range of motion.
Like the two previous series, I recommend 3x a day for 2:00 into your daily mobility routine for low back pain.
I’ve done the stretches routinely for a month with no change in pain
This is where a health practitioner comes into play.
It could be as simple as a malposition of a vertebrae in your lower back – both a full spine chiropractor or a physical therapist can help you address this issue.
However, if you have already tried this route and are finding yourself in the same situation (much like myself a few years ago), it could mean that you have a bigger problem with the balance of your neurological system.
No worries, it just means you need a more specialized type of care to help your body heal.
There is Hope!
At Hope Chiropractic Center, we work with people just like you.
It is our goal to help you achieve optimal human performance in every facet of your life.
If you find yourself in the position of continually having to go to the chiropractor, the stretching isn’t working and you still are not finding long term resolution, that is okay!
In our world, it means you have a neurological system imbalance that is not being addressed.
Luckily, we use state of the art technology called Computerized Infrared Thermography to evaluate the exact state of your nervous system.
We are able to tell you in a matter of seconds if we can help you and provide recommendations for care that will be long lasting and efficient in helping you achieve a life free of ailments that keep you from performing at your best.
Like always, we recommend a consult to discover if you are a candidate for what we have to offer.
Believe me, if these stretches don’t help, then we are more than happy to help you navigate this process and help you get back to health!