As we discussed last time, the position of the pelvis has a lot to do with whether you are going to have low back pain or not. The more your hips are rotated forward the more undue stress on the low back. I hope you tried the Iliopsoas stretch to see if that started to relieve your back a bit. Since the Iliopsoas muscle directly relates to the back and the muscles of the low back, as it starts to get full length back it will start to support a healthy position of the pelvis. Did you try it? How did you feel?
In addition to lengthening out the low back, it is important we stretch out the muscles in the front of the thigh that also cross the hip joint. There are several stretches that can help you with this. Here is a great one for addressing one of the main culprits:
To stretch the right Rectus Femoris:
- Bend your right knee and grasp the front of your (right) ankle behind you with your right hand.
- Bring your right heel to your right buttock while tucking your pelvis under; making sure your knee is always pointing towards the ground. Only go as far as you can and still keep your pelvis tucked. (To give you the idea of how to ‘tuck’, tighten or squeeze your buttocks. This will help to pull that pelvis into the correct position.)
- While holding that position, push the front of your right hip forward, maintaining the ‘tucked pelvis’ position. You should feel the stretch in the front of your right thigh. Hold for a few seconds, relax, and then push the pelvis forward again.
Repeat on the second side.
Once you start to get some length into those short muscles it is then time to start to strengthen the ones on the opposite side of the joint, namely the abdominal and hamstring muscles. We can talk more about those after you get some length back.
Meanwhile it is incredibly important to start thinking about the initial cause – namely sitting too much. The new saying is ‘sitting is the new smoking’ since it is so hard on our bodies and health!
Let us begin by looking at what can be changed at your desk. More and more companies are realizing the importance of getting off that chair and into a standing position. Maybe you still have to be at your desk working but at least there are now options to do some of your work standing. Check out these great new tools to turn your desk into a better work place at Varidesk.
Of course in addition to standing, moving is vital! Rather than go grab a snack on your break, what about taking a walk around the building? Perhaps start taking the stairs? Park farther away from the door! Take a walk after dinner rather than sitting in front of the TV! Start finding creative ways to incorporate more and more movement into your daily life. Your body will love you for it!
To your health,