Happy Monday! I hope you are thriving in this season. I know this last week especially here in California is getting really crazy. I will say, I am proud of people standing up for what is right through this and finally seeing the backstory behind it. I hope for the sake of our economy and so many businesses that took so long and so many tears to build will begin to regain strength again. And for those corrupt in high places to come down! AMEN!
We’re gonna take a break from all that immunity talk and regeneration talk, and talk about something that you are probably all interested in, your backside!! LOL.
I’m sure with working from home, we’ve all been in positions that aren’t our norms, but I have seen people be way more active during this season which is great!
A common scenario I see in my practice is patient’s coming in with an inability to activate their backside.
That means the back and the glutes(butt). The muscles that keep us upright.
If you read my last blog, I talked extensively about how airway compromise causes problems in the backside, always trying to keep you upright. With airway people they have this forward head posture because they can’t adequately breathe, which means their backside is constantly tight (tight muscles mean weak nerve input) trying to keep them upright to fight gravity.
As you can imagine, most of my airway people are going to be the main candidates for this blog, but it also applies to many that have tightness in their back, shoulders and pelvis.
This is the key to proper activation of your backside: Bloodflow and Lymphatic Flow.
Let me explain.
Strong muscles, ANY muscles that are strong need blood flow. The actual best way to grow a muscle’s strength is to increase blood flow to that area.
One of the best ways to increase blood flow to the backside, is to get blood flow working better, which comes from the FRONT.
If you have struggled with weakness or pain in your Glute muscles (butt muscles) or your back after all the exercises and therapy, it’s probably time to change your strategy right?!
Muscles only work as well as they BREATHE, which means oxygen and blood flow have to be able to reach them to work like they are supposed to.
Here is an analogy: Rivers and Streams. Streams will dry up if the source (the river), gets depleted.
We start working not downstream, we start at the top, which is our arteries and the capillaries in our circulatory system.
Most individuals that don’t have good blood/lymph flow to the glutes will say: “when they do hip and glute muscle work or strengthening that they get increasing tension in their groin area or in the front of their hip (thats the front side). ”
Let me explain why:
There is a region in the anterior part of the body where a lot of buildup happens in circulation and lymphatic flow.
This is the area where the biggest lymph node is in our body, which is about 3-4 inches above your belly button. Thats the green dot in the picture.
(not my image)
That green line (representing the lymphatic system) then has to drain up and under the left collarbone into our subclavian vein. That is the transferred into the heart, stomach and other organs.
If there is a BIG blockage here, the lymphatic and furthermore circulation will be impaired.
Working this area, will help open up this channel and the streams down below it.
Another example. The inguinal/groin area.
(not my image)
All of the draining from the lower body has to come through the groin area. See those two red areas? Big Rivers there. We need the FRONT open and flowing to help the back.
No muscle or organ in the body works alone.
If you want a stronger backside, yes you do have to engage it and activate those muscles properly (nerve help and trainers), but first you have to make sure that the “flow” is getting to that muscle!
Ok, doc.. How do we do that?
Well, you might have got the hint by now, but you have to work on the FRONT side.
Constantly working the backside and stretching the backside won’t be your answer if it’s a frontside issue.
Most commonly, when someone has a glute or low back issue, most physical therapist and trainers will say they have a “weak core”, which could and is usually true, but strengthening the core can be difficult when there is a backup in circulation. We need to work first on making those stuck “flow” areas free then can stabilize.
For most of you airway people that means we have to address the entire front line from your head, tongue tie (if you have it), neck and collarbone, down to that big lymph node near your belly button (diaphragm tension), your hip flexors and down to the front of your shins. LOTS of blood flow and lymphatic stuff is in there!
I do this first by realigning your entire body. Remember a stuck joint (even in your head), prevents blood flow. This also will ensure that the muscles are getting proper information from the nerves. So we just do this first:)
Then, we can work on getting the lymphatic system working more with work right along the surface of the skin including the lymphatic organs. This is done through gentle work along those nodes and organs, and sometimes doing muscle work if the fascia is stuck around where the nodes are.
NOTE here: There are some places I cannot get to and refer out for. For instance, if there is internal scar tissue or pelvic floor imbalances, I must refer for this section to get that anterior pelvic section working better. Pelvic Floor therapists can be HUGE resources for this part. With internal scar tissue, it will be a huge problem for blood flow to the glute region.
Additionally, maybe a restriction in the flow is because one of those organs isn’t draining properly? You can work on them doing body work to get the “flow” happening, but also sometimes nutritional protocols are needed to help take the burden off those organs and get digestion working more efficiently.
I’ve had so many patients over the years say that after working with their airway and front side of their body that they feel they can activate their glutes so much more!
So, I encourage you. If this is You. It’s time to change your strategy! You need a proper front AND back sides working together to create balance within your body. Usually the issues are never where you think they are.
Problem with your backside? Work on the front side (loosening and getting circulation flowing) then stimulate and strengthen those back muscles and see how you feel!
That is all for now.
Have a happy and healthy week.