Low Back Pain?
A few years ago I was having a lot of pain in my lower back. At the time, I thought I slept wrong at night or my lower back was weak. While reading, researching, and finishing up my exercise science degree, I learned this was not the case at all! Today, it’s nice to say that I have no back pain.
Low back pain is very common in our society and there are many reasons for this. One of the reasons is the time we spend sitting during the day. When we sit for many hours our hips are in flexion. This causes our hip flexors to be very tight! Also, most daily movements use the anterior (front of body) muscles. This becomes an issue because the gluteus maximus and hamstrings muscles are a large part of the posterior chain (back of body) and these muscles aren’t used as much as they need to be.
So, why does this cause back pain? One would think the problem area would be the lower back, since that is where the pain is. Actually, more times than not, the issue is the imbalance between muscles. If a person’s hip flexors are tight, this pulls down on the anterior part of the pelvis. In addition, if your gluteus maximus and hamstring muscles are weak, the back part of your pelvis will slide upward. These two factors (tight hip flexors and weak gluteus and hamstrings) cause a anterior tilt in the pelvis. When a person has an anterior pelvic tilt, the lower back (lumbar spine) must compensate and is pulled into a curve shape, known as extension. This pressure on the lumbar spine is what causes the pain in the lower back.
With that said, much of lower back pain has little to do with a person’s back. The cause is weak glutes and hamstrings paired with tight and immobile hip flexors. How do you fix it? Pretty simple, just stretch out and lengthen your hip flexors while strengthening your glutes and hamstrings.
Suggested Exercises to readjust anterior pelvic tilt:
Hip Flexor Stretch
Romanian Dead lifts
Give these a try! Remember though, this is an uphill battle and might take months to years to adjust the pelvis into the proper position. Good Luck.
Train Hard, Train Smart, Train with Me!