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Resolve Low Back and IT Band Pain at Home

For starters, I want to say that you are hurt only because your body is protecting you. Pain is a survival mechanism. Survival mechanisms within the human body present themselves as predictable patterns of muscle bracing to avoid (further) injury. The opportunity for the body to develop complexity on top of these patterns is where the real problems lie. But for today, let's focus on a common compensatory pattern that you can resolve on your own, in the comfort of your own home.

Low back and IT band pain is what you feel. What you see is a flatter left arch than your right. If you can squat to the floor you notice a bunched up feeling in the front of your left hip. Your right shoulder might be a tad lower on the right than the left when looking in the mirror. And something else looks off at your hips/pelvis, but it's hard to tell. Go ahead, stop here and check it out. Pop off your shoes and stand. Can you see a difference in your arches. Go into the bathroom with your shirt off. What are those shoulders doing?

Why you look like this is because you, like all other humans, have a specific pattern for handling stress. That pattern rotates your hips right, taking your body weight to the inside of your left foot and the outside of your right foot. Since your hips are rotating a bit right, your shoulders have to rotate a bit left, taking your right shoulder down.

Why this creates IT band and low back pain has to do with why you are actually like this in the first place. You are like this because you are perceiving threat. In this position your range of motion reduces, therefore increasing the sensation of stability in your hips and spine. Your spine can only rotate so much, if you take up some slack by assuming this posture, your variability decreases. Your variability goes down, your stability goes up.

When you attempt to force yourself out of this posture by running, squatting, sleeping or a host of other seemingly normal activities, your body resists. That is the strained feeling in your back and knees. Constant strain results in irritation of muscles and their nerves. That is the sore/achy/tender spots in your back, quads, glutes, and hip flexors. The stiffness is the inability to reverse this posture. The return of the stiffness after foam rolling, adjustments, exercise, the hot tub is your lack of control over your body without this "compensatory pattern."

So let's fix it.

Perform this exercise precisely how it's described in the video. Do not shift through your back, shift at your pelvis. Your low back is to remain flat on the ground the entire time, only your pelvis may scoop up underneath you/off the ground.

To be clear, this one exercise will reverse the compensatory pattern safely, it will begin balancing control over both sides of your body, but it will not resolve any serious complexity within your system. When it comes to complexity, and the body has a ton of it, a thorough evaluation must be performed. Without it, we would simply be speculating. I seriously hope your situation is nothing major and you get complete and total relief from this exercise, but that's no guarantee. It's no guarantee because most everyone I see in my clinic has a significant amount of complexity driving their pain and limitation.

If you have recurring injuries, persistent pain, or a strong feeling of imbalance, you would do well from an evaluation with a Performance Physical Therapist. With adequate time at each session we can paint a solid picture of what your body likes to do, what it doesn't like to do, and we can implement a training plan to address it. With a Performance Physical Therapists there is no waiting around on the bike, performing of useless unsupervised exercises, and we are not limited to short term relief interventions that can be done in 15 minutes. With adequate time and understanding of how the human body works, we can make massive, long term changes in your body. The first step is to find someone in your area that specializes in Performance Physical Therapy. The second step is to decide you want to BE better, not just feel better. Once you are there, schedule your first visit.

If you are interested in scheduling a free consultation with a Performance Physical Therapist in Uptown Dallas, click here.

This is not personalized medical advice and should not be taken as so. If you are experiencing severe pain of any kind, consult with a medical professional.


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