Relieve low-back pain by doing (almost) nothing

April 5, 2021

If you low back bothers you, this is for you. Maybe your back feels good most of the time, but every now and then it ‘catches’ or otherwise causes you discomfort. Maybe your back hurts all the time but everything you’ve tried hasn’t worked. There is hope for you.

Now, if you have sharp, stabbing or otherwise acute and excessive pain, please skip this and go see your doctor. If the doctor clears you for exercises, wait until the acute pain subsides before trying this exercise at home.

In my experience, most back pain is caused by stuck or tight muscles. These are muscles that your brain has forgotten about. If your brain doesn’t remember they are there, well, how can it command them to let go? There was a time when your brain did remember your back muscles – and you can re-train it to remember once again.

What gets a lot of people in trouble with any kind of back pain is trying to “stretch it out”. Stretching can actually be a good thing, but only if you do it in a kind way for your body. What most people consider a “stretch” is an extreme form of it and here’s why it won’t work in most cases: it’s like trying to pull your two fingers out of a Chinese finger trap — the harder you pull (stretch), more stuck you get. It might give you some temporary relief, but then it comes back, sometimes with a vengeance.

Why do back muscles get tight? Here’s but a handful of possibilities:

  • Tension that has become a habit
  • Physical injuries (ie, crashing your back into a tree while sledding)
  • Emotional trauma (ie, feeling ‘less than’ your full worth)
  • Posture learned from your parents
  • Too much (stressful) computer work
  • The year known as 2020…

Watch this short video to learn how to start to undo your pattern of low-back pain:

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