How I Finally Fixed My Lower Back Pain
I’ve had lower back pain for years. When it first started I thought it was my mattress. So I got a new one. Didn’t help. Then I figured maybe I needed a stronger core. So I strengthened my core. It didn’t help. I stretched every old kind of way. Didn’t help either. Got the wifey to massage me from time to time. Nothing. Finally, my mobility got so bad and the pain so unbearable that I visited a physical therapist. The therapist released the tight muscles in my back over 6 sessions. It was crazy painful. I felt a thousand times better by the end of the sixth session. Then, 2 weeks later, the tightness was back as bad as before. So I figured, maybe its a bone thing that’s causing the tight muscles. So I went to the chiropractor. After a few sessions the pain was gone, but the tightness was still there so I did a combination of physio and chiro until I ran out of money. The improvement was minimal. So I did more self-therapy. A friend gave me some exercises to activate certain muscles around the hips and glutes. My mobility increased. I added lots of stretching and myofacial release with balls and foam rollers. After months of this, I reached a point where I felt a bit better. But the problem was still clearly there.
I resumed my regular training and after a few months all the tightness was back again. By this point 3 years had gone by and I was beyond over the whole thing. My mobility was so bad that I even had trouble sleeping in certain positions. I decided I would try visiting an osteopath but the holidays had just arrived and I was itching for some relief. So I went back online and started doing more research on lower back pain causes, symptoms, and ways to self manage. But I kept running into the same exact thing that I had already been through over and over again: tight hip flexors.
Tony (the guy in the video) accurately described the way I had been doing the standard hip flexor stretch – with an arched back (anterior pelvic tilt) – all the way down to the ground. I literally couldn’t go any further, and yet had no improvement. After seeing this video I immediately tried the stretch with my pelvis tilted as he describes (a posterior pelvic tilt) and without leaning forward one bit I immediately felt the pain of my hip flexors being stretched. (see image below for another visual aid on the difference between an anterior and posterior pelvic tilt)
I held the posterior tilt position for 1 minute on both sides and then started leaning forward a bit. While I was able to get super low to the ground with an anterior tilt, I could barely lean forward with the posterior and the stretch was deeper than anything I had yet felt. In just a matter of days my back pain had improved 90%, my mobility returned to the same degree and the tight spots in my back were all but gone. The improvement has been so good that I decided I wouldn’t even bother with the osteopath. I may still give a sports therapist a visit so I can get evaluated on any muscular imbalances in my hips, but I not longer need someone to fix the pain. It’s totally gone.
While this may not be helpful for everyone reading this post as back pain can have many different causes, I thought I would share it anyways with the hopes that someone out there wont have to waste 3 years of their life when all they need to do is shift their pelvic position. If it works for you, let me know!