Is This the Best Stretch for Low Back Relief?

Lower back pain is a prevalent problem in today’s society. Doesn’t matter if you are a bodybuilder, desk-jockey, or an overweight blind man on a scooter—lower back pain happens to anyone. What most people don’t understand is where there is lower back pain,  their is some sort of hip complex dysfunction. Most therapist and low back suffers are quick to focus their sights on “stretching the lower back“–hence, performing countless Yoga Child Pose stretches:

Although this stretch and other drills will help, one must understand that relief comes from mobilizing the hip complex. Let’s take a closer look at how lower back comfort is directly related to the hip complex.
As a therapist actually working with patients, I find that most of my patients find relief with drills that mobilize the hips; and flexibility exercises that target the muscle groups that originate from the pelvis. Most of my patients sit for 8-10 hours a day. Sitting causes an enormous amount of cumulative stress on the hip complex, and in turn, on the lower back.  Coupled with inactivity and extra weight, the pelvis becomes a central point of dysfunction. Some of the important muscles that are effected by pelvic dysfunction are:

Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL) – This muscle helps stabilize and steady the hip and knee joints by putting tension on the iliotibial band of fascia

Pectineus – This muscle adducts the thigh and flexes the hip joint

Quadratus Femoris – This muscle rotates the hip laterally; also helps adduct the hip

Psoas – This muscles flexes the torso and thigh with respect to each other

External Oblique – This important muscles rotates the torso. Most people that sit all day, rotate very little–so this muscle stiffens up–feeling like a large velcro belt around the entire mid-torso.

Quadratus Lumborom  (QL) – This muscle alone helps to laterally flex the spine. Again, most people that sit all day do not laterally flex,  so this muscle stiffens up feeling like a gun holster is permanently attached to your waist.

Recently, I have been utilizing a stretch on myself and some of my clients that complain of low back pain. It’s probably nothing new, but it uses  a stability ball (which will take some practice and balance), and some strength. After a bout of mobility drills that focus on range of motion and activation, I perform this stretch on a stability a ball. Myself and my clients have been virtually exonerated of any low back pain or discomfort since performing this stretch daily:

Posted on August 31, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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