I am sure you have heard of core exercises, and maybe even the pelvic tilt, but I am going to throw in some variants to this posture correction exercise based on my research and experience with myself and patients.
This exercise will help improve your proprioception...
Proprioception is your ability to know where your joints are in space. If your eyes were closed and someone bent your finger, you would know they bent it, which direction, and about how far.
But do you know how far the joints in your back are moving?
If you have chronic back pain, you probably don't! This means that your back is frequently "caught off guard" which can pull muscles and cause pain.
Using the pelvic tilt can help wake up these nerves that are supposed to be giving the brain this information.
Slow down - let the connections happen. If you don't do it slow enough, there isn't enough information getting to the brain to change anything. Take time to feel what is happening.
Relax - less is more. Do the movements gently. Think about letting go of tension instead of forcing something to happen. Notice subtle changes and be "enthusiastic" about them. Anat Baniel (Author of Move into Life) notes that when we focus enthusiastically on the positive, we get more of these changes... we could definitely use that!
Awareness - as you slow down and relax, notice all the sensations in your back, your breathing, your legs and thighs, even your neck. Be present. We are so busy rushing through life, we don't even have time to feel what is happening in our body. I think this is why we get into pain in the first place... we don't listen to when our body when it "talks" to us, so it has to SCREAM!
These principals are based on Pilates, core stabilization, Anat Baniel's Method, and the Alexander Technique. What they all have in common is that they seek to change the connections with the brain in slightly different ways. I think this is the key to exercise programs that will actually change the way you use your back, and from there, the way you feel!
Ok, are you ready to start? Let's be enthusiastic!
Go to Part 2 - Sit on Your Sit Bones