6 Corrective exercises for your lower back pain
Tired of seeing stretches that promise to fix your back pain but don’t?
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.
Pandiculation; the alternate method to stretching (that actually works)
A 3-step process that reboots your brain’s control of your muscle tension.
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
Lying on your back, knees bent, hip-distance apart and parallel.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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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