Believe it or not, your stomach muscle, the Rectus Abdominus, can be a source of back pain. This muscle is shortened due to poor posture or too many stomach crunches! When this muscle is tight, it sends pain to your back muscles. You may find that there is pain around your mid-back area, or between the shoulder blades. This pain may be there constantly or come on when you lie on your back.
Source of Back Pain
The same muscle can also cause pain in the lower back area. Take a look at these illustrations of the muscle and the areas of pain associated with them.
Unfortunately, when the muscle is really tight and is causing pain, it would be advisable to visit a health professional for some treatment and advice. Saying that, I still get a lot of clients who have been to other therapists and no-one has treated their stomach muscles for their back pain!
The Cobra Stretch
The easiest way to stretch this muscle out is to lie on your stomach and arch backwards. This is known as the ‘Cobra’ stretch in yoga. At the beginning, just propping yourself up on your elbows may be enough for a good stretch. When you are more flexible, you can push yourself up onto your hands for more of a stretch. Remember to keep your hip bones on the floor! Hold this stretch for approximately 30 seconds and then lower yourself back to the ground. Repeat this stretch three times each time you do them.
Do these stretches gently. If there is any pain, stop the stretch and seek advice from a health professional. Make sure you read my intro to the stretches first.