Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: August 2019

I rarely go to live events where it’s standing only because my back aches after a while. About a month ago this situation was unavoidable as I found myself packed like a sardine during Balabam’s farewell party. After standing for an hour and a half or so, my back was uncomfortable. My hypothesis was that it was tight hip flexors causing my back to overwork itself and changing the tonus of the hip flexors would solve my issue. The question was how to change the tonus. The only way I knew and had discovered for myself was to do knee circles but that wasn’t possible in this situation. I tried flexing my glutes to change the angle of the lower vertebrae and pelvis to the femurs and doing that repeatedly in various ways but it didn’t work. I tried a few other approaches that I don’t remember but they didn’t work either. Then there were some “bangers” that were played by Don Kipper. My legs were kinda tired from the standing but fuck it I’m gonna use even more energy. I found a compromise where both my feet were flat on the floor and bent at the knees and hips and sometimes side to side so at its apex, my torso was at an angle around twenty to forty degrees from verticle. I did this repeatedly in time to the music and after a while I noticed my back ache had reduced. So I did this some more and more and a few songs later my back ache was gone.

The “traditional” way to change the tonus of hip flexors is to go the opposite way by stretching them. Stretching appears to change the tonus (when done well) and also affects the ligaments and fascia too. What I’d done with the mini-squats was a more Feldenkrais way where you exaggerate what is already happening. In this case, making the hip flexors work even more. For some magical reason I haven’t been able to discern, the brain gets the message to change the tonus of the hip flexors. Maybe it’s due to heightened demand and bloodflow to the area. Maybe it’s due to better clarification of the bodymap of the area. In any case, it removed my back ache at that time during that situation. Needless to say a hip flexor stretch was not possible in that situation and I’m not sure if it would’ve helped.