June 07, 2022 2 min read

Give it space

Your back is like the huge main mast on a sailboat. It’s a strong base. It’s a pillar that supports the other sails. It’s the most central structure.  It's tall and strong, but requires the support of all the guy wires to stay aligned and functional. 

The 'guy wires' supporting the mast.

Now imagine if all the guy wires are out of whack, pulling and twisting on that big mast, constantly stressing it’s structure. Mostly it’s fine. The mast is strong right? It probably WILL be fine 90 percent of the time, but when the skies turn dark and the seas rise, the already-twisted mast just can’t handle the load of the heavy winds.  

Your low back works in the exact same way. Provided you remove all the twisting and pulling, and strengthen the column, it will stand strong and last you a good long lifetime.  

Surround and conquer

Do these guy wires look straight?

Just like a sailboat, you need to even out the tension on the wires to keep the main mast aligned. Most of the time, you don;’t even need to work on your back itself! Think about the surrounding musculature that has an effect on the spine, and start there.

Try working on your:

  • Hip flexors,
  • Hamstrings
  • Quads
  • Thoracic spine. 
 Hip Flexor releases. Balance the guy wires = Balance the column. 

 

Don’t give up.  

Back pain can sometimes take time to figure out. 

Working on your car is easy when it’s parked and you can drop it off with a mechanic who can remove and replace parts. 

Working on your body is like working on a car that’s running 24/7, and can’t stop. 

You’re blazing down the highway and the mechanic is speeding along in the car next to you trying to diagnose. My point in bringing up this metaphor is that it’s not always a straightforward fix, and most therapist realize that you need to employ different strategies if something’s not working.

If you’re able to see and feel red-flags in your OWN structure, you’re already one-step ahead towards the solution. SMR tools can provide you with a ton of diagnostic tools towards a healthy, strong spine. If you know something’s super tight, you can already feel it…..No appointment necessary!

You often need to work with other people, employ different strategies, and maybe most importantly, learns some basic mechanic skills.