Snake back. That’s what we call that lower back pain you start to feel after a long day of practice, usually more so for the front players diving headfirst repeatedly into the snake. But even the back players can get a taste of snake back from carrying a fully loaded pack all day. Lower back pain is a common side effect of modern day lifestyle. When you sit in a work chair for half your day then a few more hours in a car, it’s no wonder this pain has affected so many people to date.
Step 1: Improve your daily posture
Take a look at your work and car seats. Is it set up proper so that you don’t have to hunch over? If you can adjust the setup to improve your posture then do so. If not, you will want to look into getting a new office chair. The car can be adjusted; don’t lean back like a gangster
Your bed can be a big impact as well. I used to have a thick memory foam on my bed and after a few weeks I realized my back started hurting. I got rid of it and sleep on a pretty firm mattress now. My back pain went away. Get rid of your soft bedding, that can be a major problem. See how your back feels after a week or two from sleeping on something firmer.
Step 2: Stretch
Three stretches you can do to loosen up your back. These can be performed daily when you first wake up and again before bed.
1: Standing touch your toes knees bent. Hold this for 20 seconds.2: Lay on a hard floor with feet on chair. Lay there for a minute or more.3: Hang from a pullup bar. If you don’t have one at home, try it at the gym. Just hang there for 15-20 seconds.
Step 3: Massage AKA myofascial release
The tightness in your lower back can be coming from your lats or glutes. Both these muscles connect through the lower back and if they are pulling on your lower back, you will feel it. Therefor, we will massage the lats, glutes and lower back to really help break up the scare tissue preventing full range of motion. Forget the foam roller for this one. We’re stepping it up to the tennis ball or softball. Try a softball at first and if you can’t handle the pain, switch to a tennis ball.
Lay on the ball and relax your muscles. Do not flex or clench! Hold each position on each side for 30 seconds. Perform this daily.
*Do not put the ball on the spine. Stay outside of the spine for each of these.
Glute: This is your upper outer butt cheek.
Lats: Just below your shoulder blades before you are in the lower back.
Lower Back: Between the glutes and lats.
Lower back pain is common and it can increase from the stress you place on your body from the sport of paintball, but there are things you can do to release and protect it.