Chronic pain is a traumatic ordeal no matter what its source or symptomatic profile, but chronic back pain has an all-consuming urgency that drives many of us to opt for drastic treatment without stopping for a second thought or opinion. The best time to treat chronic back pain is before it begins.
Composed of 33 individual vertebrae stacked one atop the other, the spine’s unique shape allows us to pull off our extraordinary balancing act. But muscles are also essential, not only to retain the spine’s shape but to hold it erect. Conversely, inactive, atrophied, and compensating muscles will alter the lumbar, thoracic, and cervical curves. The muscles that are intended to create and maintain those curves, including the deep paraspinal muscles directly attached to the spine and those of the pelvis and lower half of the body, can go on sabbatical if not treated properly.
These key muscles around the spine don’t all go at once. The rate of atrophy depends on the person’s lifestyle and working conditions, but gradually as the body gets less and less stimulus from the environment, the magical S-shape of your spine diminishes, taking with it the spine’s flexibility, load-bearing strength, and shock-absorbing capacity. Abandoned by the muscles and losing the integrity of its curves, the spine is at the mercy of gravity—and gravity is merciless. Confronted with an unstable spine, the body has one last-resort mechanism for utilizing what little power remains in atrophying muscles: It throws them into contraction.
The solution to back pain? Go after the muscles, not the spine. While some back pain is caused by damage to the spine or its components, most active back pain is the result of ongoing muscular action (and/or inaction). Put a stop to that dysfunctional muscular activity, and the pain will subside. We have seen it happen thousands of times in our clients.
1. Stand with your back against a wall with feet and knees hip width apart and feet pointed straight.
2. Walk your feet away from the wall while sliding your body down at the same time.
*You will be “seated” in an invisible chair, with your knees bent to 105 degrees. Your hips are just slightly higher than your knees; your ankles are slightly ahead of your knees. Your lower back should be completely flat against the wall. Your arms can hang down to your sides, or rest your hands gently on your lap.
3. Hold for 2 minutes.
Keep the weight in your heels, do not press forward on your toes.
*DO NOT DO THIS E-CISE IN SOCKS! DO THIS EXERCISE IN ATHLETIC SHOES OR ON A YOGA MAT!
A key component in walking is Quad strength. In this E-cise we are increasing the strength of this muscle group.