In our modern world, we are not required to move our body as much as it was designed to. We must think of health & fitness in terms of evolution. Over the course of evolution, biology carefully selected what was necessary & discarded what wasn’t. That leaves us with what we have today. This foreshadows a phenomenon Neuroscientists term as use it or lose it. Our nervous system is designed to enhance synaptic connections which are repeatedly activated & prune away those which are not. We barely walk anymore! On top of that, most of us never move in dynamic ways. So, our bodies are stuck & locked up. How can we fix this? Are you plagued by your herniated disk forever? No. The body is very malleable. Here are 3 things you must address:
Tight hip flexors. Because we are sitting so much, our hip flexors are shortening & tightening up. More often than not, we do not sit in a perfectly even & balanced manner. We slouch to one side or the other, we throw one knee over the other, whatever. This can cause one hip flexor to be tighter than the other, which will induce a pelvic tilt. This pelvic tilt will cause an imbalance up your spine & cause chronic pain. If not addressed, this problem will get worse as time goes on & travel up or down your kinetic chain. Personally, I followed a daily stretching routine & saw relief in as short as one week. My hip flexors were so tight, that simply addressing this problem brought me very quick relief. Simple static stretching will not fix this problem. You must stretch dynamically, & re-train your muscles to work properly.
Breathing. I’ve talked about this a lot on this blog. But, it is so important & so overlooked. If you are not breathing evenly & deeply into your belly, you’re not breathing properly. If you’re breath is restricted, your diaphragm is not functioning optimally. This lack of diaphragmatic function will induce a lack on intra abdominal pressure. Intra abdominal pressure is what supports your entire spine & is the true indicator of core strength.
Diet. If you are eating unhealthy, processed foods, you are inflaming your gut. This inflammation will affect surrounding musculature. The surrounding musculature which supports your back & entire core just so happen to surround your digestive system. So, be careful of what you eat. You may be sensitive to certain foods you’re not even aware of.
It is much easier to follow a routine of some sort to address these problems. Here is one that I would highly recommend which addresses all of these problems: