Back pain is a very personal issue to me.
In my early 20s I was manipulated badly and strained the ligaments in my spine. At it’s worst, I couldn’t sit down, lie down or stand up comfortably and was taking muscle relaxant drugs prescribed by the doctor.
After much treatment (that I had to pay for), the pain had gone but I was always wary of doing movements that would aggravate the issue. Honestly, I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone.
From that point on, I suffered from nagging injury after nagging injury. None of which was in my back. I had right ankle, right knee, left hip and left shoulder problems that I just couldn’t seem to shift, and the slightest thing would put my back into spasm again.
It wasn’t a good look for a 20-something Personal Trainer, I can tell you!
I struggled on like this, trying every treatment I could find (at a huge cost) for about 10 years, so when I say these secrets are “Insider” ones, they really are. I’ve been there and done it, and if I can share my experience to help just one person beat this awful pain then it was all worth it.
Secret #1 – It’s not your back’s fault
All of the treatment that I went through (and the standard stuff that is still advised today) is based on treating the SYMPTOM – which in this case is the lower back.
Other treatments might massage it, stretch it or use something like myofascial release (trigger point therapy, foam rolling etc) to release it.
But these practices just don’t work in the long run.
Because the pain is being caused by the tightness in your hip flexors and lower abs – not your back.
I discovered this because I got fed up of being limited by what I couldn’t do movement-wise, so I started investigating what I could do. Bending forwards was fine, but coming back up was painful, or at least had the potential to put my back out again, so I had to figure out ways of moving that didn’t involve moving like that.
When I started to lengthen my hip flexors and stretch my core, I noticed that I was much less apprehensive of bending forwards (which was VERY useful for a Personal Trainer trying to demonstrate a hamstring stretch!)
Once I became conscious of this fact, I focused all my efforts on improving the length of my hip flexors and that’s when everything changed for me.
No longer was I concerned about the symptom of my back pain. I knew that all I had to do was keep focusing on the CAUSE of the problem and it would stay away.
Secret #2 – Cycling doesn’t help
One of the fastest ways for my back pain symptoms to reappear was to spend a few hours on my bike.
The bent over, seated position with the legs pumping up and down for that length of time certainly shortens those hip flexors.
It’s funny isn’t it, how the action of cycling would be considered ridiculous and bad for you if you were to sit at your desk with your elbows resting on it and your hands under your chin, the seat pushed back so your back was straight and your knees lifting up and down for a few hours. But in that same position on a bike, it’s not even given a second thought.
If spend any amount of time on your bike (or slouching at your desk for that matter), without doing something to deal with your hip flexor tightness, I can guarantee you’ll experience back pain at some point.
Secret #3 – Pain is the last straw
For most people, the first sign of injury is pain. Whether that’s a nagging achy pain or an intermittent sharp stabbing pain or even a burning sensation, the type of pain is irrelevant, most people don’t do anything to try to avoid pain until they have it.
That’s a big mistake.
From my own experience, and treating hundreds of people in my clinic over the years, I know that waiting until you have pain simply makes the job of fixing it much longer and far more costly.
Since hip flexor, core and adductor (inner thigh) tightness is the main cause of back pain, it seems a bit crazy to me that people still wait until they have pain. But then, I forget that they don’t know what I do, plus, it’s a REALLY simple issue to fix (assuming you don’t have spinal stenosis or some other such complication).
You can get started with my FREE Lower Back Pain Video Playlist – all you need to do is just follow along!
It’s taken me many years of treatment and pain to develop my methods and I hope that sharing my secrets is useful for you. If not, I’m sure you wouldn’t have to think too deeply to find someone that you know who’s been suffering with this issue for a while. Perhaps these secrets will help them? Why not share this blog post with them – you never know how helpful that might actually be.
Let’s be SMARTT™ – Let’s do this together