Most people, at some stage in their life suffer from back problems. Whether that be lower back pain, neck ache or shoulder tension, we’ve all experienced it at some stage. We’ve been talking to Steve Berry, one of our sports massage therapists about what we can do to reduce our chances of the aches and pains.
The most common reason why people come to see me for a sports massage is because of back pain. When we feel tension or pain, it’s often a cause of the soft tissues in our body. Daily activities, such as sitting in front of a computer screen for prolonged periods, causes us to lean into a fetal position. This causes the muscles on the anterior (front) of the body to develop tension, causing a curved back, bowed head and rounding of the shoulders. This posture can cause tension in muscles, such as the hip flexors and chest, and may cause weakness in supporting hip muscles, such as the glute (buttock) muscles. Eventually this will lead to back pain.
Let’s take a look at the main culprits. When the hip flexor muscles are tight, they pull the torso forwards, especially when sitting or doing exercises such as squats. This movement is called hip flexion. In order for this movement to occur, the hip extensors, primarily the gluteal muscles, must relax. Sitting for long periods will cause the glute muscles to be in a state of relaxation for long periods, leading to weakness. This will place a lot of stress on the lower back, specifically in the lumbar region. The hamstrings group also contribute. Short hamstrings can cause a tilt in the pelvis, leading to stress in the lower back.
There are a few ways to prevent this. Standing or going for a short walk regularly when sitting at a desk all day, stretching the hip flexors (yin yoga is great for this), strengthening the glutes, core and back muscles, and stretching the upper chest. This, combined with regular massage can help improve muscle imbalances and postural abnormalities.
If you suffer with back pain or stiffness book yourself in for a massage!! Book here