The importance of exercise for low back pain part 4

Jul 16, 2019

Exercise for low back pain should be therapeutic rather than for fitness, this stage comes next. As your back becomes painful your body will tighten muscles to protect the spine but this creates a muscle imbalance.

Why does your body create a muscle imbalance?

The quick answer, to protect the spine short term but this creates a long-term problem. The psoas muscle becomes tight because it’s closest to the spine and offers short-term stability to spine. If this tightness stays long term it can put unnecessary stress on the spine and trigger back pain.

If one muscle tightens its opposite muscle relaxes

If your psoas becomes tight your gluteal muscles (buttocks) become relaxed. The goal of exercise is to readdress this balance, it means relaxing the tight muscles (psoas) with stretches and activating the relaxed muscle (gluteals) with exercise.

What stretches loosen the psoas muscle?

The psoas starts each side of your lumbar spine and up to the mid-back and diaphragm. It ends on the top of your upper leg bone (femur). By using this stretch you move the end of the muscle away from start and therefore stretch the muscle. Hold it for up to 60s or until you feel the initial stretch reduce.

What exercise activates your gluteal muscles?

A simple shoulder bridge will do the trick but your hamstrings can override the glutes, so you need to get it right. Follow this exercise to learn how to perform the exercise correctly and activate you glutes.

What next?

If you experience regular low back pain and would like to find out how I help people overcome theirs. You can click here to reserve a spot on my Spine Health Webinar.

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