Injuries suck; always have, always will. Let's face it, at some point in our life we will deal with an injury only because we’ve been designed to be incredibly mobile creatures. Taking a brief look back into our history, early humans adapted well to be excellent swimmers, climbers and runners. It was written in our DNA for survival. Fast forward a few thousand years and we are seeing a phenomenal increase in sedentary lifestyle.
Over the span of about 8 years working in Fitness & Rehabilitation, I’ve witnessed a steady rise in the number of back pain cases that mostly stem from some debilitating injury. The cycle of events in each case are all too similar; first is the initial injury that may or may not require surgery. Following, is the neglect of regular exercise to keep the joint mobile. Sometimes there is a bit of fear that has resonated and has taught us to stay away from movements related to the accident. Whatever the reason may be, it has affected that quality of life we all deserve.
Luckily there are things you can do to help reduce your risk. Many professionals use some type of full-body movement screen to assess your quality of movement. The goal of a movement screen is to target your weak points within different movement patterns, simple as that. Once you’ve exposed the weak link(s) you can then develop a system of recovery. It’s something I use with every person in my program and it’s worth its weight in gold.
More often than not, I've found that the mid-spine lacks flexibility and overtime, has forced the body into poor posture and stiffness. Unfortunately when this happens, your risk of injury has just skyrocketed.
Here is one secret in my arsenal of back-pain remedies to help.
Assuming you've already been cleared by a doctor for physical activity, part of the solution is found with tape and tennis balls. Yep, and the two work so well together. Follow the pictures below.
Step 1: Go buy a couple tennis balls and athletic tape and tape them like this.
Step 2: Place it right along your mid back. Ladies, place it right about your bra strap.
Step 3: Now lay flat on your back with the tennis ball in place.
Keep your feet flat on the floor and your knees up, focus on relaxing your head and shoulders to the floor and take a couple deep breaths (insert soothing female yoga voice). The goal is relaxed breathing. If your mid-back is tight, there will be some discomfort. There shouldn't be pain; make sure you know the difference.
Slowly crunch up until your back ALMOST loses contact with the ball; perform 15 reps slowly. Do it every day for two weeks and I bet you'll notice a big difference in how well you move and even the increase in flexibility in the shoulders. Think about it like this, more flexibility, less injury.