Per the World Health Organisation , approximately 70% of us will experience lower back pain at some point in our lives. That’s a lot of bad backs! But here’s the million-dollar question: Is it really your lower back causing you pain or is there something else at play?
Surprisingly, many cases of lower back pain can be made worse simply through feeling more stressed/run-down than usual. You can reduce your pain levels by doing things that help you unwind!
Okay, so we’re off to a good start, but what else could be causing your lower back pain? How about your posture?
CHECK YOUR POSTURE
An easy way to check your lower back posture is by having a look at how the waistline of your pants sits on your waist. Is it flat? Or does it tilt forwards? If your waistline tilts forwards, you may have what’s known as a “baboon posture”, which refers to the forwards tilting of your pelvis, which can lead to the natural curve (lordosis) of your lower back becoming exaggerated and putting pressure on the structures in your lower back.
Here’s what you should look out for:
• Waistband of pants tilts downwards.
• Stomach and rear stick out.
• Muscle tightness in hip flexors (front of thighs) and erector spinae (lower back muscles).
• Muscle weakness in the hamstrings (back of thigh) and abdominal region.
What can you do about it?
1) Build postural awareness – Feel like your belly/bum is sticking out? Tuck them in by lightly contracting your core (think about the feeling of holding a wee in, trust me it works!) and glutes! These cues should help to keep your waistline nice and horizontal.
2)Stretching – in particular your hip flexors and erector spinae (see right). This will loosen up the muscles that are pulling your pelvis into a forwards tilting position.
3) Exercises – strengthening your abdominals, glutes and hamstrings will all help to pull your pelvis back into a neutral position, especially if you do this alongside the stretches. Have a go at the glute bridge (which gives you a 3-in-1 as it strengthens all 3 of the target muscles at the same time) below!
FIND ME ON: