In my previous articles this week, I discussed how the fascial connections of the layers of the body help to make connections, but may also be attributing to pain, and not in the spot where you think. The lower back is a crossroads for the fascial system and shares direct and indirect connections to every myofascia above and below. Here are my favorite ways to warm up and prepare the entire body for movement, and how to unravel tension in the lower back – which can be a catalyst for relieving tension throughout the entire body.
Dynamic warmups are a simple way to activate entire myofascial chains, wake up tissues and provide tension reduction. This type of activity can be used on its own for a stress reduction break or is now commonly used as a replacement for old style pre-exercise static stretching. Static stretching on cold muscles used to be a common “warm up” practice but risks muscle strain injury. Instead, dynamic stretching boosts circulation to the area and excites neuro-receptors with gentle multi-joint motions that rhythmically contract and release myofascial chains, preparing for more vigorous movement and decreasing risk of injury. To warm up low back, gentle warm ups can include: hula hip circles and simple pelvic tilts lying on your back or standing or try Yoga Tune Up® Sidewinder
Self-massage is my favorite way to drop tension quickly and bring relief to any area. Massage on and around the thoracolumbar fascia (situated in the lower back) can also impact more distant segments thanks to its numerous attachments. TLF is one of our largest and most important sheets of fascia (or aponeuroses) because it is situated at an intersection of activity between muscles and bones of: hips, pelvis, and spine including 2 of 4 abdominal muscles. Even shoulders and breath are impacted thanks to attachments of the latissimus dorsi to TLF and a connection to the respiratory diaphragm via the internal obliques.
We know for sure is that the neuro-receptors (specialized nerve endings) respond to appropriate myofascial massage by calming the nervous system. So, if massaging this area brings a lot of “bang for the buck,” unraveling tension in the many myofascial attachments AND you positively enhance your overall well-being; what are you waiting for? Here is my favorite quick way to let go of stress and be a Roll Model, anytime, anywhere. Watch below!