Cure Lower Back Pain
This blog was created for those who suffer from chronic lower back pain or aches.
Low back pain is an issue for a lot of adults and it is becoming a very common complaint. There are many reasons for low back pain, some are more serious than others. The lower back pain I will be addressing today is the one that slowly creeps up on us over time. There is no noticeable event that has caused it, it just came onto us over time as a small ache and is now becoming more uncomfortable.
The most common cause of chronic low back pain and discomfort is posture and sleepy glutes. Usually it is a combined effort of poor posture and inactive glute muscles. So let's address these issues that we encounter on a daily basis.
Poor posture is becoming the normal way of sitting or standing. Especially if we spend most of our days sitting in front of the desk, poor posture can become second nature. Here are some examples of poor posture and correct posture:
As the image shows, incorrect postures have no alignment of our main joints and structures being the head, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. The focal point of posture is the spine, as it is central to our bodies and our nervous system, everything stems from our spine. So if nothing is aligned to the position of the natural shape of our spine, we are forcing it and the muscles around it to change from the position it is accustomed to. This will cause areas of our bodies to hold weight that it isn't supposed to, and that is mainly the lower back. When our posture is correct, our core and torso work together well, as it should, to keep our bodies in shape. But if our posture is wrong, as we see in the images above, our spine is out of line and some of our muscular structures turn off. This means that other parts of our musculature needs to work overtime to keep our spine protected. This mainly happens to the lower back and our lower back takes most of the stress. If we are always sitting or standing with poor posture, it makes sense that our lower backs become more sore after a long period of time, and then becoming chronic. This is because of all the stress it takes on a daily basis because of the positions we put our bodies in. We abuse our lower back on a daily basis.
In order to change this, we need to pay more attention to our posture on a daily basis. We need to make sure that when we are sitting or standing, our main joints are aligned properly and we are not slouching or causing our spine to unnecessarily extend. Make sure both feet are on the floor, make sure spine is neutral and shoulders are directly above your hips with no unnatural curve in your spine. Leaning forward and backwards is fine, you don't need to stay upright, but just make sure that your lower back and spine are neutral and not over extended.
Sleepy glutes is the next thing to happen which add even more stress to the lower back. Sleepy glute means that our glute muscles are inactive, they don't work as well as they should. This could be due to a lot of sitting, at the office etc. The more we sit, the more we don't need to use our glute muscles. Even the act of standing up will slightly activate the glutes in order to keep our hips in place. We are so accustomed to sitting and now, so have our bodies. This means that our bodies are so used to sitting that our bodies think that we don't need to use our glutes anymore. One of the main muscles that take the pressure off the lower back are the glutes. Whenever we standing, walk, pick things up off the floor or bend over for any reason, our glutes are the muscles that should be working. However, if they are not working, something else needs to work for us to fulfill the movement that we are doing. I'm sure you guessed it, the lower back.
So fix the problem of sleepy glutes, there are a few simple exercises that can re-activate the glutes, you don't need equipment to do any of these and they can be done at home.
Glute Bridges - lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat. Engage your core and keep it tight. Move your hips up to the sky by pushing your feet into the floor. As you go up, you should feel your glute muscles activate and contract. Hold the hips at the top of the movement for 3-5 seconds and slowly lower your hips back to the floor. Repeat this for 8-12 repetitions and do it for 3 rounds.
Glute Kickbacks - Get down on to your hands and knees. Lift one knee slightly off the floor and push your leg out behind you until it is completely horizontal and in line with your body. Your leg should be completely off the floor as parallel to the floor as possible. Make sure you keep your stomach engaged so you don't arch your lower back too much. Hold the end position for a second and bring it back down. Do 8-12 reps each leg and do it for 3 rounds.
Clams - Lie on your side and both legs slightly bent. Keeping your feet together the whole time, lift the upper knee up so your knees are apart and feet remain together. Keep you upper body on the floor throughout the exercise. Hold the knee up for 1 second and do 8-12 reps on each leg. Do that for 3 rounds.
Do these exercises 3-4 times weekly to wake up your sleep glutes. You'll find with active glutes, that you will take a lot of pressure off your lower back when doing everyday movements.
With more conscious effort and awareness of our posture and re-activating our glutes, we will help reduce lower back pain and protect our lower back. Doing both of these things, we will take away most of the unnecessary stress that we put on our lower backs. Chronic lower back pain is more and more common in our lives and it is because we are sitting more and moving less. So if we move a little more and activate our glutes, and be aware of our posture as we sit, we can drastically reduce our lower back pain. Give it a try and all the best!