In school, Registered Massage Therapists are taught that the cause of pain is likely located somewhere else in the body. My best example of this is Rhomboid pain in-between the shoulder blades. This pain is typically due to over-tight Pec major muscles in the chest. These chest muscles are pulling the shoulders forward thus straining the Rhomboids as they fight to pull the shoulders back into straight posture. Over time, the constant strain will cause the Rhomboid muscles to fatigue and cause that achy soreness.
Tip: One of the most effective and easiest ways to help this is with Pec stretching, allowing the over-tight muscle to loosen back to its natural length and reduce the strain in the back.
For lower back pain, knowing its cause is really helpful as there are many possible causes, and each is treated differently. The two most common I see are caused from poor sitting posture and/or over-tight hip flexors. Pain from tight hip flexors typically radiates up the spine causing you to feel it in your lower back. The hip flexors (specifically the Psoas muscle) are very big muscles that attach to the mid thigh bone and the front of the spine in the lower back (behind your belly button).
Tip: Hip flexor stretching can help to ease this pain, however a full hip flexor release from a therapist may give better results.
If you’re a culprit to sitting similarly to how I am in the picture here, your pain is likely postural-related. When seated, we should be sitting on our “sit bones” (Ischial Tuberosities) located where the thighs meet the buttock. When not mindful about our positioning, it’s easy to slouch and end up sitting on our tail bone (part of our sacrum). This arched posture curves our lumbar spine and our thoracic spine. Sitting on our sit bones maintains the lumbar spine’s natural position and allows for a more neutral curve in the thoracic spine. A much happier, pain-free position for your back.
If you need more help with your back pain issues, come in to Robin’s Nest and I would love to help you.