The more time you spend stretching the less pain you will have. Low back pain is a spine AND hip problem. So, when you have tight hips you will feel low back pain.
Your spine is attached to your pelvis. The muscles surrounding your pelvis are known as your hips which are composed of your glute muscles (minimus, medius, and maximus), groin muscles (adductor brevis, longus, magnus, pectineus and gracilis), hip flexors (iliopsoas, sartorius, and rectus femoris), and hamstrings (biceps femoris and Semimembranosus).
When these muscles get tight guess what they do? They do what muscles do: they pull on bones! So, when your hips get tight they pull on the pelvis in whichever direction/angle that you are most tight, depending on which imbalances you carry.
Without going into too much minutia about which imbalances you have I’ll just give you a very simple stretch that can undo lots of the damage that sitting does to your hips. Here it is: The Couch Stretch.
The Couch Stretch is important because the main muscle that gets tight during sitting is the hip flexor complex. Imagine if you were stuck walking at a right angle for 8 hours, that would not feel good. Essentially that’s what sitting does to your body.
By now you’ve probably spent so much time sitting that you feel like you’ll never get out of back pain. Sitting wrecks your body, especially your hips. According to PR NEWS “Americans are sitting an average of 13 hours a day." That’s quite a bit of sitting folks….holy crap….
Do this stretch to avoid furthering the pain and tightness that sitting causes on your precious body. If you only did one stretch EVER, this is that stretch. Do it every day my friend, please, for the sake of your booty.
Personally, I have experienced a DIRECT correlation between the amount of time I spend sitting and the amount of back pain I have. The more I sit (especially driving) the more I hurt.
Sitting is a FLEXED position. Your hip flexors are the main muscles being flexed. Imagine if you were to flex your biceps for 13 hours a day…whoa…that would be painful. That’s essentially what you’re doing to your hip flexors.
On top of that, you are also sitting on your ass, literally. This causes those muscles to eventually shut off, which means that your butt isn’t working properly during movements like squatting. When that happens your body compensates and uses other muscles to engage that movement pattern. Eventually, you result in dysfunctional movement patterns and ultimately = more pain.
So, what’s the SOLUTION? Avoid prolonged sitting and do the COUCH STRETCH once a day.
Sometimes you simply cannot avoid it no matter what. So, here’s a single stretch you can do that will undo the tightness, and thus the pain that sitting has bestowed upon your sexy hips. It’s called the COUCH STRETCH.
HERE’S HOW TO DO THE COUCH STRETCH:
Find a wall, couch, or any corner anywhere that you can stick your knee into.
Get down on both knees and place both knees into the crack of the wall, between the wall and the floor.
Tighten your butt (this causes your hip flexors to relax and stretch, because when one muscle tenses the opposite muscle relaxes).
Keep one knee down into that crack and bring your other knee up towards your chest. Your foot of that leg should be planted firmly on the ground.
Tighten the butt with the leg that’s being stretched (the knee that’s down in the crack), and keep your abs engaged. Make sure your knee, hip, and rib cage are in a straight line.
Breathe in through your nose and out thru your mouth, deeply and calmly.
If it’s so tight it feels like it's tearing then what you can do is tighten your butt for 2 seconds and let go for 2 seconds, while pushing your hip into the ground like a rope is pulling your hip forward.
Keep your hands on the ground. After a little bit, you can close the distance between your butt and back foot.
Little by little your hip flexor will loosen up.
Hold for 2 minutes each side (minimum)
Remember to breathe deeply and try and relax. A working muscle is not a stretching muscle. Also, keep your butt tight most of the time on the stretching leg, and keep your abs engaged so you don’t get into bad habits of overextension.
Use the photo above to reference for the stretch.
The more time you spend stretching your hips out the fewer aches and pains you’ll carry around with you as you go about your life. Do this as often as you have pain because no one likes pain! It’s stiffness in the pelvic-lumbar system that causes problems, especially in the long run. So, use this simple stretch to reduce your back pain.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE SOME TIPS ON HOW YOU CAN FIX YOUR BACK PAIN (OR PREVENT IT FROM HAPPENING) THEN REACH OUT TO ME BY CLICKING HERE TO BOOKING A FREE DISCOVERY CALL SO I CAN SHOW YOU 4 WAYS TO HEAL YOUR BACK PAIN AT THE SOURCE.