Hurts to sit? Hurts to walk? How about when you play sports, like hockey or golf?
Low back pain is widespread throughout our society and it sucks. It stops you from being active, it gives excuses for not playing sports and it makes you feel old.
So what's the cause?
Well since most of us live a sedentary lifestyle where we are sitting at work or school for long hours, then sitting in traffic in our cars and then we sit at home on our couches. We end up tightening our muscles and restricting their movements for long periods of time. We basically suffocate them and not allow them to breath.
Our bodies are designed to move and function. They want to be challenged and put to use. They want to feel alive! Not be restricted into an awkward position where they are forced to shut down and not be put to use.
So how does this relate to your lower back hurting? Well our bodies are connected just like an assembly line at a factory. The line never stops running and the work needs to be done. So if a few of the workers decide to slack off or take long breaks, then others on that line will need to pick up the slack. And that’s where your lower back kicks in! Its being forced to overcompensate for other muscles that are not functioning correctly.
So what muscles are being suffocated and not functioning correctly?
First, your hip flexor muscles. Located at the front of your body and connect the leg (upper thigh region) to the pelvis and abdomen area. So now you can imagine being in a seated position and how they would be forced to shorten and be restricted for long periods of time.
Second, your glutes (rear end). Sitting on it for 10 hours a day or more can force it to simply shut down and not want to function. Your glute muscles are responsible for absorbing impact and generating balance and stability. Not just for sports, but for simple movements like, getting up from a chair, climbing up stairs or even just walking.
So you can see how just these two areas are so very important to functioning without pain.
So how do you fix the problem?
Well, simply, start to MOVE! Sounds too simple, but it is. The biggest reason most of us get hurt or are in pain is because our muscles are not mobile, hence they are not functioning correctly. But this problems is not just for us everyday folks, even athletes are guilty of this. Mobility work is so important in assuring our body is functioning correctly and we are moving in a fluid manner.
Our glutes (rear end) being activated and our hip flexors functioning correctly will release a great deal of pressure off your lower back and allow the workload to be distributed evenly.
Below is a quick sequence you can do every morning and evening before and after work. It will also be very beneficial before a workout as well, as it will allow your body to reset into a correctly functioning position before you decide to load your body with weights.
Hip Mobility Sequence
1. Hip Opener
- Have a seat and lean back on your hands
- Drop your knees side to side
- It is important to lead with your hips and allow your knees to drop side to side
- Increase your speed as you feel comfortable
10-12 repetitions on each side
2. Hip flexor stretch
- Once kneeling, drive your hips forward
- Do not arch your lower back forward, but rather drive the hips forward
- Then lean to the opposite side
Hold for approximately 10 seconds each side
3. Horse Stance Dynamic
- Once on all fours, raise opposite hand and foot
- Make them touch and then seperate trying to reach as far as possible
- Keep the core tight but don't hold your breath
10 repetitions on each side
Give it a try and tell me how it goes!