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Taking breaks from stretchsitting and other methods due to upper/mid back ache

juliencb's picture
Last seen:
11 years 1 month ago
04/27/2013 - 2:31pm
Taking breaks from stretchsitting and other methods due to upper/mid back ache


Just started the Gokhale Method and had my first instructed class the other day. I've been suffering from lower back pain for the last 2 years that recently has faded a lot but now I am always tight/aching in my mid and upper back (mainly right side shoulder blade area). I think a lot of this has to do with me trying to force my body into proper posture, specifically with my forward-displaced neck which I am always very self-conscious about.

Often my upper back ache gets sharper/worse when I stretchsit no matter how hard I try to relax. It eases up a little when I really keep my shoulders far back but this causes me to arch a bit and tense my lower back. Similarly, stacksitting eases the upper back but hurts my lower back quickly (though still haven't fully learned the technique). Just sitting "straight" seems to place too much strain on my upper back due to my neck position and I find my neck drifts forward to ease my upper back pain. Am I doing something wrong or just too much shock to my body?

Is it ok to not always be doing these methods, especially at the beginning? I suppose I am both impatient and paranoid that even the smallest lapse into my old bad habits will prevent me from correcting my posture.

And any recommendations for this upper back pain? It is near constant as soon as I get up out of bed. Diminishes slightly when walking but returns a bit when glidewalking due to my shoulders tensing in concentration. I am 26, very athletic build so I do not think strength is an issue.


Abeja Judy Hummel
Abeja Judy Hummel's picture
Last seen:
2 months 1 week ago
06/12/2012 - 12:49pm

It sounds like you're a real go-getter--and you're go-gettin' it a little too quickly.  Do keep practicing constantly, but not quite so intently.  Back off a little.  Go somewhere between what is ideal and where you're at.  Only go as far as is comfortable.  My guess is that your lower back is quite tense, so trying to stretchsit to the extent that you are able will stretch it too much too quickly.  So, instead of alternating between too much and none, just stretch less each time.  Eventually those muscles will lengthen, as well as your tight pecs and traps that are net letting your shoulders and head line up nicely.  Patience!

Abeja Hummel

Gokhale Method Instructor

Boonville, CA

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