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Erector myofascial release – ease back tightness/stiffness and relieve sore, tender, tight erector muscles

Back pain… it’s often felt in the erectors, which are a group of muscles and tendons that straighten and rotate your spine.

The erector spinae group is made of the iliocostalis, longissimus and spinalis muscles. The erectors right next to your spine can get angry if they are getting pulled on fascially from tissue adjacent, higher or lower; they can also get angry from being overworked, from perhaps doing the job of your glutes to stabilize your spine, if you have a gluteus medius not firing for example.

IMPORTANT: please DO NOT use this technique if you have back pain, especially if your back pain consists of spasms or cramping in the area of your erectors. Chances are, those muscles are already being overstretched, and they are trying their hardest to contract back into their natural position or they are protecting your spine, or another muscle group, by initiating a stretch reflex.

If you have back pain and you’re landing on this video, please go find my quad and quad hip flexor and adductor techniques to start problem solving your back pain at the root.

This technique will work really well for those of you who tend to overuse your erector muscles, either from focusing on posterior chain work in your strength routine, or because your anatomy/structure places a strain here. This happens to more often to those of you who are tall, because your center of gravity is higher than shorter people, requiring more of your body to work to stabilize you.

You are GREENLIGHTED (by me) to do this technique if you: do not have back pain and when compressed your erectors feel tender, sore, achy or tight.

This is a fairly benign fascia release, but for some of you there might be a lot of intensity. Remember to breathe, move SLOWLY and get up after one round of doing this if it’s your first time to see what your body thinks of it. If your body responds positively, keep going!

You will likely find anywhere from 3 to 6 spots with this along your spine, on each side (so up to 12 spots total). Do as much as you want, taking the typical 30 ish seconds to perform the movement before going to another spot.

Share your experience in the comments below!

  • Neilo says:

    Yes I have costochondritis where the ribs are really tight and inhibit me taking a full breath. I have AS (ank/spond / ankylosing spondylitis) affecting my neck, thoracic and lumber mobility. I just wish my ribs weren’t so damn tight so I could twist and rotate!
    I have found laying on my 16kg / 20kg / 30kg dead balls (slam ball) sideways, that I can get some extra flexion and movement through the ribs. I do 20mins per side plus 10mins on my chest. Then a large 25cm peanut roller for my back.
    I highly recommend adding this to your list, as the sideways flexion opens up the ribs and spine, plus rolling on the 25cm wide x 12cm high (XL) peanut roller releases the Erector Spinae so quickly! I do it before EVERY physio and gym session. 😀

  • Androsiane says:

    Wanted to let you know that this is working, thank you! Finally (I think) figured out that the pain I’m feeling s from the erector muscles after clear ultrasounds. This is much easier than pressing it up against a wall!

  • Mona Daignault says:

    So happy to “Be in your little world of fascia”! I’ve never used a tennis ball for myofascial release techniques, having just jumped into the more expensive balls that were available. Well the tennis ball has been added to the Mobility Bowl of Tools on top of the TV stand! What a great affordable tool that works wonders! I like to do roll while listening to your videos and after doing this twice a week for the past 2 months, I’ve never been more comfortable in my body. You are the Fascia Queen. Thank you for your wonderful videos.

  • cliff says:

    one word Costochondritise

    • Neilo says:

      Costochondritis? What did you want to say about it? Is it related to constantly tight Erector Spinae?
      Do you have any tips to share?
      I posted above, please read it too and let me know.
      Thanks mate! 🙂

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