Once you become more aware of postures or movements that may be contributing to your back discomfort or flare ups you can take measures to avoid those aggravating factors. If repeated spinal flexion movements or positions that require sustained flexion are some that appear to aggravate your back, then you may find relief from the following exercises.
With flexion and extension movements in the spine, the hips/pelvis work in contrary to the spine. Tucking the pelvis under, by rotating it backward (drawing the pubic bone up) flexes the lower spine, but extends the hips. By rolling the pelvis forward and poking the bottom out, the lumbar spine extends as the hips flex. This motion can help you become more aware of the motion occurring in your lower back, as well as provide gentle mobilisation to the lumbar spine and hips.
How to perform:
Stand in a comfortable position and place one hand on your lower abdomen (just above the pubic bone, and one hand on your tailbone.
Focus on rolling the pelvis backward by squeezing the gluteal muscles, and drawing the pubic bone upwards by tightening the abdominal muscles. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds.
Now reverse the movement by rolling the pelvis forward, squeezing the lower back muscles. Focus on pushing the bottom backwards. Hold this position for 2-3 seconds.
Now repeat those movements, alternating from forward to backward rotation, holding in each position for 2-3 seconds.
Simply, the hip hinge is the act of bending forward using the hips as the primary hinge, instead of rounding/flexing through the lower back. Using the hip hinge to bend forward will reduce the spinal flexion loads on the lumbar spine and may assist in reducing low back symptoms or risk of low back injury.
How to perform
Using a broomstick or mop, hold the stick against your back, with one hand holding the stick behind the neck, keeping it in contact with the back of the skull and upper back, the other hand holding the stick behind the lower back, keeping the stick in contact with the tailbone. There should be 3 points of contact.
Maintaining the stick against these points, bend forward by focusing on pushing the hips backwards (effectively ‘hinging’ at the hips). Repeat 10-20 times, performing slowly and in a controlled manner.
Perform these exercises daily, focusing on becoming more aware of the movements occurring in your hips and lower back. The hip hinge is a more ideal movement for bending down and picking things up.
If you have ongoing or current low back pain and are seeking advice on management or treatment options give us a call at the clinic on 0425 876 929 or book online HERE