One of the most common ailments we hear in our office is low back pain. Low back pain affects 80% of the population at some point in their life and a third suffer from it every year. Most common cause of low back pain is lumbar joint restriction, caused by repetitive strain or poor posture.
To determine the cause of your pain, Dr. Matthew Hart DC will begin your initial appointment by asking a series of questions about your health history and assessing your range of motion. By listening to the patient express their pain and observe their posture and movement, Dr. Hart is able to determine the cause, or the source of the pain. In most cases, lower back pain originates from stiff hips. When the hips are tight, they force more rotation in the low back and put your low back at risk of injury.
We know that the lumbar region of the spine has limited mobility with only 1-2 degrees of rotation, while the hips are designed for greater mobility. Many patients have lost that mobility of their hips. While doing exercise or activities, they are forced to twist more through their low back and they are losing that neutral spine position and they find themselves in pain.
That is why it is so important that when you are exercising that you maintain a neutral spine. Neutral spine refers to the position of your spine where all three curves (cervical, thoracic, lumbar) are in proper alignment and there is the least amount of stress placed upon the structures. Maintaining this neutral position is the first goal. From there, it is important to work on gaining more hip mobility to protect your low back.
To demonstrate 3 exercises, we teamed up with TJ Booe, Senior Director of Strength & Performance, of Praxis Fit in Batavia, IL. He demonstrates the proper way to perform low back and hip stretches: