It’s normal to get soreness and stiffness after a long day of standing or sitting. Even so, chronic back pain that’s present for more than two weeks is cause for alarm. Back pain stemming from your lower back (also called lumbar spine) is almost always caused by one of the three main sources of weakness: weak hip flexors, weak abdominal muscles, or overstretched vertebrae. Weak hip flexors are the muscle group that runs along our inner thigh from the groin to the top of the leg. Your hips are connected to your legs through your thighs and feet; when these muscles contract, it pulls on your thighbones and causes you to stand with a neutral pelvis (that is, neither leaning forward nor backward). If they’re weak or tight, they can cause lower back pain by pulling on the lumbar spine instead of letting go at rest. Weak abdominal muscles are another common culprit. They run along either side of your torso and work together with other core muscles to stabilize you when you bend forward or sit up straight. If they’re stretched too tight or weakened by overuse or injury, they can cause lower back pain by compressing the abdomen instead of supporting it.
Weak hip flexors
Weak hip flexors are the muscle group that runs along your inner thigh from the groin to your lower back. They’re responsible for pulling your hips back toward the middle of your body when you stand, causing your pelvis to be neutral (not leaning in or out). If you have hip flexor weakness, then you may experience lower back pain because your hips are not being pulled back enough to stabilize your lower back. Find the tight spot. In order to strengthen these muscles, you need to pinpoint where they’re weak and make a concerted effort to strengthen those spots. Exercises like leg lifts, planks, and side planks are excellent for targeting weak hip flexors.
Weak abdominal muscles
Your core muscles support your spine and pelvis by holding them in place. Weak abdominal muscles are often to blame for lower back pain in the lumbar spine because they’re too weak to hold your core in place when you sit, stand, or bend forward. Supercharge your core. To supercharge your core, you need to focus on mobilizing and strengthening these muscles. Yoga and Pilates are excellent ways to mobilize and strengthen the core, while certain exercises like crunches, planks, and side planks are excellent for strengthening the core.
While it’s important to recognize those three main causes of back pain, it’s also vital to recognize that there are many other possible causes of lower back pain. Overstretched vertebrae is one of the more common causes of back pain. Specifically, your spine’s vertebrae—the parts of your spine that make up your spinal column—are supposed to be nearly the same length in every person. Because the spinal column is compressible and elastic—meaning it can change between flexibility and rigidity—it’s able to move around a bit. That’s not the case with vertebrae that have become excessively stretched or overly rigid. Over time, this can lead to lower back pain and even to the loss of mobility and strength in your lower back.
What to do if you have back pain and flexibility challenges?
First, assess your current level of flexibility. Are you able to do the basic movements of basic daily activities? If not, you’re likely limiting your range of motion with your spine and pelvic positioning, which can cause strain on your lower back. Next, work on mobility exercises like the above mentioned yoga and Pilates. These exercises help you toMobilize your joints while improving joint range of motion and strength.
When we experience back pain, it can feel frustrating because it can seem like you’re doing everything right—you’re eating right, sleeping right, taking your medicine as prescribed, you’re exercising regularly, and yet you still experience lower back pain. It can be confusing and frustrating to try to figure out what’s causing back pain. There are many possible causes of back pain, and pinpointing the exact source can be challenging. There are, however, three main sources of back pain. Weak hip flexors, weak abdominal muscles, and overstretched vertebrae can contribute to lower back pain in your lumbar spine. If you have lower back pain, assess your current level of flexibility. Are you able to do the basic movements of daily activities? If not, you’re likely limiting your range of motion with your spine and pelvic positioning, which can cause strain on your lower back. Furthermore, work on mobilizing and strengthening your core. Yoga and Pilates have been shown to improve core strength and range of motion.