Five Tips for Back Maintenance

You grab a towel after your shower, throw it around your back, and wham!!! You feel, what I like to call, a shot across the bow: a zing of pain across your back.

First, don’t panic. The zing of pain is a warning, not an omen. Your body is telling you to take care of yourself- so here are a five back maintenance tips.

  1. Take a walk, the brisker the better. Use your arms for a vigorous arm swing. Many people believe that if your back is uncomfortable, you should stop exercising. That approach will not help. You should definitely adjust your activities, but keep moving your body and stay off your @ss.
  2. Stretch your hip flexors. The psoas muscles connect your upper to the lower body and the front to the back body. When it gets tight, we often feel it like a tight band across the lower back.
  3. Stretch your quadratus lumborum (QL). This band of muscle often gets overloaded when our core is fatigued and gives up doing its share of the work.
  4. Sit down as little as possible . Sitting is the hardest position on our back. We slouch, we tip our heads forward…basically, we force our spine into a C-shape. No bueno.
  5. Work on your mobility. Are you a feeling more like the Tin Man and a less Dorothy these days? Try a quick mobility flow. From Downdog, step into a low lunge with your right leg, reaching the right hand towards the ceiling. Rotate the spine towards the right and hold for a moment. Repeat on the left.

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