Lower Back Pain

Categories: Blog Apr 05, 2021

Lower back pain sucks. Ok, all pain sucks. But lower back pain is really a pain.

Most people experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Some people live with lower back pain through long seasons of their lives. And others assume the identity of “I have a bad back.” Whether you only experience lower back pain once in a while, for a season, or you assume it’s something you have to live with, there may be a way to rid yourself of it as soon as it comes, or even let it go for good even if you’ve given it a pet name. 


My friend Louie has a saying that “If one movement can bring you into pain, perhaps one movement can take you out of pain.” Lower back pain is often a result of the movements we make or the movements that we do not make. Either way, it does stand to reason that movement could be key to saying goodbye to the pain. Movement may also be the vehicle to heal the reason for the pain. What I mean is that you could have a disc problem, you could have some type of degeneration in your spine, but that doesn’t mean you have to hurt and that doesn’t mean your body can’t heal from the issue. 


In fact, a little movement plus a little hope of healing could totally change your life and allow you to live free - free of pain and free of the worry of pain or injury. 


If you deal with back pain, here are three very simple movements you can do that could set you on the path to freedom: 


1. Breathe into your abdomen and low back. You want to fill your lungs up from the bottom to the top. To do this you need to relax your middle and allow your diaphragm to push down towards your pelvis as you breathe. This expands your middle and it also stabilizes your spine. Your diaphragm is not just your breathing muscle, it is your spine stability muscle. It protects your spine and makes your nervous system “feel safe.” A safe nervous system usually doesn’t send out pain signals. Oh yeah, keep your lips shut when you breathe and learn how to keep your tongue on the roof of your mouth. This alone will change your life and make it better. 


2. Nod your head. The movements of your head are married to the movements of your core. Moving your head often and deliberately helps to keep your anterior and posterior chain “on” and strong. This helps protect the back from moving into danger. And it further helps the nervous system to feel safe. 

    • Perform head nods from your back and turn on your anterior chain. 
    • Perform head nods from your belly and turn on your posterior chain.

3. Roll your spine. Rotation actually nourishes the spine. Your lumbar spine doesn’t rotate as much as your thoracic spine, nor nearly as much as your cervical spine, but it does rotate. More importantly, it is made to rotate. Performing lower body reaching leg rolls from your back is a fantastic way to gently mobilize your lumbar spine and start providing your brain with nutrient-rich proprioceptive information. It can also bring nutrient-rich resources to the area to help with any restoration that may need to take place. 

    • Just lie straight out on your back with your arms overhead or out to your side. Use one leg at a time and lift your knee as high as you can towards your chest, then cross over your body with that leg and try to touch that knee to the floor, let it pull your torso along for the ride. Then bring it back and put it back down where you started from. Work this from side to side. 


These movements are simple but there is a great deal of power to be found in the simple. In these movements, even with breath, don’t move into pain and don’t force anything. Just be curious as to where you can move and let your body guide you. Don’t be aggressive, just be patient and curious. And add a dash of hope —> Pain can go away. The body can heal. You are not broken. 

Comments (1)

  1. Jeffrey C Falkner:
    Apr 06, 2021 at 01:19 AM

    I've been doing head-nods in as many positions as I can manage. For some time, I've thought they do more than loosen your neck, that they have an effect down the spine. I like the reset bringing the knee up and over, and also the windshield wiper, dead bug, and bird dog. The last took me a bit to do without weeble-wobbling around. I have degenerative disc disease, several areas of spinal stenosis, and sciatica on the right, coinciding with a bone on bone knee on the same side side, but have found that movement helps in retaining ability and mobility, and with pain. There's no cure, but you can get relief from the worst symptoms. I do my share of rocking, as well, and include rocking pushups and rocking Hindu pushups, sometimes as warm up for regular pushups, or for their own sake.


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