3 Tips to fix your low back pain

Graphic indicating back pain

Many people suffer from low back pain whether it was a short period of time, long term, or later in life. Worldwide, back pain is the single leading cause of disability, preventing many people from engaging in work as well as other everyday activities.

Low back pain can be a result of many different things such as overuse, muscle strain, injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and discs. Over time a muscle injury that has not been managed correctly may lead to an imbalance in the spine.

I see many patients that come in for low back pain, but I also see many patients that have lived with the back pain for years that consequently, has led them to turn to pain relievers, steroid injections, or frequent use of ice and heat. Those items are not necessarily bad to help cope with the pain, but they don’t fix the underlying problem.

You might be wondering.. how do I do to fix the Problem? The key is to strengthen specific muscles that help give your back support and stability.

Strong Core

The core comprise of multiple different muscles that work together to produce maximum stability in the abdominal and lower back region. If you muscles that surround the low back are weak, your body will put more stress on surrounding structures.
CLICK HERE and check out our youtube video below to see the correct exercise progression to perform to strengthen your core.

Hip Strength

It is true today that most patients with low back pain are lacking core and lumbar stability, but research has also found that a decrease in hip and leg strength also affects back pain. The low back and hip share multiple of the same muscle groups and these muscle groups affect motion at the hip, pelvis, and spine. With weakness or lack of normal ROM in these shared muscle groups it can definitely throw off “the balance of the body” and increase pain. Check out the exercise below and try one of my favorite exercises to increase hip strength.

Place theraband around your ankles. While keeping your knees at slightly bent, Engage your core by lightly bringing belly button closer to the spine.  Walk to the side, keeping resistance around the band the entire time.

Flexibility

A lack of flexibility in the lower body, particularly in the hamstrings, buttocks and hip flexors, can actually cause lower back pain. The reason why these tight muscle cause low back pain is, when they are tight they cause you pelvis to tilt which adds extra stress on the low back and creates compensation in in the low back. Listed below is a simple hamstring stretch that can be done is several different ways.

Putting the the leg you are wanting to stretch on a raised flat surface. While keeping your knee straight, slowly lean forward and reach your hands towards your foot until a gentle stretch is felt along the back of your knee/thigh. Hold and then return to starting position and repeat.  It is important to maintain a straight back and bend at the hips.

It is VERY important to remember that not back pain is treated the same and each diagnosis is treated with different protocols. If you have any questions whether these exercises would be beneficial for you feel free to contact us at [email protected]

If you are looking for help with your specific back pain, please don’t hesitate to email us, or call the office at 801.980.0860!

Charlene Nordhoff, Physical Therapist Assistant

Align Therapy