If you suffer from Lower Back Pain or Referring Pain down your legs then this article is for you.
Firstly, I’d like to say that without being there to assess you it is always hard to recommend exactly what you need to do but you should find the following very useful…
# 1 – Decompress to Create Space
When you first wake up your spine has the most amount of fluid in between its joints. By the end of the day, due to gravity, it has the least amount.
Spinal fluid enables free movement of the vertebral joints and also nourishes the joints with nutrients that assist in repair.
If you sit for most of the day then by the evening your lower back can become very stiff and compressed. If you start feeling pain down your legs then there is a good chance that you’re irritating a nerve in your lower back.
Start thinking about lengthening or decompressing your spine. Sit less or at least getup and move as much as possible. Practice hanging from a pull-up bar if you can.
Try this decompression exercise in the evenings:
Lie on your back and pull your knees to your chest keeping most of your lower back on the floor. Hold onto your knees and gently rock them backward and forwards, side to side and in small circles.
You are ultimately trying to separate the vertebrae in the lower back so relax and move rhythmically.
# 2 – Mobilize to Prevent Overworking
The lower back contains the largest of the vertebral bones for a reason, they are designed to be stable and not very mobile.
The spine should move like a wave creating its movement through a combination of small movements at each joint.
If one or more of the joints is limited then it forces further movement both above and below the sticking point.
If the lower back is forced to move more than it should due to compensations above and below then there is a good chance you may slip a disc or irritate a nerve.
Work on your spinal mobility. If you sit a lot then you must mobilize your upper back (thoracic spine) and you should also work on your hip mobility to take added pressure away from your lower back.
# 3 – Core Strength for Spinal Stability
The purpose of the core and ab muscles is to provide stability for the lower back as well as provide movement at the mid-section.
If you sit a lot then your core muscles become disengaged then weaken and your spine becomes vulnerable. You’re left with a naked spine when moving!
Work on bracing type core exercises that promote spinal strengthening. Plank type exercises have become popular for this very reason they promote better spinal health than back-breaking crunches.
# 4 – Integrated Strength to Bring It All Together
Once you have worked on decompression, mobility and core strengthening you can start to master exercises that integrate all these important factors.
The kettlebell swing will help strengthen the lower back by working the complete back of your body (posterior chain).
It integrates all the above 3 factors beautifully:
1. Rocking forwards and backward opens and closes the lower vertebrae sucking nutrients into the joints
2. Hip and upper back mobility is increased as the swing promotes correct alignment
3. Core muscles stabilize the pelvis and prevent over extension at the top of the movement
The swing will make your lower back feel tired just like any other muscle but it should not produce pain. If you feel pain then stop, go and see someone and address the 3 points above.
Sitting is the new smoking. It’s a real killer for your lower back but if you do suffer from lower back issues, all is not lost.
Think about decompressing your spine, learn to stay loose and let your lower back do its job not someone else’s, keep your spine strong by using the correct core exercises and finally integrate your full body effectively when exercising.
I hope you have found this useful and if you do suffer from lower back issues then this will help.