Why does your body feel sore?
If your body feels sore most days, you are where a lot of my clients begin. As we get older there are a lot of different reasons why we experience pain in our bodies. Injuries, arthritis and inflammation can all play a part in regular aches and pain.
The way you move (or not) every day is a huge factor when dealing with daily pain. In this blog I will explore common daily aches and pains and give you some quick movement fixes for these. Being in relationship with our bodies is a big shift when dealing with pain. Responding with just the right stretch, pressure or exercise can dissolve pain or make it more bearable.
We often have very similar aches and pains and so there a few ‘go to’ moves that will be effective for most people. Let me know how you go with these in the comments below.
Regular aches and pain
Many of us sit down for hours and hours every day, and wonder why our body feels sore! A common pain complaint is deep butt pain or tail bone pain. The cause of this originates in too much sitting but also is found in posture that is commonly called ‘mum posture’, think of a tired mum standing at the park slumped in her shoulders hanging forward with her butt tucked under. The truth is that it’s not just mums that suffer from this posture. Men and women of all ages have it from hours and hours of sitting.
Butt and tailbone pain
A quick fix for the deep butt ache can be found in the humble tennis ball. Now you might have a super hard ball with spikes and special prongs on it (??) but the humble tennis ball in my opinion is the best. It’s not too hard and not too soft and it’s about the right size.
To relieve deep butt and tailbone pain, I suggest three exercises:
- 1) Place the tennis ball between your tail bone (bottom of your spine) and your sits bone (bones you sit on). Never on a bone, in the squishy bit between these bones. This will bring pressure into the back of your pelvic floor. Now lie down on the ball, let your legs be long and breathe, for as long as you can entertain yourself down there. Then change sides.
- 2)Lying flat on your back, knees up , feet flat on the floor, place the ball under one buttock to the outside of the bony bits, then drop the same leg out to the side. This will bring pressure into your deep hip rotators. you can then lift your opposite hip off the floor to get more pressure into the side you are working on. Then change sides.
- 3) Now we need to lengthen the muscles so we do a glute stretch. I like the classic floor based glute stretch (see below) because it gives you lots of support for your lower back. Lying flat on your back, knees bent, feet on the floor, bring one ankle to your opposite knee, then draw the bottom leg to your chest as you push your inside knee away from you. Keep the back of your hips on the floor.
Back pain and tightness
Back pain and tightness is often caused by lack of core connection and strength. Your core muscles are responsible for keeping your spine safe, when the core is weak or not responding the para-spinals (muscles along the sides of your spine) take over. If this pattern goes on for many years it can result in degeneration of the vertebrae and damage to the spinal discs causing nerve damage and pain.
To encourage your core to function better and give your para-spinals a break try Hands and knees breathing outlined below. Don’t be fooled by the small movement into thinking this is easy. It’s one of the best toners of the low abdominals you will find.
Releasing your psoas is a wonderful gift to sore tight back. Check out my blog post “What you need to know about your Psoas” for more information on the benefits of this. This relaxation exercise is so good for relieving back pain! Allow your ribs to relax into the space provided, this can take 5 or 10 minutes to get the most out of this position. You will feel greater ease and pain relief after doing this.
Neck pain is so common! The habit of sitting for hours looking at screens sets a pattern of forward head posture that the body just gets used to. In terms of a quick fix for the pain I love this neck relaxation (see below). Supporting the cervical curve (natural curve of your neck) and bringing your focus to relaxing your neck into the towel is so effective for tight, sore neck muscles.
Finding the roots of your neck – this exercise is good for strengthening your neck and improving your resting neck posture. I call it ‘ finding the roots of your neck’ because it should wake you up to the area between your shoulder blades that is so important for a happy neck.
These are common complaints when my body feels sore, and for my clients as well. These moves help me (and my clients) on a regular basis to avoid and reduce pain. Knowing what your body needs when it is giving you pain signals is so empowering!
Try out these moves when your body feels sore, whether it be a tight, sore neck, back pain or deep butt pain, move to nurture yourself and see what happens!
I am Brigid Pearse a Diploma certified Pilates instructor, Pregnancy and Post-natal Exercise Specialist, an ex-dancer and a mum. I run a fully equipped Pilates studio from my home in Lennox Head and I run community Pilates mat classes in Byron Bay, Ballina and online.