It’s reported that 80% of people will experience “a” lower back pain at least once in their lives, and this is just worsening from “decade to decade.” You might have heard it in the news, seen it on google, or maybe on TV, but for those of us who haven’t-
It’s so bad, it’s ranked the #1 leading cause for missed days at work, and the #1 reason for slouching for the last 15 years! Do you ask yourself how? maybe why?
Lower back pain is tough, primarily for two reasons.
- Understand. It’s a complex world back there, especially when it’s not the part of you body you can see.
- Treat. The reason is that there are a variety of factors to keep in mind.
Your body is to “bio mechanics(the way you muscles act with one another in movement), as what the Mona Lisa is to Leonardo DA Vinci…like a coded piece of gem.
The back is a complex system like an algorithm, interconnected with joints, muscles, tendons, facet joints, disc, fascia, and layers of tissues. And so we threw on our reverse engineer hat to move from a problem to the core…
But first, where does you pain start?
Lower back pain comes from:
- walking improperly
- poor posture
- poor pelvic alignment
- little to no spinal movement
Muscle Imbalances From Repetitive Motions
Phewww! we got past the on boarding “tutorial”. Glad that was over? Here’s a little more relief:while you’re at it.
You can fix these issues!
These muscle imbalances come from somewhere, so where? Simply, the way you position you body has a CASCADING effect on how you function.
Let me use the example for slouching.
Ex: When you slouch, you muscles will work harder to hold you up because the wrong muscles are taking the load. In you result, these two muscles work harder:
- Fascia – A tough membrane composed of 3 layers covering you muscles.
- Musculotendinous junctions – where you muscles and tendons meet.
Have a read to see how I put these two definitions into work…
Turn you attention to you upper back. What shape does it form? If you said a circle, good job!
Your shoulder blades elevate and concave in(the main reason for constant hunching).
Easy fix right?…So I’ll just stand up and It’ll get corrected!
For a couple reasons this is not the right-thinking. When you stand, you muscles can not contract because you scapula gets stuck into position causing you too stretched muscles to stay that way. Now another problem occurs…
Your lat muscles get too weak…
Leaving you fascia and musculotendinous junction to keep you up. You came here because you know I can give you more than a hand, I can give you you back.
And so In my article I will help you fix you muscle imbalances by understanding:
- Everything from acute to chronic imbalances
- How our muscles help us
- What not to do
- How to fix muscle imbalances
At any point if you want to leap ahead to the ways to fix you muscles, please do so.
Let’s get to it.
Acute And Chronic Imbalances
While acute lower back pain is short-lived, chronic lower back pain(CLBD) can persist for weeks, months and even years if not treated properly.
Chronic pain has the ability to affect you not only “socially but psychologically”. Keep Psychologically in mind, as we pursue on with you treatment.
Note: Don’t ignore these symptoms! It’s important to surround yourself with the right personnel, whether it be me, a life coach, a physical therapist, or chiropractor.
So the minority rest, will the majority think in panic…
The majority of the population truly believe either:
- there’s no hope
- go about treatment there wrong ways
I can tell you from my own expertise, most chronic pain is non-specific, meaning it’s unrelated to the spine. And even in “spinal disparity”, there’s room to relax, take a breather, and get to correcting.
Your muscles are a machine
…And in the next part, I will show you why.
How Your Muscles Help You
I stated earlier how our back is a bio mechanical machine with muscles that are attached to you joints throughout the anatomy of you back. To get the OPTIMAL help from you muscles, you need a balance of both “length and strength”. Don’t be alarmed if you haven’t achieved this, here’s a secret:
“most people are in the same shoes.”
In fact, I still struggle with this still.
What’s a humanities’ lesson have to do with you lower back? A ton!…
Over the years human species have evolved and adapted to best meet their environment. We need survival, we’re a species of evolution, and of an odd one at best.
As children, we can grow up with perfect muscle balances, and live well.
And as the years pass by, we take stress from our work, and home lives. They become more habitual and our activities become more predictable or repetitive, as it’s a better use of words. For that, we experience adaptations that cause our posture imbalances.
Aside from monkeys, we’re the only species that have evolved with all these great muscles. Unfortunately, sedimentary lives distract us from using them properly. Just think about all the great things in you life you’d be capable of doing! Achieving, succeeding. This single though inspired me to push forward with my healing process, so why not you?
Daily activities such as:
- working at a desk on the computer
- picking up you child
- lifting grocery bags
…will cause muscle imbalances.
Why People Like You And I Have Muscle Pain
Yeah, we’re going to have muscle pain at some point in our lives. But I said Lower back pain…you muscles are a part of you lower back problems.
As you muscles get all bent out of shape and out of balance, you alignment will get pulled out, in turn causing more pain, with wear and tear on you muscles, joints, ligaments and even you spine.
And get this, with a weaker “core”, you’ll develop what’s called a postural dysfunction. In this case, you pelvis gets pushed forward on either side or both, and it causes a curvature In you spine, turning normal into abnormal curvature. And this is the root of any back pain you experience –
- A herniated disc
- degenerative disc
- spinal stenosis
- Sacroiliac joint(SI joint)
- back muscles and the list goes on.
This means on one side of you body you will have short and tight muscles, and you other side will be long and weak.
Not taking the right approach to treat you imbalances can lead you into chronic pain, and thinking that you’re doing the right thing because everyone is doing it is wrong. In fact, take a look at this video that explains so:
If you don’t know a thing about Jesse Cannone, he helps people with bad backs just the way I do, except that we specialize in different areas; he does more face to face at the moment.
Nonetheless, he is right about your posture and fixing your muscle imbalances, that there are way too many people who try to go fix one region any disregard all other conditions in:
- Spinal issues
That’s why the right movements are important, and right below I’ll show you how to avoid the wrong ones.
What You Shouldn’t Do To Yourself
As I went through my physical therapy sessions 2 years ago, I picked up tips, and prevention exercises. Along my journey to get my muscles in balance I found that I had been doing the wrong exercises! What a shame! But not time wasted, time learned.
I’m more than privileged and honored to help you not do what I did. If I knew what I knew now, I’d be in better shape sooner. And with the information I have, you’ll do what I couldn’t.
Here are the exercises not to do:
1. Toe Touches
Now, I wouldn’t expect you to actually touch you toes, it’s not about touching you toes, but about you muscles and spine. Doing this exercise will:
- increases pressure on you spinal disc
- pressure, and wear on tear on you ligaments(overstretching)
- overstretched you muscles
Let’s climb up to you stomach, the impeccable abs.
You probably heard the phrase “to have a better spine and posture, you should focus on decreasing you weight”. But guess what? While that is true, it’s only partially. You can work on an routine, but fail in getting the desired results because of either:
- The wrong exercise was performed
- You didn’t do enough to maintain the pressure of you disc
So here’s where you can go wrong:
2. Sit ups
While you might think sit ups are appropriate, I’ll equip you with this as I hush…
Instead of using you lower back to lift you up, you hips take on the load. They rotate, and therefore causing you muscles to get weaker. Also, this exercise puts too much pressure on you disc. Please stay away from it. I wouldn’t want you coming back, although I can help you without a problem.
3. Leg Lifts
Here’s another core exercise, and one less to worry about.
When you lift both legs in the air, what this does is put a lot of weight on you abs, and if you muscles are already weaker than someone else’s, the pain will become greater.
Avoid these three exercises from you routine, and you’ll have a clear vision for a pain free life, most certainly I can guarantee you.
Take these prevention strategies into account:
Prevention And Redemption
What’s better than avoiding the wrong exercises? Learning how to prevent yourself from doing them, and do anything to cause an imbalance in the first place. Here is ‘s how to prevent muscle imbalances, whether you are an athlete, a less active individual, and for everyday people like you and me.
A quick note first: you have two muscles, you “antagonist, and passive muscle”. It is important both muscles work together equally, so one is not overcompensating for the other or placing added pressure. As an example let me borrow you hamstrings for a second.
Your hamstring muscle is connected to you quadriceps, and you might know what’s coming next.
Do you have equal balance between the two? If you don’t you’ve solved 1 of 2 questions. One being “I have an imbalance”
and two,”I’m going to prevent it in the future”, so hold onto this thought, because I’m about to show you how to prevent any pain.
Here’s what not to do:
If you’re lifting weights, there are more ways than one to not only cause a muscle imbalance, but injury.
Have two different sized dumbbells(or another form of weight object). Let’s make one thing clear, I don’t want you hurting yourself.
Using the “dead lift” exercise with “wait” – not a weight bar, but dumbbells, and of different sized weights. Let’s say you right side dumbbell is at 25 pounds, and you other side has a 30LB weight. Now question for you…
Which side of you body will use more effort to raise you up?
It’s in the “physics”,- a force is pushing down against gravity, which is you right dumbbell. So now, you left side is overusing you muscles to rise.
While it feels great to have a stronger side to you body, it can be a danger when pumping time at the gym comes around.
When certain muscles are stronger than the others, it will get overused, and will lead to pain on both sides, and a possible injury.
Either way you see it, there’s a recipe for disaster…
For ex: when you’re lifting a heavy box at work, you weaker muscles can get easily torn from not being ready to handle such a task.
You see what can happen, but how do you see you pain?
How To Spot A Muscle Imbalance
The best and easiest way to spot a muscle imbalance is to run an Asymmetry test. It’s an examination to see if theirs a mismatch between you right side muscles and left side muscles. All you need to do is:
- grab a measuring tape
- measure both sides 3 times
- take the average and compare
In the next section, I’ll talk to you about how to fix the ever so muscle Imbalances you’re experiencing.
How To Fix The Root Of The Cause
So now you know how to spot a muscle imbalance, but how can you fix it? This section is underwhelming easy once you get it down.
You’ve probably heard someone tell you, lets fix the symptoms, wait no you haven’t, and that in part of doctors not telling you different. This is where you spend hundreds, and if not thousands on treatments. Not what I want for you. So “hold you horses.” We want to treat the root.
When has someone ever told you they will fertilize you soil without getting to the very bottom layer of the dirt? almost never.
But let me ask you one serious question.
Are you ready to find a serious approach to you lower back pain? This can be it for you.
I promise that my proven system will do anything else but let you down. Ready to take a step forward in the right direction?
Let’s do this!
Lower back tightness? maybe it’s you hips?
The #1 reason I come across are muscle imbalances is that of the hips. And to no surprise people tell me “man I have done me so good, my spine is messed up!” Quite frankly, that response turns to fear, and hate right away. I immediately run the check up test…
- “how are you hips?”
- “do you lean forward more than you do back?”
- “Is it hard to rotate?”
- “And do you hips hurt when you stand up?”
Just these 4 questions tell me all I need to conclude, “bingo, it’s the hips!”
A small physical Examination helps me to determine that on one side of you hips, the pelvis is higher. Luckily, I can help you fix that. Do this:
1. Hip abduction exercise
How to do:
- Find a flat surface to lay you back on
- Bend you knees, keep you feet(and heels) flat on the ground, with them hip width apart
- Wrap a resistance band around you knees, enough to feel it tight
- Bend you knees outward, causing a “V” shape
- Hold it for 10 seconds(if you can)
- Repeat for 2 sets of 20 reps each
- Do 3 times a week
Doing this exercise will help with hip muscle imbalance because the muscles in you pelvis are held together so they don’t move.
Now onto you “core” muscles
- Find a flat surface
- Get on you hands and knees
- Keep you chin tucked
- Head up, in line with you body
- Your hips in neutral position
- Place you shoulders directly over you hands
- Lift you opposite leg and arm just a little, without shifting
- Now, start raising a little higher, focusing on keeping a neutral spine and not shifting
- Once you feel more comfortable raise all the way up, keeping you spine in neutral
10. Hold it for 10 seconds. It’s harder to hold it than it is to position yourself.
This will help the small muscles attached to the segments on you spine, and prevent you obliques From moving out of forward, thus preventing shearing of you disc.
Now lets moved down a ways, to you glutes. And yes, I’m talking about the gluteus medius, Maximus and minimus.
Your gluteus medius and minimum plays an important role in holding you stable, and the Maximus is like the powerhouse. Without proper correction, you pelvis will come out of alignment, and what sits on you pelvis? The sacrum – the base of you spine. And if that’s unstable you spine becomes unstable, causing you lower back pain.
There must be something to do about it. So what can you do?
My favorite thing is building a strong butt with stronger hips.
- Keep you head in line with you body
- Now, tighten up you core muscles
- Sit back as if a chair was behind you
- Keep you knees in line with you feet, and you feet In line with you knees
- Once you feel comfortable, you can put you hands up in the air
- Hold for 15 seconds – if you can
- Come back up, and repeat for 3 more times
I got some good news for you if you want more lasting relief to the point where you lower back pain will go away. This one addition made the biggest difference. And now you can do it too!
An alternative approach:
Place a resistance band between you knees. Now pull to the outside, and feel the stretch.
Some Added Tips For The Road Ahead
From me to you, I want you to be a better version of who you once were without lower back pain. With these tips, I have the confidence you’ll feel safer, and in great spirits.
As you’re going through these routines, I want you to really hone in on you breathing. Yes you breathing out of all things. It’s more important than you might predict.
As you breathe, you get oxygen into you lungs, and you release the carbon dioxide. Think of the carbon dioxide as a group of criminal invaders being released from you body, and the oxygen as the security system. Let the bad out, bring the good in. This technique will help you with so much more, and in the ladder pages within this system, you’ll learn why. You’ll want to read as much as you can.
“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.”
The Remove Back Pain System
After learning about exercises, and how to effectively use your joints, it’s time to come back to muscle balance. In order to allow you to do any activities, and go away from the lower impact activities, its imperative to condition your muscles from bottom to top. Working around your pain is key. So I want to show you all the exercises for lower back pain and sciatica before we individually target each area of your lower back.
For LBP: Continue with the Remove Back Pain System by learning about all the exercises for lower back pain here.
For Sciatica: Continue with the lower back pain and exercise article here.