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Relax & Release Lower Back Pain Sequence

Uncategorized Oct 21, 2020

6 Corrective exercises for your lower back pain

Tired of seeing stretches that promise to fix your back pain but don’t?

Here’s why;

Your brain controls your muscles and movement. Muscles have no control of their own, they respond to what you’re brain tells them to do.

If you sit slumped over your laptop, day in day out, your brain adapts to this posture and teaches your muscles to stay tight in response to this posture habit.

In other words, our muscles habituate to whatever it is we do repeatedly. Therefore, if you suffer from muscular tension then its time to bring your brain to the conversation.

Here’s how.

Pandiculation; the alternate method to stretching (that actually works)

A 3-step process that reboots your brain’s control of your muscle tension.

  1. A voluntary contraction into the tension of your muscles (only to the point that you notice your muscles tensing)
  2. Follow by a slow, controlled lengthening
  3. And a complete relaxation. This gives your brain time to integrate the new feedback you just gave it.

This action is like the type of full-body yawn on a Saturday morning when you realise that you don’t have to go to work, check it out!!!!

 Why stretching doesn’t work to eliminate muscular pain

Remember muscles only learn through movement. Therefore new information must be sent to the brain to get the muscles to relax. Static stretching is passive rather than active and it can evoke a protective reflex in the muscles that actually contracts back against the stretch. This reflex aptly named the "stretch reflex,” protects your muscles from overstretching. It is the fastest reflex in the body and has no feedback loop to the brain. When you pandiculate, however, the action is voluntary and information goes straight to your brain: you contract the muscle, then slowly lengthen it and completely let go. This requires focus and awareness.

 How to use pandiculation to release lower back pain

Remember this is a 3-step process

First contracting the muscles that are tight.

Then slowly lengthening them.

Then completely relax.

Note; the difference in sensation and control of your muscles

 How to get the best from these movements

  •  Move slowly with the least effort.
  • Move within a comfortable range of motion, these should not cause you pain.
  • Move with an awareness of what is happening as you move.
  • Relax between each set of movements.

 Movement Section

  1. Arch and Flatten

Position:

Lying on your back, knees bent, hip-distance apart and parallel.

Movement:

Inhale into a relax belly and roll the pelvis forwards, pressing your tailbone into the ground so the lower back arches away from the ground.

Feel how this makes your lower back muscles work.

Exhale and gently contract your stomach muscles and float your back into the ground.

Do not force or push them back down, allow the muscles to soften and lengthen.

Completely relax everything before you continue.

Notice; feel the difference between your back muscles working when they arch and release as you flatten.

Repeat 10 times.

 

  1. Arch & Flatten with bent Knee: Releasing your lower Back Muscles

 Position:

Lie on the back with the knees bent.

Pick up the knee and interlace your fingers around the kneecap.

If that pulls your shoulders too far forward, hold behind the knee.

Keep the upper body relaxed as you do these movements.

Movement:

Inhale and arch the back letting the knee move away from the chest.

Press the knee forward into the hands and create a slight resistance with the hands, at the end of the arch.

This will pandiculate your lower back muscles (make them tighter than they already are).

Exhale and flatten the back, gently engage your core and bring the knee into the chest

Feel how this helps to consciously lengthen the back muscles

This movement is created by relaxing the back into the ground to let the knee come into the chest.

Make sure you relax the front of your hip. 

Repeat 5 times on each side

Take time to sense the difference between one side of the back before you do the other side.

 

  1. Back Lifts: targeting all back muscles 

Position:

  • Lie facing down, bring your hands forwards and rest your forehead on your hands
  • Tuck your chin towards your chest to lengthen the back of your neck.
  • Allow both shoulders to relax forwards, move your elbows as far forwards as you need to in order to find the best position for you.

Movement A

  • Inhale into a relaxed belly and slowly lift your head keeping your gaze low on the floor.
  • As you lift your head up, sense how the muscles either side of your spine contract from the base of your skull to your tailbone.
  • Slow lower down and sense your back muscles relaxing and lengthening
  • Exhale and completely let go of any remaining tension
  • Only lift up a few inches at first to get used to consciously tightening and relaxing these muscles.
  • Repeat all movements 3 times

Movement B

  • Inhale, lift up your right leg a few inches and feel how this contracts all the muscles of your back, buttocks, and hamstrings.
  • Exhale completely relax as you lower down and release all the muscles of your legs.
  • You will also notice your left shoulder tightening on the diagonal, make sure to release it fully as the leg comes back down.
  • Notice the same thing happening as you do the rest of these.

 

Movement C

  • Inhale and lift up the left leg a few inches exhale lower down and completely relax.
  • Notice how the right shoulder, tenses also.

 Movement D

  • Inhale and lift the right leg and head simultaneously.
  • Sense how this contracts the muscles of the neck and upper back and lower back and leg muscles.

 

Movement E

  • Inhale lift the left leg and head simultaneously, lowering down as you exhale and then completely relax.

 Movement F

  • Inhale and left both legs only as far as comfortable and lift the head. Sense how this contracts all of the back muscles, buttocks all of the leg muscles. Exhale slowly lowered down sensing how the muscles lengthen, completely relax.

 

 Neck Stretch:

Place the hands on top on each other to make a pillow. Place the centre of the forehead on the hands. Slightly tuck your chin towards your chest.

Feel how this stretches the back of the neck.

 

4. Arch and Curl: Controlling the abdominal muscles

 Position:

Lie on the back with the knees bent and your hands clasped around the back of your head at the roundest part.

Allow your elbows to relax out to the sides.

 Movement:

  • Exhale flatten your lower back and waist into the ground
  • Draw your elbows towards each other
  • Tuck your chin into your chest as you pick your head up with your hands. Your head should be heavy in your hands, keep checking this to allow the back of your neck to lengthen away from the base of the skull
  • As you curl forwards notice your back lengthening and your front shortening
  • Inhale and slowly roll down, lengthening through the front of your body with your back flat to the floor.
  • Allow your head to relax onto the ground
  • Completely relax your elbows onto the ground
  • Inhale deeply into your belly and then fully relax.

As you curl forward, try to resist pushing into the movement but rather allow the movement to be smooth.

Repeat 5 times

For a full understanding of how muscular tension and knots lead to poor posture, chronic pain and even emotional stress, check out "Stuck Stress Solutions", my introductory course to somatic movement.

In this, we cover my most effective techniques to identify the real causes of your stress and pain, and how to quickly release that tension in just 10 minutes a day. 

Check out Stuck Stress Solutions here.

 

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