When your back is painful try ICE first. Ice is cheap, easy and has minimal side effects as long as you don’t freeze your skin. It can help the nervous system calm down and influences the body to move metabolic wastes out of the area. Pain can often be, in part, coming from stagnant fluids (inflammation and metabolic waste) getting congested in the area. Icing helps constrict superficial vessels to drive that congested fluid out of the region.
Lie on an ice pack for 10-15 minutes with a layer of cloth between your skin and the ice pack. Allow your body to warm up completely before repeating. You can ice 3-4 times a day as needed.
When your back, hip, and leg muscles tighten up because your back is injured it is your body protecting itself. The tight muscles are a reflex your body uses called Muscle Guarding. When your body senses something it does not trust in your body (an injured part) it will try to protect itself. Tightening up muscles is your body’s only mechanism to protect itself, attempting to ‘splint’ the area. Unfortunately Muscle Guarding can be a source of pain too. The muscles contract and stay contracted squeezing off the blood flow of fresh nutrients and oxygen. When muscles get starved of their nutrients and oxygen they start to scream. That scream is the muscle being painful.
Creating blood flow through gentle movement is the best way to release Muscle Guarding.
Your Mindset is key. Your Energy and Attitude are everything! Your mind is a powerful tool. Many people get stuck feeling broken, a victim, and destined to be miserable forever. That can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, your Attitude about how you think about yourself and how you approach this problem determines your outcome. Staying determined to do whatever you need to recover from this bad episode makes a big difference. That may involve seeing a specialist who understands your spine and will take a holistic approach, then following their guidance and advice. Having the Drive, Determination, and Discipline to do whatever you need to in order to overcome this episode and learn how to prevent recurrences in the future will give you a positive outcome. Your Energy, Attitude, and Mindset will set the tone for your successful outcome.
(for pain relief)
Lie on your back, knees bent up, feet flat. Place one hand on your belly to serve as feedback. Inhale through your nose making your belly and hand rise towards the sky. Exhale and let your belly and hand sink down towards your spine.
Keep your chest still and avoid allowing your chest to rise on the inhale, breath into your belly to fill your lungs with air. Using your diaphragm to breathe only your belly should rise, not your chest.
Breathe 5-10 times then relax, repeat as often as needed.
(for lubrication, and to reduce muscle guarding)
Lie on your back, knees bent up, feet flat. Gently rock your knees from side to side in a PAIN FREE range of motion. Do NOT push into pain. Allow your spine to rotate and pelvis move while keeping your shoulders flat.
Repeat 25-30 times work up to 2-3 sets
(most functional daily movement)
Both hands holding the edge of the sink or sturdy object like a railing, or counter top. Start the motion by bringing your hips back as if aiming for a seat behind you. Bend your hips and knees to squat down as far as is comfortable and PAIN FREE.
Repeat with feet in different positions:
Do 5-10 squats for each foot position work up to 2-3 sets
Dr. Steve Politis, PT, DPT, FAFS, FAAOMPT, CKTP, CSCS, MovNat L1 is owner and operator of Kineci Health & Movement Center a holistic movement center. Dr. Steve’s passion is helping people Feel Better and Function Better. He loves learning about and understanding the body so he can help people more effectively. His passion for lifelong learning has led him to achieve two post-graduate Fellowships. He is a Fellow of Applied Functional Science (FAFS) from the Gray Institute which is a deep study in understanding the biomechanics of the body, how it is an interconnected and integrated system with every person being a unique individual. He is also a Fellow in the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists (FAAOMPT) which was a two year long study in differential diagnosis, manual therapy techniques, and tissue specific healing. He is one of only a handful of physical therapists in the world with this combination of education and training putting him in the top 1% of educated and skilled physical therapists in the country.
Kineci Health & Movement Center has been the culmination of Dr. Steve’s vision for creating a Center of Excellence for providing natural alternatives to the traditional ‘sick care’ model of our current broken health care system. At Kineci we believe Your Health is YOUR Choice and should not be dictated by others. We believe in YOU! We are here for YOU! Let Kineci help YOU Feel Better and Function Better.
Kineci = Movement Medicine (Kinesis = Movement + Medicine)
More than your typical Physical Therapy in Santa Barbara. Kineci offers specialized care to meet YOUR needs.
Hours by Appointment at:
22 West Mission Street, Ste B,
Santa Barbara, CA 93101