What Are My Options?
It’s likely that you or someone you know has low back pain; about 80% of individuals will experience low back pain at some point in their life. You may think that your only options to get relief from low back pain are drugs or surgery, but many other safe treatments are available that focus on teaching correct movement patterns and strengthening weak muscles. When your muscles are strong enough to support aligned posture and movement, there is less pressure on discs and nerves.
Mindful Movement Makes the Difference
Learning how to reconnect your brain with your muscles can make your movement patterns conscious, and allow you to change them to become more efficient and pain-free. The most effective movements are small, slow, isolated, and mindful. This reduces the likelihood of hurting yourself more and increases your ability to learn the movements properly. In addition, conscious movement encourages the development of a positive relationship with your body. At the same time, you can incorporate healthy ways to reduce stress and anxiety. Fear of hurting yourself more limits your movement, which has a cascading negative effect on both your pain and your outlook.
As your muscular control grows with small movements, you’ll be able to add larger, more complex movements for increased endurance and flexibility. Walking, bending forward, lifting, and twisting are all daily movements that you can safely relearn. Developing your proprioception—your sense of your body in space—will increase your balance and your confidence in your ability to keep yourself pain-free as you return to the activities you enjoy.
Untuck Your Tail
A common cause of low back pain is tucking the tailbone to flatten the low back. You may do this to avoid the appearance of a large rear end. Or you may spend many hours a day sitting in positions that result in slouching and rounding. Much of our furniture is designed to cradle our low back instead of supporting a natural curve.
Yoga International explains how this affects your low back:
A diminished lumbar curve may lead to disc problems in the lower back, sciatic pain, and even shoulders that are too far forward. It also has dire consequences for the lower organs, which need space to move.
One way to discover whether you tuck your tailbone or not is to review the arch and flatten movement video on my home page. Does creating even a small arch feel exaggerated or unsafe to you? Does flattening your low back feel the most comfortable or familiar? Other signs that you flatten your low back may include digestion problems, hyperextended knees, and clenching your buttocks when you stand.
Here’s another way to experience an untucked tailbone. Stand up and hinge forward from your hip crease just enough to look down at your ankles. Make sure you are not gripping your buttocks. If your buttocks are soft and your hips are over your heels, your tailbone should feel as if it is lifting up a little. Bring your hands to your buttocks and slowly bring your upper body upright. Make sure your hips stay back over your heels and your buttocks stay soft. Do not push your hips forward. Let the movement come from your legs, not your low back. Your tailbone should still be lifted without causing any tension in your low back or tightening along the buttock crack.
It’s important to maintain some arch in your low back. My unique approach teaches you how to safely untuck your tailbone without creating tension in your low back. You can get out of low back pain–with a lot of additional benefits for your body along the way. Read what others have said about me and then contact me today to start your journey out of pain!