Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What's the deal with... Back Pain

Let's start with a few simple questions:
  1. Where is the pain... generally? Upper back, lower back, hips.
  2. What position are you in when you feel the pain? Leaning foward, arching backward, tilt sideways?
  3. How painful is it?
Now the tough questions:
  1. Is the pain localized in one spot? Two spots?
  2. Does it happen only at certain times of the day?
  3. Is it getting worse or getting better?
Corrective Exercise Techniques can assess just how widespread your problem may be. It's important to understand that the most common source of back pain is actually muscle tightness, especially if the pain is not chronic. According to corrective exercise specialist Justin Price, MA: "A successful corrective-exercise program includes self-myofascial-release (SMR) exercises at the beginning and throughout the program as needed." Muscle tissue is all connected through fascia, a collegen-based connective tissue that holds all of the muscles together. Fascia has a tendancy to resist too much change- that is it's job after all- to hold everything together. "Sticky" fascia can reduce the range of motion in muscle and thereby create muscle pain by restricting movement. Initiating an SMR program can release "sticky" fascia and allow for greater range of movement.

SMR by itself can help to reduce the tension in the body, but should be combined with an overall static stretching regiment to maintain the muscular flexibility. An overall program would include a warm-up, followed by SMR, and then proceed to static stretching. This alone may help to aleviate back pain, but is only part of the overall solution as many factors can inhibit or even counteract the progress made through a corrective exercise program. For more information on how to properly set-up a corrective exercise program, contact me directly.