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I have been having some pain for the last month and
a half. When I try to bend from my hips, I get a lot of pain in the
back of my legs. I thought it was sciatic, but smashing and stretching
my piriformis and gluteal region doesn’t lead to any improvement
whatsoever. Nor does attacking the hamstrings directly. At first it
was in the right leg, but for the past 1-2 weeks it is in both. I am
99% sure are caused by faulty movement patterns and some imbalances,
because every once in awhile, my movement patterns will click, and I can
bend over without any pain… it feels as if all the right muscles down
the change are doing their part.
I train a lot, and have been trying to correct my posture for over a
year, but my proprioception and kinesthetic awareness is low. I have
always tried to build coordination but it is so difficult when I
constantly overthink and overanalyze whether what I am doing is wrong. I
have tried to address my issues with lots of SMR and activation, but
nothing seems to improve. I’ve been trying to hit the calves a lot now too, just in case faulty foot mechanics are the issue. I have been seeing an NMT, who in the
beginning noticed a hiked right hip leading to a functionally shorter
right leg; however, in recent weeks I have been beginning to think he
can’t really see everything that is going on.
I attached a video of me trying to hip hinge if it helps, and I point to
the general areas where I feel the pain. Sorry about doing it in
jeans, but I was at work.
In the video, it is hard to tell but it looks like your pelvis is not completing its rotation and “getting left behind” as the rest of your spine continues bending, as you are hip hinging to 90 deg. If you have been lifting (say deadlifting or KB swings) in this manner, it is possible you now have issues in your discs which may cause the pain down your legs when you bend – as you bend over, it is possible that the discs get squeezed out because of the spinal joints, touching the nerves there and causing pain.
Thanks David! I really hope I haven’t messed up a disc. A lot of the reason I think my movement pattern is messed is because of what you mention in #1 and #4. I think I’m constantly in extension, because (a) poor proprioception and difficulty differentiating between lumbar and thoracic articulations and (b) my low kinesthetic awareness makes me think that overextension is good posture, and I’ve somehow retrained my brain to think that being overextended both in the lumbar and thoracic region is my neutral spine, and would actually be neutral feels like slouching. When I try to get into an organized position (squeeze glutes, pull ribs down, tighten belly, and screw shoulders and head back), I think the pulling the ribs down part might actually require me to bend forward at the waist a little bit. I definitely feel a good stretch in my lower back when I do that, as if it’s been incredibly tight… but i don’t want to overflex my lumbar spine, so I’m never sure. If I allow myself to try to bend over without trying to keep an arch in my back, the pain is diminished a lot, and I think I may have a good hinge again. I just could never tell if I was bending at the hips or at the waist when I would do this, and would be afraid of doing it wrong. Yet like I said, doing it this way reproduces less pain.
I do have a pole at my house and at work. The only problem is that I realize I can get the 3 points of contact in multiple ways, and one of is still overarching my back. Are there any videos on here that give some good queing in terms of the whole organized position? I’m having some trouble differentiating between #2 pull ribs down and #3 get belly tight.
I really hope I haven’t messed up a disc. Do you know of any reputable physios in the LA area? Someone who’s really familiar with lifting and sports would probably be my best bet.
some things to take a look at:
Thank you so much! You definitely know your stuff. I’m going to get a subscription to mwod pro to check out those videos. And the Gokhale method is something I definitely would love to do; however, it’s pretty expensive. There’s a free workshop coming up on May 10, and I signed up, but I don’t know how much they’re willing to share for free.
I was bummed, I felt like I was making so much progress throughout the past couple of days, but when I went into the gym today I couldn’t get anything going. I felt tight everwhere, and oddly enough, i was feeling pain down the left thigh and its lateral knee, but the right seemed to be fine overall (the right was the one that was initially hurting for a month). I felt crooked as well, and the typical stretches as well as the banded stuff in this video:
Episode 262: Hip Flexion Case Study and Mob Rx part 2
didn’t seem to help. I didn’t have time to do any SMR beforehand, but since stretching didn’t alleviate anything whatsoever, my outlook is pretty grim. I’m prone to spending tons of time SMR just going through the pain part, but never really getting much improvement out of it.
I think now I’m paranoid about if I’m overflexing my lumbar spine, because I can’t tell if i’m maintaining a natural lumbar curve or or slouching over. Getting organized was really hard today, and I just couldn’t seem to get it right this time. It seemed easier the past couple of days, but either my mind wasn’t making the connections to my abs well enough for a good brace, or I was just firing the wrong muscles again.
If you feel pain, the body may seek to protect itself by tightening up and not letting you do something dumb to yourself. The body is smarter than we think LOL.
Thanks again! I think my problems are caused a lot by what you said
about my “pelvis not completing its rotation and “‘getting left
behind.'” I’m beginning to notice that trying to flex my lumbar spine or round my back is providing me with some more stability… as long as i can maintain anything else. I noticed my left leg, which has been more stable due a pelvic rotation, was able to step up better because hip flexion wasn’t blocked. But putting my right leg on the bench, I think the femur is running into the hip; he talks about this in
and a few other videos.
So if I round my back more, this would allow the pelvis to complete the rotation and the femur can clear the hip. Of course this is a tense and scary thought, because we are constantly told to not round our backs… but I think if I’m stuck in extension, then going to neutral will feel like rounding my back. It’s also a matter of glute activation I think as well. Unfortunately, I’ve spent months doing glute activation, obsessing over correct form, and still not getting the mind-muscle connection. This is what makes getting into a good position so hard… the first step is squeeze the glutes, and in all the videos I see, they just say squeeze the glutes. But even after activation drills, I may squeeze my glutes, but other times I may be contracting something else… addutuctor, TFL, an external rotator… no queues allow me to consistently do it correctly. For example, if I try to screw my feet into the ground and/or turn my knees out, sometimes I end up just trying to do this from the tibia. In addition, all this concentration ends up getting me so tense, so it’s a perpetual cycle of stress and frustration.
Trying to crunch up and round my back more while supine kind of helped with glute bridging today, so if I try to take that approach, hopefully I’ll see some results… I suppose I may have been trying to flatten my back with only my TVA and not my rectus in the the recent past, perhaps because of the emphasis I would hear about the need to strengthen the deep abdominals not going into trunk flexion. Of course, crunching up gets me all screwy with my neck… I’m always trying to look to make sure my form is correct, and if i realize it and try to relax the neck, it just ends up tilting backwards. Trying to tuck my chin ends up being just like trying to contract the glutes… sometimes I’m using the right muscles, other times I’m just firing different stuff around the neck.
The other part is distinguishing lumbar spine and thoracic spine movement, since chest out for years was probably just more lumbar extension, which coaches weren’t correcting. So much of this is mental, because when it clicks, it clicks and I perform great. I just wish there was a fool-proof way for me get into the right position every single time, just like the bracing sequence seems to do for everyone else. This way I’d be able to practice these movement patterns correct every time. I already think about my posture 24/7, and I do devote time to stabilization exercises. So I continue to look through mwods, and now the mwod pro videos, to see if I can find anything new that will help my brain click.
Proper posture should be achievable without tucking your chin. It is a common reaction to try to tuck the chin when you bend a bit fwd to connect the bottom of the ribs with the top of your pelvis/pubic bone. You need to develop the ability to do that AND be able to have your neck in neutral position, stacked on top of the spine. You should be able to do this in any position, while lying down or standing.