What Causes Lower Back Pain?

In over 90% of people suffering from lower back pain, sitting is the contributing factor. Why would something that is so comfortable cause so much pain? Let’s look at the anatomy of sitting.

Best Stretches For Lower Back Pain

Extended sitting shortens the hamstring and iliopsoas muscles which causes them to remain chronically shortened. Meanwhile the opposing muscles (mainly the glutes) have to over lengthen to compensate. These overcompensating muscle become posturally weakened.

So now when you stand, your iliopsoas (which is like the glute of your front hip) remains contracted. This pulls your hip into a chronically flexed position. Imagine your hips as a bucket of water. Sitting causes your bucket (hips) to tip and pour the water forward while standing.

Best Stretches For Lower Back PainNormally, your glutes would contract to pull your hips back into neutral position. Alas, sitting over lengthens and weakens the glute muscle, preventing it from functioning posturally.

You can see in the picture above that this forward pelvic tilt puts an excess curve in the lower back. As you can imagine, the lower back muscles are extremely tight, lower back pain is usually the result.

So the anterior pelvic tilt is the major cause of lower back pain. Good, this means we can formulate a simple and intelligent plan to correct the imbalance and reverse the pain at its cause.

How To Correct Anterior Pelvic Tilt And Reverse Lower Back Pain

So if you are a chronic “sitter” (we all are), this is the “sitters” guide to relief.

Let us review all of the major muscles that are overly tight as well as the opposing muscles which are overly stretched.

Over Tight Muscles

-Iliopsoas (hip flexors)

-Hamstrings

-Lower back (erectors)

These tight muscles simply need stretched, relief will be found when they are stretched back to a length where the hip can maintain a neutral position when standing.

There is a problem with this though. The opposing muscles, or the muscles which work opposite of these tightened muscles, are weakened to the point where it will be difficult to hold proper hip alignment.

You see, stretching the iliospoas may not help if you do not also strengthen the glutes to a point where the glutes can hold the hips in a neutral postural position. So the fail proof plan is to stretch what is tight and strengthen what is weak. Which major muscles need strengthened to fix a “sitters” posture?

Over Stretched Muscles

-Gluteous Maximus-

-Rectus Abdominus (six pack muscle)-

Now that we understand the imbalance, let us put together a quick routine of highly effective stretches and exercises to stretch and strengthen our posture back to perfection.

Most Important Stretches For “Chair Induced Back Pain”

With all of these stretches, make sure to hold them for at least 15 seconds. 2-3 sets of stretches is also much more effective than 1.

-Hip Flexor (Iliopsoas) Stretch- Use this “lunge type” stretch to target the hip flexors. This is the most important stretch for hip alignment. To stretch the left psoas, put the left knee back and step forward with the right leg. Push your hips forward while leaving your left leg back to get a good pull on your left hip flexors.

Remember the hip-water bucket analogy? It is extremely important to keep your hips from tilting forward while doing this stretch, otherwise the stretch is taken away from the hip flexors and onto the abs.

Best Stretches For Lower Back Pain

Hip Flexor Stretch – Drive Hips Forward

-Hamstring Stretch- Ah the old hammy stretch we all remember from gym class, but are you still doing it? This one is very simple. While standing with your legs straight, reach down as far as you can to touch your toes. Did I say keep your legs straight?

-Lower Back Stretch (Child’s Pose)- Straight out of yoga, the child’s pose is my go to whole back stretcher. If it aint broke don’t fix it, right?

Come down to your knees and sit back onto your heels. Now fold and flatten your body onto your knees as you reach as far forward as possible with your hands.

Best Stretches For Lower Back Pain

Child’s Pose

Now onto the strengthening phase

Most Important Exercises To Strengthen Hip Alignment

-Glute Kickback- While on your hands and knees, extend your leg straight back as if taking your first step in a sprint. You can also think of it as a donkey kicking back.

The important aspect is that you squeeze your glute as hard as you can through the rep. This will get your glutes firing again and get them into shape so they can hold ideal hip posture.

Do 20 per leg

Best Stretches Exercises For Lower Back Pain

Glute Kickback

-Crunches (Abs)- I know, crunches? Seems too simple, and it is. In reality, the rectus abdominus (six pack) doesn’t do a whole lot. It crunches into about 6 inches of flexion.. But this is actually very important for posture (and aesthetics). You don’t want full situps because these are just putting more work on your hip flexors which are already too tight. So focus on that short tight abdominal crunch, simply pressing your chest to the ceiling.

Go for at least 20 reps

Best Stretches Exercises For Lower Back Pain

CRUNCH!

Summary

My goal in this post was to help as many people as possible to understand the detriments of chair sitting and learn the “exercise antidote” to the modern chair poison. Recent studies are now showing that sitting in chairs may be more damaging to your health than smoking cigarettes. Sedentary behavior damages your body in more ways than can be described in one article. 

Please share this with all of your chair bound family and friends, it will add quality years to their lives if they act on this knowledge.

Remember, it took many years of chair sitting to damage your posture, be prepared to put in similar amounts of work to achieve your perfect form. CONSISTENCY IS KING

 

 

 

 

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One of the most prevalent diseases of our modern age, autoimmune disease occurs when your immune system attacks certain tissues of your own body. The results? Degeneration of the tissues in concern as well as a boatload of painful symptoms resultant from the inflammation. Though many have heard of certain popular adaptogenic herbs helping this issue, there are 2 extremely promising herbs that you likely have not heard of yet. These herbs are far more promising than anything I have yet discovered.

In the case of autoimmunity, the body fails to recognize tissues that are or are not itself. This results in the immune cells attacking the healthy cells of ones own body. It is this immune response which must be modulated in order for the body to regain order and heal its damaged tissues.

I have been writing about healing the gut lately, and though there are certain foods that I recommend to heal the gut, sometimes the bodies immune reaction has gone haywire. In order to heal from this, the immune response must be down-regulated. All the gut healing foods will not help if the body continues to attack the gut.

Though modern humans are dealing with an epidemic of gut autoimmunity such as Crohn’s disease, IBS or any inflammatory bowel syndrome, autoimmune diseases also include arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis and asthma among many others.

Fortunately, for those trying to down-regulate their various autoimmune responses, regulating specific few types of immune killer cells will relieve all autoimmune disorders.

The main problem immune cells in autoimmune and allergenic disorders involves the TH2/TH1 immune cell imbalance. TH2 always works in balance with TH1 cells in the body. More TH2 means less TH1 and visa versa. An excess of TH1 cells results in autoimmuninty such as Crohn’s disease, arthitis or lupus. Meanwhile, a TH2 overload will result in allergies, asthma and increased infections from low TH1 count.

So what is the goal? Keep TH1 and TH2 killer cells in balance and you will have a healthy immune system.

Herbs That Balance Autoimmune Response Via TH1/TH2 Modulation (Herbs With Silly Names)

1. Kalawalla (polypodium leucotomos)- A fern native to South America, Kalawalla has been studied by Harvard among other medical schools for its promising results in balancing TH1 and TH2 immune cells and alleviating autoimmune diseases as a result.

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Kalawalla

Multiple studies show that after 2-5 months of supplementation, the majority of subjects suffering from various autoimmune diseases noted a ~40-95% reversal of their autoimmune symptoms with average dosages of 120-300 mg of kalawalla extract per day.

The most promising studies used kalawalla against the autoimmune diseases multiple sclerosis and lupus. It has also proved to be effective against Crohn’s disease, vitiligo, eczema and psoriasis among others.

Kalawalla has also been shown in studies to be potently anti-carcinogenic and a particularly effective anti-aging agent in skin and brain cells.

2. Hydrangea root- Though you may know Hydrangea as a beautiful addition to your flower garden, this herb has prominently been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine as an effective remedy for autoimmune disease.

2 Unknown Herbs That Reverse Autoimmune Disease

Hydrangea Flower

Earlier we talked about balancing TH1 and TH2 killer cells to alleviate autoimmune dysfunction. Though these cells play a major role in autoimmmunity, TH17 cells also play a major role in inflammatory autoimmunity. 

New autoimmune drugs are being created from a natural compound in Hydrangea called halofuginone. Halofuginone (HF) has been widely studied to effectively block the development of the harmful autoimmune TH17 immune cells without hindering the bodies overall immune strength.

As quoted from the Harvard medical news site, “Th17 cells are “bad actors,” implicated in many autoimmune diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis. The researchers found that minute doses of HF reduced multiple sclerosis in a mouse model.”

What is exciting is that in both kalawalla and hydrangea, only small dosages are needed to provide the researched benefits of reversing autoimmunity.

Conclusion

Most people have never heard of either one of these herbs but research is now showing us that each herb effects unique immune pathways that dramatically dampen the harmful autoimmune pathways in the mammalian body, without lowering overall immune strength. Animal and human studies support this under a wide variety of autoimmune dysfunctions.

In my research, these are the 2 most powerful auto immune shields available to us today, seeing as they individually target two separate, and most problematic autoimmune white blood cells, it is my recommendation that using the combination of these two herbal compounds is the highest hope for those wishing to reverse the symptoms of inflammatory autoimmunity.

If you suffer from autoimmune disease, stack both of these herbs into your supplement regimen. Try them for 6 months and see they don’t relieve a significant burden of your inflammatory symptoms.

Where To Find These Herbs

For those looking to use these herbs, I couldn’t find encapsulated hydrangea root of high enough quality (dosages way too low) so your best bet is to purchase a pound of bulk dried hydrangea root and make a tea from it for daily consumption. 1-2 tablespoons of dried herb per day as a tea is the recommended dosage. You can make a weeks worth of tea by adding 8 tablespoons of hydrangea root into a full tea kettle of pot of water. Bring this to a boil and then let it simmer for 20 minutes. Once it cools, strain the tea and store it in your fridge, consuming 1/7th of it every day of the week.  Sweeten the tea with honey of stevia.

I did find, on Amazon, a high potency kalawalla extract in capsules however, you can find these capsules here

To your health

 

 

 

 

 

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