Staying in any position for an extended amount of time leads to trouble. Take a moment to counter the effects of sitting for long periods of time. For every hour that you’re sitting at your desk, or in your car, I want you to move for 5 minutes. If you get up and walk around the block, up a few flights of stairs, or jog in place, MOVE! MOVE! MoVE! Get the blood pumping! Activate those muscles to keep them engaged in motion.
After sitting for hours on end we feel stiff. Our muscles get use to being in a shortened state and little by little they become sort of stuck that way. Then it takes a lot more effort to stretch them out and retrain them to a healthy resting length. When our muscles become stuck in a shortened state of being, we end up with headaches, things pulled out of alignment, and aches and pains all over. It’s all connected. The tight hamstrings, in the back of your legs, can pull the hips and glutes out of place, putting stress and tension on the low back and continuing to cause trouble all the way to the top of your head and the bottom of your feet. This imbalance can cause low-back pain, poor posture, aches and pains in seemingly unrelated areas, and jsut leave us feeling crumby. If you set a reminder on your phone to go off every hour to remind you that it’s time to move, you’ll be taking a big step toward your goal of being pain free.
This is an awesome trick to work out that built up tension in the back and shoulders, getting rid of knots to eliminate back pain. It’s been an incredible help for many of my clients who experience back pain, and I recommend it all the time. The more often you’re able to work it into your self-care, the more mobility and relief you’ll experience.
This trick is great to do once or twice a day. But even if you can fit it in a few times a week, you’ll see great results in the amount of tightness you cary around.
1. Lying on the floor, place a tennis ball between your back and the floor, in the areas of tension. Making sure you’ve got it pressing into the knot, and staying away from any pressure on the spine, or other boney areas.
2. Lean into the ball and roll it up and down along the tight spaces in your back.
3. When you find those particularly tight spots, hold the ball and relax into it until you feel the knot release. Breathing is key. Nice long breaths, about 3-5 second inhales and exhales. Holding the pressure for at least 10 breaths, or up to a minute.
You’re in control of the depth of pressure. If you’d like more, lean into it a bit more. If the pressure is a bit too much, simply ease out of it until you reach a depth that feels like it’s working for you.
For a less intense version, try leaning against a wall instead of lying on your back. For this, I suggest placing a tennis ball in a sock or stocking so that you can hold on to the other end of the stocking/sock controlling the placement of the ball. Again, leaning into the pressure and breathing to allow the muscle to expand and release. Allowing the breath to do all the work will ensure that the muscle is releasing and lengthening out.
Throw a couple of tennis balls in the car on long road trips and use by placing them between your back and the car seat to release knots while on the road. It works wonders!
I hope this trick brings you some relief. Remember, although knots will not completely go away over night, they will begin to ease and the discomfort you experience through the day will dissipate.