Mastering a few basic movements is all you need to take control of your low back pain. In this article we cover three movements you can easily implement today to protect your low back from repetitive strain, correct poor postures, and create spinal stability for low back pain relief.
1. Three Point Hip Hinge
The most common cause of low back pain is repetitive spinal flexion from bending, sitting, and workouts (sit ups anyone?). The hip hinge protects the low back from the strain of repetitive spinal flexion by placing tension in your hamstrings and hips (your prime movers and weight bearing joints) rather than your low back.
To perform: Starting with your feet hip width apart and PVC (broom handle, wooden dowell, etc) touching back of head, mid back, and sacrum, hinge forward at your hips, keeping contact with the PVC in those three points. Stop when you feel tension in the back of your legs and return to starting position.
2. Pelvic Rock
An Anterior or posterior rotated pelvis increases the amount of strain on the joints of the low back. Pelvic rocks are used to dissociate pelvic movement from low back movement and allows us to easily correct this poor posture.
To perform: Start on your back, knees bent and feet flat against the floor. There should be a natural arch in the low back as you lay on the floor. To rock your pelvic backward, flatten your back against the floor. Hold for two seconds and relax. Next, rock pelvis forward by over exaggerating arch in low back. Note which position improves feeling in low back.
3. Belly Breathing
Breathing is one of the most important (and most commonly overlooked and dysfunctional) movement patterns. The state of one’s breathing is often a reflection of their state of well-being. Restoring normal respiratory mechanics are a foundational key to spinal stability and good health affecting athletic and everyday performance.
To perform: Start on your back, knees bent and in 90/90 position against the floor. Take a deep breath in through your nose, pressing belly out (in all directions). Exhale through your mouth, allowing belly to natural relax to starting position.
Remember that the goal of these movements isn’t to understand the concept, but to practice them enough so that the next time something unexpected happens; we automatically default to these movements and positions. Like anything, practice and repetition is what is required to make these movements automatic.