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  • Writer's pictureChris Kelly

Do you have a stiff back?

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

If you are reading this post, a stiff lower back has likely plagued you for many years. You have stretched, gotten massaged or adjusted and maybe even switched to a standing desk, yet nothing seems to work for long.

The problem is not sitting or standing. It is failing to move and getting stuck in a position. We can speak of muscles getting tight and stretch them away from the offending position, but this does not account for their ability to move in and out of a position themselves so they tighten right back up to protect against perceived threat.

I have taken many systems (PRI, DNS, FRC, NKT) and all approaches fit pieces of a puzzle we must all put together ourselves. I am still very much on this journey but I wanted to share a tidbit I have been playing around with that seems to make sense. If our goal is to establish position and work proximal to distal, it would stand to reason that setting up exercise interventions in this fashion make sense.

Here is an example I used this morning for sacral counter nutation:

1. Establish proximal position- Supine inversion

2. Proximal relative motion (close chain)- Rolling

3. Distal relative motion (open chain)- Segmented sacral cat-camel

4. Control against gravity- Assisted squat

In my mind, this checks most of our movement boxes and is repeatable for a variety of issues.

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