In The News

Wed 14 Jun 2017

What Everyone Should Know About Lower Back Pain

Health & Wellbeing
back pain animation

Back pain is one of the most common reasons for time off work and low productivity, but I’d like to share with you what everyone should know about lower back pain.

Frequently back pain is caused by a shortening of the hip flexor muscles that run from the top of your hip to the top of your thigh crossing the hip joint.  This muscle becomes short for a whole range of reasons but primarily it’s because we sit too much.  While we are seated the hip flexor is not engaged, it’s not even at its full length.  While seated the hip flexor  (and a whole bunch of other muscles and skin) are just sitting there holding your legs on!  I know it sounds kind of obvious but if you are not lengthening that muscle it will remain short and that’s how the back pain starts.

A shortened hip flexor is often the cause of a forward tilt on the pelvis and a lower back ‘sway back’ posture.  In response the lower back muscles initially try to realign the forward tilting pelvis by becoming tense and hence the lower back pain starts.  If this is you I have a very simple exercise for you to keep the hip flexors long like they should be and the pelvis sitting in a more neutral position.

  1. Stand on one leg with your knee bent, hook your ankle over the back of the chair (or in the case of this photo on to the picnic table).
  2. Gently tilt the pelvis forward – you are now stretching the hip flexor muscle.
  3. Add more intensity by raising the arm on the same side.

    Hip flexor stretch to reduce lower back pain

    Raise the arm to intensify the stretch.

    hip flexor stretch to reduce lower back pain

    Hook the foot up behind you and gently push the hips forward.

If you are very tight in the hip flexor muscle you may not be able to hook the ankle over the back of the chair, in that case improvise by using a rope or something similar to hook the ankle up, just not so far – hold the rope yourself.  Laying on your tummy on the ground is another option, knees together, and hold the ankle with the hand or piece of rope and push the hips into the ground.  You should feel the stretch immediately in the front of the hip.

If short hip flexors are the problem then you’ll feel immediate relief in your lower back pain.

After you have given this a go let me know if it worked at relieving any current lower back pain your are experiencing.

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