Cause and Effect

Whether you like it or not, when you hurt yourself it is usually your fault. Yes, you might step on something slippery that you didn’t see or have a tool or object break in your hand, but most of the time it is the combination of poor posture, prolonged overload of muscles or the disobeying of basic biomechanics that lead to discomfort or pain.

For example, you get rear-ended on a Wednesday, but it’s no big deal. In fact, you feel perfectly fine, but on Saturday you’re lifting a case of water out of the back seat and whammo, your back muscles go into rebellion. Was it the way you lifted the case of water? Maybe, but it was most likely influenced by the minor trauma you incurred three days earlier.

Maybe you went bike riding for an hour on Saturday and then washed and waxed your car. You feel great on Saturday night. Maybe you even went dancing. On Sunday you sit down to watch the game and as you lean forward to pick up the bowl of chips, whammo, your back muscles go in to spasm? Was it the 500 lbs of chips? More likely it was the tight muscles you created from bending over on Saturday.

So does this mean you’re doomed to get backaches every time you want to do something? No. It means that you must become better aware of how you tighten your muscles repeatedly without ever loosening them up and relaxing them at the end of the day. The best thing to do is to stretch 5 to 8 minutes before you go to bed. This means side bends, back extensions, back rotations and some hip and quad stretches to release any tension you might have collected and to relax your muscles back to their normal resting position. Then go to sleep and wake up more relaxed and less stiff. Try it, you might like it.

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