Coach Chris: What I end up finding is after a normal night rest, 6 to 8 hours, I feel extremely stiff. I have a good mattress so I am pretty confident in sleeping on my mattress. It could be a result from the previous day’s activities but I feel like I am not sure which way I should stretch.
Should I reach down and touch my toes? Or should I arch backwards? I just feel like there’s one exercise that is going to be more effective at giving me some kind of relief.
Rick Kaselj: Okay, so we are talking like first thing in the morning the things that you want to avoid is like repeated forward bending. Doing a stretch here and there when you are bending forward is fine.
But doing it repeatedly like crunches or going to the gym and doing like a rowing exercise right after you get up is probably not the best idea because the spine expanded as you sleep and it’s at greater risk of injury, especially with any flexion movement.
What I recommend for people to do when they get up is to arch their back backwards, arching a couple of times.
Some people can’t handle that. So when it comes to their backs they don’t like extension. But the vast majority of people like extension. If you do extension and you feel relief, not pain being eliminated away, I look at it more like building on better. If I do something and it feels better, I am going to build on better as opposed to doing one thing and it goes from painful to nothing, that’s very rarely the case.
I want to build on feeling better. If I arch my back and it feels better, I am going to build on better but I am not going to go crazy, I am only doing 5 repetitions – don’t do 50.
Coach Chris: How about being in a 4 point position with your hands and knees on the floor and doing the arch that way like the opposite of doing the cat back wherein you push your butt out and you get that sunken mid back?
Rick Kaselj: Yeah, that’s another thing that gets you that extension that arching of the back and that’s fine.
Coach Chris: It’s just all about the way you move your pelvis.
Rick Kaselj: Yes, your mid back and your pelvis kind of going into that extension. A lot of people when it comes to lying down you end up sleeping on your side, we don’t sleep with our legs straight like a pencil on our side, usually our knees are bent and we are kind of like in a fetal position which puts our back in a flexed position so a lot of times where we get relief from is if we go the exact opposite way.
We are lying on our side and we’ve been flexed all night and we get relief by opening up and arching our back.
Coach Chris: That’s a very good point too because you got to think you’ve been in that position most likely for 6 to 8 hours. The best thing to do is to give your body that opposite movement, go the other way with it.
Rick Kaselj: Yes, exactly.
Coach Chris: Thank you very much.
Rick Kaselj: No worries.
Watch for Fix My Back Pain, which will be coming out later this week. If you have back pain, it is a program to help you out and get you back to pain-free workouts.
Here is a sneak peak:
Rick Kaselj, M.S
Have you ever had back pain?Do you have have it right now?
Ever wondered why you have it and what to do about it?
Rick Kaselj shows you 6 quick and easy self-assessment that you can do right now that will show why you have back pain. The best part is, Rick will tell you what you need to do to fix your back pain in this short video.
WAIT! Before you go, Injury Expert Rick Kaselj is Tired of People Having Back Pain. Rick GIVES AWAY the 6 Quick and Easy Assessments for Back Pain (& What to do About it).