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Is your back always tight? Start asking WHY

I know the feeling - It’s not always painful, but it’s always kind of tight. You have a hard workout and it’s a bit tight afterwards. You constantly feel like you want to stretch it out. You do - and it helps. BUT it comes back. I just have to stretch more, you tell yourself.

What if you had a crack in your ceiling that kept recurring? You patch it and it helps. BUT it comes back. Maybe you just need to patch it more? Well you might think that, but you’d likely start asking why? Why does this crack keep returning – maybe I have an issue with my foundation or my roof? Maybe I should have an expert look at it before it gets worse?

Let’s rethink that recurrent tight back you experience. Do you really need to stretch it more? Why is it getting tight? Why don’t I have to stretch other parts of my body more? Maybe it’s not my back that’s the true root of the issue, maybe I should have an expert look at it before it gets worse?

So perhaps your back isn’t the problem. What if your back is tight because it’s fatigued from working way too hard? Maybe another part of your body isn’t doing it’s job properly and your back is compensating to help out. Any chance those abs aren’t working to their full potential? What about your glutes, are they doing as much as they should? What about those tight hips – are you bending at your back instead of your hips to perform movements?

If our body doesn’t have enough stability or mobility to perform a task, it will get any body part to pitch in to get the job done. Maybe you’ve been stretching and blaming one of hardest working parts of your body?

If this sounds like you – start asking why. You can keep patching the cracks in the ceilingg, or you can have it assessed and fix the true source of the issue.

Your hard working back will thank you.

Proprioception = happy ankles

We know that ankle mobility is important for preventing injuries as we discussed here. Appropriate mobility (specifically the up and down motions) at the ankle means that the knee doesn’t have to make up for the difference, hence avoiding excess strain on the knee and helping to avoid injury.

But, what if we have too much motion at the ankle? This can happen - especially for those who have previously sprained or rolled their ankle. When we sprain our ankle we strain or stretch the ligaments that protect our ankles, which leads to pain and swelling. But after the pain and swelling dissipate, we are left with another problem - poor proprioception!

But what is proprioception? Proprioception is our sense of the position of our body parts. If you close your eyes right now, it is your proprioceptive sense that lets you know whether your fingers are straight or bent without having to look at them. In terms of our joints, our proprioceptive ability comes from receptors found within the joint, the muscle, the ligaments and the skin.

So getting back to someone who has sprained their ankle - they have over-stretched and damaged the ligaments in the ankle, precisely where some of our stretch receptors are located. This means that person will have a poor ability to realize where their ankle is - so the next time they start to roll their ankle they’ll have a delayed reaction to this and are more likely to re-injure their ankle.

So how do we improve our proprioception? Just like running, we improve by doing it.

Here are some proprioceptive exercises that you can do to help improve your balance and reduce your risk on ankle injury:

Next week - how to help out those bad knees, by looking at your hips!

Any questions? Send me an email at and I’ll see if I can help.

Ankle mobility to help your knees

Ankle mobility to help your knees - learn now to test your ankles and improve their mobility to help your knees. Read More...