Why Everyday Posture Can Result In Low Back Pain
If you were to take a picture of yourself and your everyday posture, what would you see? If you see a low back arch or locked knees, this could be signs that you have a muscular imbalance between your low back and your core muscles, which if not taken care of properly, can result in low back pain. So why does this happen?
The erector spinae and quadratus lumborum are two of the deep back muscles that surround either side of the spine. Many individuals will compensate and primarily use these muscles in day to day activity, whether it’s lifting a box or reaching down to pick something up off the floor. This could even be caused by your everyday posture. This is highly likely to occur in individuals who are more sedentary or have careers that involve sitting for extended periods of time.
Having this compensation can lead to weak abdominals. Together these muscles hold your pelvis into a neutral position, however if there is overcompensation in the back, this will result to an anterior pelvic tilt. This causes your pelvis to drop forward, eventually leading to low back pain or discomfort. So how do we fix this?
You can fix this using a variety of stretches and strengthening exercises to put you back into “Good Posture." First, foam rolling the low back area as well as the quadricep muscles can help release tension in the low back, as well as the hip flexors. Since everything in our body is connected, it might not be tight low back muscles causing the discomfort. As mentioned, it could be the hip flexors or other areas that cause low back discomfort. From your everyday posture to sitting for extended periods of time, your hip flexor complex can become very tight and will need attention. This in itself can help bring your pelvis back into alignment.
To take it one step further, strengthening your abdominals can help bring the front of your pelvis back up, putting the hips back into neutral. You want to avoid any core exercises that have you curving your spine as it compromises your safety and could induce even more back pain. Avoid sit ups, crunches, and burpees as these all can easily throw your back and pelvis out of alignment. Try exercises like the plank, dead bug, or the bird dog as they will be more effective at building core strength, as well as reducing the chance of back pain. Try making yourself a circuit including 4-6 exercises. Go through them once, have a 1-2 minute rest, and repeat 2-3 times. Do this every other day and you will be feeling better in no time!
Anterior pelvic tilt: Lets talk about your curvy low back and forward tilted pelvis. (2015). Retrieved from https://spscgym.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/anterior-pelvic-tilt-lets-talk-about-your-curvy-low-back-and-forward-tipped-pelvis/