Lately I’ve had a number of clients that are benefiting from focusing on relaxation. With chronic or longer term back pain, it is common to overuse abdominal and postural muscles. Research shows, a person with a longer history of pain is more likely to carry themselves with a higher level of muscle activity/tension. This could be an important reason why for many people in these types of scenarios working out or exercising can exacerbate their symptoms. However, with certain strategies and constraints, movement can actually be utilized to help decrease this baseline tension.
In this video I demonstrate examples of some low effort movements that can be used to help reduce back muscle tension.Notice the speed of movement, and bias towards rotation or unilateral movements. It tends to be much more difficult to heavily brace (even unconsciously) in these positions.
Some other key components include finding a position of comfort, a focus on your breathing (I often encourage my clients to link the motion to their breath), and move in comfortable ranges of motion. The range of motion is different for every individual, and may change for you on a day to day basis. Be kind to yourself, and have the intension of observing what your body does rather than pushing through barriers.
If something feels bad, move on.
If something feels good, spend more time on it.
You’re in control.
Feel free to try your own positions, movements, and combinations.
Explore and enjoy.