Back pain sucks.
And when it comes to entrepreneurship, back pain can be a common occurrence.
As entrepreneur’s, we’re often behind a computer working for hours (if not days) at a time.
Unfortunately there’s often a price to pay (back pain) for spending such long hours either sitting or standing in front of a computer.
I know because I’ve paid this price many times myself (and still do at times).
Luckily for us, my good friend JT (The Injury Guy) has five specific exercises to share with us to help alleviate back pain without medicine or a doctor’s visit.
I’m excited to share what he’s put together for us. It’s helped me out and I know it’ll help you too.
Thanks for being JT!
Thanks Mike – it’s great to be here.
Did you know the number one cause of low back pain is from sitting all day?
As entrepreneurs, we spend huge amounts of time on our computers working on projects. After a while, our body begins to adapt to constant sitting.
Most noticeably, it’s the hip flexor muscles in front of our hips that actually shorten.
This isn’t a problem when sitting but a different story when we stand since they also connect to the spine.
As soon as you stand up, these tight hip flexors pull the spine forward causing your low back muscles to activate to protect the spine.
It feels like a tightness at first but can develop into full muscle contractions that will leave the toughest entrepreneur crippled.
Luckily, we can cure and prevent this in only three minutes with simple foam roller exercises.
Stretching is really good for us. Activities such as Yoga or Pilates are great for stretching however, when a muscle is tight, stretching can aggravate the muscle tendons, which can increase pain.
If you’re like Mike and tired of having low back pain, it’s time to give the foam roller a try.
Foam rollers cost anywhere between $15-30 and can save you hundreds of dollars worth of Doctor visits and Physical Therapy co-pays.
The way a foam roller works is by compressing or ‘squeezing’ the muscles. It doesn’t always feel great, but as the blood flow increases to the muscles, the tight muscles begin to relax.
If you’re a beginner, be sure to take it slow.
Breathe deeply and don’t fight the roller. Let it heal you.
Here are the best 5 techniques to relieve low back pain:
1. Low Back: Place a roller on the ground and lie down with your back on the roller. Slowly roll up and down the spine, as high as you would like. This will feel like a nice massage and may even crack your back for you. It should feel really good actually!
2. Hip Flexors: As I said before, this is the tight group of muscles pulling on the spine. This is the most important area to relax with the foam roller. Roll from the hip bone down a few inches. Take this one slow to really put extra pressure on these tight tendons.
(Note from Mike: This is by far one of my favorites… feels (hurts) so good 🙂 )
3. Piriformis: This is a tight muscle on the side of your butt. To target it, cross one leg over the opposite knee. Lean to the side with the raised leg and roll out the butt. This one may feel tight but should not be very painful.
4. Hamstrings: A tight low back is usually made worse by tight hamstrings. Rolling the hamstrings should feel really good. Make sure to roll the inside and outside muscles of the hamstrings for optimal muscle release.
5. Adductors: The adductors are on the inside of the leg. Most people have never even heard of or thought about them. These also get shortened and tightened by sitting for extended periods of time. This technique may be very painful, so roll slowly with limited pressure.
This one isn’t as important as the hip flexors, so feel free to skip it if it’s too painful for you to do.
I highly recommend that you do these 5 techniques at least once per day for a few minutes.
If your back pain does not subside or go away completely after a week of doing these foam roller exercises, consider trying new stretches or seeing your doctor.
And if you have any questions, feel free to comment below or contact me.
JT is an Athletic Trainer, Personal Trainer and Health Enthusiast. When he’s not researching new injury care techniques, fitness trends, nutrition science or motivational strategies, he’s out rock climbing, playing soccer, hiking, wind-surfing, playing acro-yoga and paintball.
For more resources from JT on injury care and prevention, visit Sportsmed.Tips.