Do you wake with morning back stiffness?  I remember years ago waking up with a stiff low back.  There were times that if I sat for a while, then stand up would cause my low back to feel stiff. At its worst, I would climb out of my car on my hands because I could not stand up. The best part is I drove  Lincoln Town Car, which is huge. I saw several doctors, some sent me to physical therapy while others offered pain pills, braces, and injections. All of the doctors said that if none of those options worked I could be headed for surgery. SURGERY! I was only 42 years old. That is where my personal journey began.

Young man wearing a back support belt. Lumbar brace, back support for back trauma or muscle back strain.

How it Began…

  As I continued to wake up with morning back stiffness. I began to look at my body as a whole mechanical machine. I asked questions like, how does my body balance itself,  and if a muscle on one side tightens can it affect the opposite side? Not realizing at the time how profound those questions were. We have all been taught to treat the site of the pain versus what is actually causing it. Your body is a balancing machine. The body balances from left to right and front to back 100% of the time that you are standing. To learn more go here https://stretchnrelease.com/2020/01/07/change-the-way-you-age/

It was Not my Back At All

 The answer to why I had pain, it was not my back at all. When we think about body balance, it makes total sense that if a muscle on the front side was tight, the pressure on the backside would increase. The same can be said side to side. When I was spreading mulch, I would bend over to lift the mulch with a pitchfork, turn, and spread it over the ground. To do this I had to contract the front of my thighs and my inner thighs. The thigh muscles attach to the back of my pelvis and my inner thighs attach to my pubic bone. When these muscles shorten from using them, they pull my pelvis forward.

Pulling the pelvis forward, causes the spine in the low back to compress which causes my body to lean slightly forward. Over a long period of time, the lean will get worse. As it got worse, I would contract my hip and low back muscles to help me stand straighter. These muscles would fatigue from fighting with the front muscles. This resulted in muscle spasms in my low back.

How to fix it

To stop my morning back stiffness I did these stretches I began by by laying on my side, legs bent at the knee. I grab my top ankle and bringing my knee back behind my torso. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.  I stretched my inner thighs by sitting in a chair, crossing one leg, and gently press down on my knee to stretch the inner thigh. You can see these stretches here https://www.youtube.com/musclerepairshop, Give these a try for at least 2 weeks and you will see the difference. Let me know how you are doing by leaving a comment.

Conclusion

Low back pain is the #3 reason people visit the doctor and the #1 reason for disability in America. Once I learned how to do these stretches and massage my thighs during the day, the pain has not come back in 15 years. I am amazed at how many times these have helped people at my office. What is really amazing is that most of these people have had surgeries for back pain or have been suffering for years. To learn more go to https://www.musclerepairshop.com.