Just One Exercise, No More Back Pain?
Dr. Greg Spatz, Physical Therapist at Resilient Performance PT in New York City, will give us some insight into how you might possibly get rid of that back pain once and for all. Here are his words:
As a physical therapist, I notice that most nagging (non-pathological) back pain cases are caused by excessive extension of the lumbar and thoracic spine posteriorly with rib flares anteriorly. This pattern of extension is very related to breathing and is coupled with inhalation. A lot of my patients need a program focused on exhalation to orient the ribs and spine in a more “neutral” position to allow the hamstrings and abdominals to facilitate and hold this position during functional activities.
Above is an illustration of the extension pattern as described above. The back and hip flexor muscles are “short & tight” while the abdominals and hamstrings are “long & weak.” To your right is one simple exercise to begin correcting this imbalance.
Pull your heels down into a supporting object to activate your hamstrings and slightly lift your hips off the floor. Keep your lower back flat on the floor.
Reach towards the ceiling with your arms as you exhale to promote the ribs retracting towards the floor.
Take 5 breaths in through the nose out through the mouth while feeling your hamstrings hold your hips up with your ribs in a downward position.
Repeat 3 more times.