5 Ways to Reduce Low Back Pain
Low back pain is something that almost everyone is familiar with or has experienced. But why is it so common now? Have you completely fixed what was wrong? Did you even discover the cause? Remember, pain is not a problem it is a symptom of a problem.
Many of us don’t bother to research into why we are having pain, we just want the pain gone. But masking the pain does not fix the problem, and most likely will re-occur in a short period of time. To truly understand where the pain comes from, you need to understand that the pain may not be stemming from where the pain is felt; this can often be the case in low back pain.
Dealing with my own clients, one of the first things I look at are the hips. With the civilized world we live in today, our reliance on computers and robotics have taken away a lot of physical work our bodies are designed to do! This takes away from our core stability and hip movement. Sitting all day causes the hip muscles to become dormant and deactivated. This can lead to instability and weakness causing pain. Our bodies want to work!
- Rule out mechanical issues. Sometimes low back pain can involve more than you initially think. See your Dr. to make sure nothing mechanical is going on. By this, I mean making sure the vertebrae and discs are all where they should be. If they are not, proceed as per your Dr’s instructions.
- Once that has been ruled out, take a look at your IT Bands. These bad sallys are thick, tough, and down right ugly when it comes to hip mobility and low back pain. Many people like to run, running induces impact, part of absorbing impact force is the IT Band, more running equals more force equals more IT Band usage. You get the picture. Tight IT Bands pull down on the hips and cause strain on the low back. Solution, get a foam roller and use it daily. It will hurt at first but suck it up, you will thank the roller later.
- Hip flexors are next. These muscles stay in a shortened position while we sit. Get up frequently and move around, use the proper stretches and foam rolling techniques and over time they will begin to release. This will help reduce anterior (or frontward) tilt on the hips which contribute to excessive curvature in the lower back.
- Lower body weight training. Don’t skip leg day! Squatting and deadlifting movements help stretch out, strengthen and activate the muscles needed to support the hip joint. The hamstrings, quads, and glutes all work together to lift loads and stabilize the hip socket. Start with little to no weight and practice the correct movement. Incorrect movement can lead to increased risk of injury and you’ll be back to where you started.
- Finally, separate the core from the hips. There’s a misconception out there that the spine is designed for movement. It is not. It is designed to stabilize the upper body into the lower body, whether it is under load or not. Shoulders, hips, knees etc. those are designed to move the body. Strengthening the core (not just abs) will create a ‘belt’ of stabilization around the spine. Use exercises like planks, wood-chops, and compound movements like squats to increase core strength and stability.
To recap, rule out anything mechanical and then follow a proper mobility and exercise program. Curastream has many injury prevention programs, in this case, specifically a lower back injury prevention program. The instructional videos included in each program help you to make sure the exercises are being performed correctly. Take your health seriously and into your own hands with Curastream.