I’m figuring out this back/shoulder pain mystery.
Turns out, it’s not just my lower back that’s throwing off my upper back and shoulder. It’s my hips and legs, as well.
I stretch at night to relax, and my left leg and hip have been extremely tight. It’s been this way for a while. I usually don’t think much of it, but the other night, when I was stretching, I spent some extra time loosening up my left hip and hamstrings, and lo and behold, my upper back “let go”.
It actually makes sense — looking at the deep muscles of the back, you can see how they run from shoulder to pelvis, and while they don’t appear to be exactly what’s been paining me (localized between the shoulder blade and my spine), it’s all connected, so if they’re pulling down, they’ll be pulling off the other superficial muscles that are connected to them.
It also makes sense from a where-did-this-come-from point of view. When I drive (and I’ve been driving a lot, over the past few weeks), I usually keep my left leg bent, and I use it to stabilize myself while I’m turning. That’s great, but it also shortens the muscles in my left leg — especially in the front. So, those shortened muscles pull on my pelvic bone, which pulls the deep muscles, which pull on the surface muscles.
And I’ve got persistent back pain that won’t seem to go away.
Now I’m pretty sure I know what’s causing it. Stretching helps. All the time.
The key is to not let it get a hold of me, but to keep myself strong and limber on a regular basis.
So, that mystery’s dealt with.
Now, to start my Monday.