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These 3 things are something I waffle on about all day every week. They are simple and efficient but can help you master your lower back pain.
1. STOP LEANING!
Often patients come to me with poor hip alignment, sore knees and necks. Leaning is the devil, and while it is the bodies easy way of keeping you upright, locking out the joints on one side of your body and using those joints it a splint can seriously through you out of alignment
2. SOFT KNEES
Locking out the knee joint is lazy and your bodies way of doing less work to keep you upright. While it may feel comfortable and require less energy locking out your knees, it not only increases pressure through the joint itself, but also switches of glutes and increase pressure through the lumbar (low back).
3. SQUEEZE YOUR BUTT! (20-30%)
Now I don’t mean actually squeeze them, I mean activate. In the same way that it is important to use an effective RAMP warm up to prepare your muscles for a workout, it is important to keep your muscles active during your typical day. The glute muscles are one of the biggest in the body, and by not using them you are relying too heavily on your low back to do the work. Increasing your glute activation through daily living activities will significantly decrease the occurrence of low back pain. Now this does not mean 100% squeeze/activation (Every tried to walk with your glutes fully contracted? It doesn’t look right at all haha), try anywhere from 20-30%.
These 3 key tips together can significantly decrease lower back pain and can assist in correcting body and spinal alignment. Having a weak component in this chain can significantly increase the workload for the muscles or joint in the chain, much like that lazy co-worker at your office, who doesn’t do the work and makes you work harder.
So give these a shot. It might not be easy and it might take more energy to begin with, but gradual implementation done incidentally can have incredible benefits!