Lower back pain is one of the most common complaints from adults, affecting upwards of 75% of us. Thankfully, this type of pain is not only easy to manage but easy to prevent as well.
WHAT CAUSES LOWER BACK PAIN?
There is no one cause of lower back pain, but it is often associated with sitting for extended periods of time. The seated position can cause your core to weaken, which forces your hip flexors to work overtime, stabilizing your hips and torso. Additionally, you will often find weak glutes and hamstrings and tighter quads and mid-back muscles. This weak-tight imbalance causes hip instability, poor posture, and the familiar lower back aches and pains.
HOW TO FIX IT
Since lower back pain can have many causes, there is not one single cure for it. That said, there are 3 simple and effective moves that have shown time and again to have the most success in helping people reduce and eliminate low back pain.
In addition to these movements, I cannot stress enough how important it is to get up, move your joints, strengthen weak muscles, and stretch the tight ones throughout the day. You don’t need to “hit the gym” to give your muscles and joints what they need. A quick, effective movement prescription is all you need to begin feeling and living better.
3 ESSENTIAL MOVES
Do 2 – 3 sets of each
A. Hip Flexor Stretch
- Grab a pillow, cushion or mat to kneel on one knee. The other knee will be up, with its foot planted.
- ✔ DO squeeze your bum muscles (glutes) by rotating your hips back. Aim to keep your torso upright.
- ✖ DON’T let your lower back arch or lean too far forward.
- You should feel a big stretch on the front of your hip/leg on the kneeling leg.
- Hold for 20 – 30 seconds on each leg.
B. Front Plank
- Begin by planting your forearms and knees on the floor.
- When ready, lift your knees from the floor so that your body is suspended by forearms and toes.
- ✔ DO activate your core by squeezing your bum muscles (glutes) and rotating your hips back. Keep your back flat and abs tight.
- ✖ DON’T let your hips sag towards the floor or stick your hips too high in the air (tip – aim to have your body parallel with the floor).
- Hold for 10 – 45 seconds.
C. Hip Bridge
- Begin by lying on your back with both knees bent and heels tucked to your hips.
- ✔ DO drive through your heels, push your hips up to the ceiling, and squeeze your bum muscles (glutes) hard at the top.
- ✖ DON’T let your back arch or drive through your toes.
- Note – if you feel your lower back working throughout the movement, stop and reset your form.
- Repeat 10-15 times.
Experiencing aches and pain in a different muscle? Check out this post for 6 Ways to Reduce Muscle Tension.
Yours in health,