Monday, May 19, 2014
| Category: Function
Ryan Wohlfert, DC, CCSP
Before I can show you the first step to eliminate your low back pain, I first have to show you what’s causing it and why certain common treatments are ineffective.
Obviously, the low back is a part of the spine. There’s a certain position the spine must be in to be strong and withstand stress placed on it. However, because of the world we live in and the stresses you place on your body, it’s hard for your entire spine to stay in a strong position. Your spine should have three balanced curves when looking at it from the side. When these curves increase or decrease, it puts your low back in a weakened position and predisposes it to pain.
As you’ll see in the video, many times the CAUSE of the low back pain doesn’t even originate in the low back. It could start because of the placement of your mid back and ribcage. For example, if you have a slouched or slumped posture (and many of you do) in which the ribcage is pushed too far back, it puts a large mass (i.e. your ribcage) over a weak part of the low back (the joints and ligaments). The constant stress to those joints and ligaments day after day causes it the break down, inflame the nerves, and cause pain.
Because it’s the positioning and shape of the spine that causes the low back pain, doing simple core exercises like planks, crunches, leg lifts, etc won’t fix the problem. Neither will stretching the hip, thighs, and low back. Those are all good secondary treatments but to actually fix the cause, you have to move the spine into its optimal healthy and strong position FIRST. This will make core strengthening and hip stretches much more effective.
I don’t like to just show you a problem without giving you some solutions. Here are a couple simple exercises you can do while you’re at work or home:
- Thoracic/Lumbar Extension exercise: Sit up straight with your hands on your knees. Pull back on your knees with your hands to bring the shoulders back and engage your shoulder blade and mid back muscles. Arch your mid and low back, sticking your chest out, and look up and back with your head and neck. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and then relax. That’s one rep. Perform one set of 10 reps once per day. Work up to 3-5 sets of 10 each day.
- Thoracic Mobility exercise: Sit up straight, clasp your fingers together, and place your palms behind your neck. Stick your chest out and forward as you push your elbows back. Push your head back into your hands but don’t lose the ribcage and arm positioning. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and then relax. That’s one rep. Perform one set of 10 reps once per day. Work up to 3-5 sets of 10 each day.
To learn more about how to eliminate your low back pain and you’re in the Lansing area, come to our Free Dinner with the Doc at Carrabba’s
on May 27 at 6:30pm. Call 855-681-2225 to register you, your friends, and family.