Lower Back Pain? Focus On Your Hips!
A lot has changed in the world of training and rehabilitation over the past 10-15 years. A more intelligent approach has taken over, the training of movement patterns. The majority of great chiropractors, physical therapists, trainers and coaches have set aside the old chest-shoulders-triceps methods and gravitated to the sound principles of training movements.
Evaluating movements is critical for not only the implementation of strength and conditioning programs, but for injury prevention. Dysfunctions in one region of the body will undoubtedly have an impact on the joints nearby.
The prime example of this is the infamous lower back. The lower back is very much like a misunderstood rottweiler with a big scary reputation. Most of the time however, both the lower back and rottweiler can blame other factors in their environments that create that scary misconception.
Training the core (mid section) is clearly a well researched and documented necessity for reducing the risk of lower back pain, but how many doctors, therapists and trainers are looking into the one of the most over looked causes of lower back pain: hip mobility.
The hips are region that lives to move. If the mobility in the hips are taken away from years of inactivity and sitting behind a desk, then the stable pelvic/lumbar spine region begins to move too much and is open for injury. This is known as a compensatory mechanism. When the mobile region no longer moves, the stable region either above or below it becomes LESS STABLE and unfortunately sets you up for injuries or pain.
Let’s take a simple look at how the body functions in terms of stability vs mobility:
The ankle joint is a mobile joint. Lose it’s mobility and get knee pain. Why’s that? Because the knee is a stable joint and loses that stability when the ankle is robbed of mobility.
The hips as mentioned above are mobile. Scrap that and get back pain.
The mid back is mobile. Lose mobility get neck, shoulder and/or lower back pain.
The bottom line is the body was designed to move and it has dedicated regions that are suppose to be more mobile than others. If it becomes less mobile in these regions, other areas that should remain stable are no longer able to do so because of the need to move more. It’s a defense mechanism, if you can’t move guess what? You get eaten by the bear. No mobility, no life. Think about it. What can you do if you can’t move?
Sometimes thinking out of the box can render results that were otherwise unattainable. Don’t become focused on isolation. Think of the body in motion like a symphony with all the joints in the body working in concert with one another.
Dr. Brian S. Lank