Are you one of the 3.7 million Australian’s who are suffering from Low Back Pain (LBP)? The ABS suggests that 70-90% of people will suffer from LBP at some point in their lives! LBP is the leading cause of activity limitation and work absence through much of the developed world. But why is LBP so common and what can we do to prevent and rehabilitate this frustrating condition? Here’s 5 ways to help back off your LBP!
1) Wake up that lazy bum
Grow that peach or prevent/rehabilitate LBP? Por que no los dos (Why don’t we have both?). It’s a win, win situation here, activating our glutes can help prevent LBP and play a major role in the rehabilitation of LBP. Our gluteus muscles surround our pelvis and are responsible for keeping us aligned, propelling us forward, extending our hips and are active during many activities of daily living. If our glutes are not functioning appropriately, our pelvis runs the risk of being in the wrong position and placing unecessary pressure on our low back!
2) Switch on your core
Throw out that ab king pro! There’s more to our core then that killer 6 pack of abs. Our core is a complex series of muscles that supports and stabilises our spine and surrounding musculature and allows us to transfer force throughout our body safely and effectively. Our core is active throughout many daily activities whether it be getting out of your car or sitting down on your couch to watch season 3 of the Bachelor. If these core muscles are in poor condition you run the risk of increased stress being placed on your spine and injuring your lower back – creating pain.
3) Pucker up that posture
“Sit up straight” “Get those shoulders back”, I am sure we have all been on the receiving end of this. The fact of the matter is this annoying adage may have some value to it. Increased periods of time spent in poor postures adversely affects your spine health and can lead to negative anatomical changes. How are you sitting right now? Are you slouching? Well…. I’d hate to be that guy but you very well may be provoking back pain, causing increased stress on the spine and negative changes to muscles, disks and joints.
4) Stop sitting so much!
Humans are made to move, however many of our jobs require us to sit for prolonged periods of time, which can wreak havoc on our body! Increased time spent seated places our pelvis more often than not a posteriorly tilted position (see above). After increased durations in this position, our hip flexor muscles at the front of our thigh can become tight, whilst out glutes are in a lengthened position, which cause them to effectively turn off and become weak and inactive. This muscular imbalance can cause suboptimal loading in the hips and increase the compressive force on the lumbar spine!
5) Get an assessment!
A comprehensive assessment from one of our Accredited Exercise Physiologists can identify muscular imbalances and movement pattern discrepancies which may be leading to LBP or place you at risk of getting LBP in the future. Appropriate exercises can then be prescribed to safely rectify any issues and improve your outcomes!