Every day I go to my office, 50% of the clients I see suffer from back pain. I had a client in so much pain that he couldn’t sit in a chair, lie down on his stomach or face down. He was on the floor on his knees with his head resting on the chair when I walked into the waiting room. In 1 week I helped reduce his pain by 50% and in 3 weeks he was back to work pain free. This man had tried everything for years. This was not a fluke, as I see it every week in my office. It’s not a miracle either, just an understanding of why our backs hurt. Somehow, the medical institution missed this in their training.
First of all, I am not a doctor nor do I intend to be one. I am a massage therapist who went beyond just giving massages. I’m fascinated with the muscles of the human body and how they play a role in how we feel. There has been a lot of attention to strength training our muscles. In every peer-reviewed journal, there are hundreds to thousands of studies on strengthening our muscles. There has been very little research into why we need to expand and what the best way is. This is mainly why we haven’t been able to discover back pain once and for all until now.
There are three areas of our body that can cause back pain. To find out which one is not difficult. If your back hurts when getting up after sitting or lying down for a while, or after standing for a period of time, or after bending over to pick up something, the cause is likely to be at the front of your body. More specifically, in the front of the thighs, if the pain is on either side of the lower back. If the pain is in the middle, it is likely that the inner thighs are causing the pain. On the other hand, if your back hurts after sitting for a while, it usually means that the hamstrings are tense.
As you can see, I didn’t say anything about the back. These three sets of muscles can actually tilt the pelvis forward or backward, putting tremendous pressure on the lower spine. This can lead to bulging discs, herniated discs or pinched nerves later on if left untreated. Let’s not wait for that to happen.
If you work out at the gym and talk to a trainer about these areas, he will show you stretches that don’t really work. The quadriceps where you stand and pull your heel to your hip is actually better suited for the knee at best. You may feel a tug on the quadriceps, but that’s only because they’re tense and any stiff bending of the knee will cause this. Crouching will do the same. Once the quadriceps are tense enough, the knee cannot bend as much. In the resource box below, I’ll add the link to some of my videos.
The second mistake in stretching your back is trying to stretch your back by leaning forward. It feels good right now, but since you’re not stretching your front thighs, it won’t last long.
Stretching the inner thigh where you sit on the floor, bringing the soles of your feet together, and pressing your knees down will also not work. If you’re already flexible, that’s great; otherwise, you might get hurt.
Touching your toes, standing up and bending forward, thinking you’re going to stretch your hamstrings or back is also a mistake. First, you have three hamstrings, so at best you’re only stretching one. Second, if the cause is at the front, it won’t help. I worked with a woman who was avid for yoga. She had back pain and went to the doctor. When she showed him that he could bend forward and place his palms on the floor, he said, “Yes, you’re flexible, that’s not the problem.” When I asked her about bending over backwards to stretch her front thighs, she said she never did it because it was too hard. I showed her how to stretch them and in 2 weeks she was pain free and is still after 5 years.
The biggest mistake people make about stretching, or teaching stretching, is not including the brain. Your brain won’t let you do something if it thinks you’re going to get hurt. If the brain doesn’t believe you can do it, you won’t. Stretching shows the brain that movement is possible. When people try to force a stretch or hold for longer than 5 seconds when they are in pain, the brain contracts the opposite muscles to stop the pain. this can cause cramps. It will take a different mindset to learn to stretch correctly.
The key is to be able to unlearn everything we’ve been taught about stretching and relearn a new way that’s much more beneficial for your body. If you can do this, you will find that the older you get, the less pain you will endure. I practically don’t feel pain every day at 60, but at 40, I was in so much pain that it led me to create this technique.