When your back hurts, moving without pain feels impossible. When I got hurt this summer, the only way I could move was if I pretended I had a broomstick tied to my back – aka not at all.
If it wasn’t for my weirdly dexterous toes, my socks, purse, and cell phone would probably still be on the floor 🙈
But one thing I can promise you I didn’t do was stop moving.
It seems counter-intuitive to move when moving hurts, but hear me out…
After an injury, your brain shuts down communication with the injured tissues to prevent further injury. Makes sense, right?
When you stop moving because it hurts and don’t start again, the tissues in the area never get a chance to fully reconnect with the brain. Instead, your nervous system creates workarounds and compensations to keep avoiding the injured area (even if it’s fully healed).
For a few days? It’s not such a big deal.
But after a few weeks, months, or years – this can leave with you major imbalances as your brain continues to work around the area.
So, step one is to keep moving. And not just your whole body (like walking) but keeping movement happening in the tissues surrounding the pain site. Non-painful movement is key – but somethings are going to be uncomfortable. My advice is to hug the line between “hurts” and “hurts so good” but try not to cross it.
My favorite way to do this is with the inflated Coregeous ball. (Click here for a Coregeous ball video demo). Because it’s soft and squishy (and can be made even more so by letting some air out) it’s perfect for creating gentle pressure and movement.
When my back was hurting, I laid on my side with the Coregeous on my waist every single day for two reasons:
- to aid in the flow of nutrients into the tissues and garbage/bruising out
- Practice breathing and engaging my core muscles to restore them post-injury so they would come back online fully
The next thing you want to focus on is breathing. Which seems too simple to work – but it really can make a difference. Because all of your breathing muscles are technically core muscles (because they’re on your torso), you want to be sure they’re all up and running.
Even now, you probably aren’t using your breathing muscles to their fullest capacity while sitting at your desk or watching Netflix. A few minutes of focused deep breathing can help, injury or not
Here’s how to do it: lay on your back with your knees bent and try to breathe deeply into your belly (you can rest your hands on your abdomen if this feels confusing). Not only will this relax your nerves (which are probably on the fritz if every movement you do is currently painful) but will also bring movement to all of your tissues in the torso (and remember, movement is good!).
When you’re feeling up to it – it’s time to start stabilizing! As your muscles back online, they sometimes need to be reminded what their job is, and this is where marching and toe taps come into play.
These are two super simple exercises that strengthen your core and postural muscles that can be done while laying on your back. Click here for a video that walks you through both exercises, including how to set yourself up so that you know you’re in the best position.
Whether your back pain is from a fresh injury or comes and goes – all of these are great tools to stay ahead of the pain AND keep it at bay for good.
And if you’re thinking this all sounds like too much work and you’d rather lay on the couch for a week hoping your back spasm passes quickly, these three things will get you off the couch and back on your feet faster. Plus, it may be just the thing to break out of the cycle of having back pain a few times a year 😉 Wouldn’t that be nice?
PS Ready to get out of pain and get back to your life? Here are 3 ways I can help you right now:
1. The next Body Nerd Garage is February 9-10! A weekend of movement magic for people who want to wake up pain-free, every day. If you want to get stronger + more grounded in your body – join us. Click here for details and booking.
2. Join me for my next FREE online class, 5 Secrets the Doctor Never Told You about Getting Out of Pain.
If you’ve tried all the things (pills, people, and procedures) – and your pain still isn’t going away, join me for this free class and I’ll teach you the 5 secrets to getting out of pain that doctors didn’t’ tell you. You’ll leave with a solid plan in place on how to get stronger, more flexible, and out of pain (and stay that way!).
3. Want to know exactly what to do to get out of pain now? Book a call with our team today and get clarity on where to focus your self-care energy. Let’s get you on the fast track to waking up every day, pain-free. (It’s 100% possible 😉): AEwellness.com/call