General Dance Discussion > Lower Back Stiffness

Discussion in 'General Dance Discussion' started by RhumbaWaltz, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. RhumbaWaltz

    RhumbaWaltz New Member

    I've been experiencing stiffness in my lower back, especially the morning after dancing (which is almost every morning!). I don't think it's due to a specific injury - I think I need to work on stretching, flexibility and strengthening. I have a natural swayback which I'm always trying to fight.

    Does anyone have any recommendations? I'm hoping this is not just part of being in my mid-thirties! :)
  2. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    I have done labor work all summer you know lifting and building heavy shelves that type of thing, and then I would go dancing. One thing that would help my lower back pain was Aleve. I would take two instead of one, because that's what my doctor said to do. I haven't found anything else that works as quickly as Aleve. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be doing the proper warmup exercise though. I would also make sure that I was lifting correctly and things like that. I also worked on my balance and posture even at work, and I had found that maintaining good posture helped with a lot of my back pain. I know this is all weird stuff, but it worked for me anyways lol.
  3. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    Wait till you get to the 40's, girlfriend. Yep, stretching the back will help for sure. Do you do it before AND after dancing? "Cat" stretches are one of the obvious winners. Also, working on your abdomen can be a bonus as having your "core" strengthened will also minimize back issues.
  4. africana

    africana New Member

    there's this pilates excercise where you roll out your back, starting from a seated position, and it's done slowly with the abs engaged, and focusing on rolling out the sections of the back that are stiff, all the way down to a flat back, and then reverse. You can also hold it in the middle when you form a curved C shape, and focus on breathing, contracting the abs.
    It's really really helpful, I used to have chronic lower back pain, and that helped

    cat stretch is good too
  5. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Yep, stretch before dancing (or anything else strenuous). The other thing to consider is what kind of bed you're sleeping on. Is your mattress too firm, too soft, or worn out?
    1 person likes this.
  6. SPratt74

    SPratt74 New Member

    Good point! I used to get major back pains when I was little. It turned out that all I needed was a better mattress! I haven't had those kind of back problems since. And if you can't afford another mattress right now, flip it over and/or use a different side. I do that before I decide to buy a new mattress, and that lasts for a few months! ;)
  7. saludas

    saludas New Member

    Stretching actually has not been proven to prevent muscle soreness, nor reduce the risk of injury. See this:

    The 12 Things We Know About Stretching

    Here’s what a review of scientific literature tells us about stretching:

    Stretching before participation in athletic activities is standard practice for all levels of sports, competitive or recreational. Athletes, coaches, trainers, physiotherapists, and physicians recommend stretching in an effort to both prevent injury and enhance performance.

    Stretching has been demonstrated to improve the flexibility of several joints (i.e., hips, knees, shoulders, trunk, and ankles).

    Stretches need to be held for a minimum of 15 to 30 seconds to be beneficial.

    Inadequate conditioning and warm-up prior to stretching increases the risk of injury and impairs performance. Some experts argue that warm-up is more important than stretching in the prevention of injuries in sports.

    Stretching increases flexibility but has not been shown to prevent muscle soreness.

    Lack of flexibility does not account for many muscle injuries that occur within a normal range of motion.

    Stretching pre- or post-exercise does not reduce the risk of injury in competitive or recreational athletes.

    The extremes of inflexibility and hyper-flexibility increase the risk of injury.

    Injury is related to too much or too little flexibility. Little evidence exists that suggests a relationship between increased flexibility and a reduced incidence of injury. In fact, in some instances increasing flexibility may increase the rate of injury.

    The President’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports reported that stretching might not prevent injuries and may compromise performance.

    Strength training, conditioning, and warm-up have an important role in injury prevention, and when stretching is done, it should be conducted in the context of adequate conditioning and appropriate warm-up.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently concluded that the best available evidence indicates that stretching before or after exercise does not prevent muscle soreness or injury and that there is insufficient evidence to assess its effect on performance.
  8. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    I don't have any fancy articles to post, but in my personal anecdotal experience, stretching helps to prevent stiffness and injury quite a bit. I can feel a HUGE difference in the stiffness of my back if I scrimp on the stretching. And I have injured myself simply by not stretching in the past.

    If stretching before and after as well as warming up doesn't do the trick, you may want to try heat either after you dance or at night before bed. Either a heating pad for 20 minutes or a warm bath can be helpful.
  9. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member

    My problems in the lower back i caused by two things:
    - too much sitting still when concentrated on work at the PC
    - too much "sexy hips" while dancing salsa

    While my hips work as much as they should do - they help my bad back. Loosening it up - make the muscles relax.

    When I exaggerate the hip motion I get pain. This has happened several times. Last time ...two weeks ago I overstretched a muscle somewhere below gluteus maximus in my behind (Yes - I was dancing salsa.) Very very painful. I cannot sit, sleep or dance. I can walk and stand right up.

    I will work on balancing hip motion and body rolls so they wount hurt any more.

  10. waltzgirl

    waltzgirl Active Member

    I find that stretching my hamstrings also helps my lower back. Tight hamstrings can pull your pelvis into a weird position and stress the lower back.
  11. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Stupid question (or "please pardon this male for showing his ignorance"), but isn't the hip motion supposed to be generated by how you work your legs and knees instead of actually trying to move the hips themselves? Could your injury be in part due to overworking the wrong muscles or by working them in the wrong way?

    In pilates, we are constantly reminded to stablize the lower back by engaging the abdominal muscles. And in the WCS ladies' styling class that I help facilitate (where she includes some international Latin techniques), she has them engage and use their abdominals to perform isolations and some other techniques. Again, if your technique isn't quite right, it might be putting undue strain on that part of your back or backside. [sorry; couldn't resist, since you had mentioned your gluts]

    Just showing my ignorance.
  12. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Lucretia, you might want to google for some stretches for sciatica. It sounds like your piriformis might be getting tight, and it's a tough spot to stretch with other types of stretches. Stretches for sciatica almost always include the piriformis, because when it gets tight (and sitting will do it!), if you're prone to sciatica, it will flare up.
  13. Lucretia

    Lucretia New Member

    Dear Df friends...Wooh and Dwise

    I had a stiff back when I went to the salsavenue. I drove for 45 minutes then I took a painkiller because if it hurts I probably hurt my back even more. A salsa night usually makes me well :) This time something happened ...I know what dance but not exactely when. I really don't think I did work my body wrong. I think my back/hips/legs was in a state where it shouldn't be worked at all :(. Or at least worked with care.

    I have thought a lot about Pilates and core exercieses. I will join a class in august when they start it all up again. I know my back is too flexible...I guess I need to strengthen it up all over.

    Wooh - I will read you post again tomorrow.
    I have to look up a few words in the dictionary (english is not my native tounge) and find a map over all the muscles. I have done a lot of stretching in my life. As long as I do the belly back at the gym and stretch thae back of my legs/behind - I stay well. Whenever I get sick or work too much and stop working out at the gym - my back gives me pain. I guess I have to start up stretching every day!

  14. chachacharming

    chachacharming New Member

    I used to be swaybacked! Here's what you need to know:

    Primarily, people who are swaybacked need to stretch their psoas muscles (also known as the ilio psoas). If you google ilio psoas stretch, you will find many results.

    Just about any type of forward lunge stretch is helpful to stretch the psoas - you should do so several times a day.

    Your swaybacked posture disrupts the natural curve of your back. The natural curve of your back is meant to evenly distribute weight and impact bearing responsibilities on all the vertebrae of the spine. By distrupting the natural curve of your spine, you are making our lower back bear more of a burden than the rest of your spine.

    Also, you may want to try a piriformis or glut stretch (both muscles are located in your buttocks). You can do this by sitting in a chair and crossing your right ankle of your left thigh, then bending over and bringing your upper body towards your leg (keep your back straight! no hunching).

    PM me if you have more questions! :)

  15. chachachacat

    chachachacat Well-Known Member

  16. bordertangoman

    bordertangoman Well-Known Member

  17. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    I love that one for my hips.
  18. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

    I love that one too. It's the "pigeon" pose in yoga. :)

    And yes, stretching the hips, buttocks and hamstrings is extremely important for preventing tightness in the lower back.
  19. Katarzyna

    Katarzyna Well-Known Member

    That exercise is SO DIFFICULT for me.. I have such tight hips.. I've been working on the for a while and there is slight improvement, but this stretch is almost unbearable for me... hamstrings on the other hand are super loose from all the stretch and yoga classes....
  20. RhumbaWaltz

    RhumbaWaltz New Member

    Thank you for the very helpful suggestions!

    I know I need to do a more thorough job of stretching before and after class. It's so easy to skimp on that when you're rushing from work to home to the studio. I am inspired to work on strengthening my abs as well. As much for my back as to look somoewhat presentable in my new Latin dress! LOL. :)

    My job requires me to be at the computer non-stop so I'll need to figure out some better ergonomics for those 8 hours of the day.

    You all are great! :)

    -[A more aligned] RW

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