Three Reasons for Lower Back Pain & How to Fix It

What Causes Lower Back Pain

General low back pain is usually caused by one of three reasons. The first reason is a muscle imbalance. For example, a lot of people go to the gym and they want that six pack or that flat stomach. So they do crunches or sit ups and they’re strengthening the muscles in the front of their body or core, but they’re neglecting the ones in the back. By over developing and by doing crunches, or sit ups it can lead to an imbalance, which could create low back problems. 

How Can I Prevent Lower Back Pain

To prevent this from happening make sure to incorporate exercises in the front, back, and side.  The front muscles would be the abs (rectus abdominis), the low back (quadratus lumborum)/glutes (gluteus maximus), and the side (obliques). By strengthening all of these muscles you’ll be less likely to struggle with low back pain. Four exercises that will cover all of these areas would be the Mcgil crunch, bird dog, side plank, and glute bridge (all of these can be found on our youtube channel.). 

Besides overdevelopment  and weakness, lack of flexibility is a common problem. We often sit all day long, which really causes our hip flexors to become short and tight. It also turns off our gluteals making them underactive and weak. To prevent this from happening consider getting a standing desk or a desk that allows you to go from sitting to standing. Besides helping with low back pain standing desks may be helpful with better blood sugar, heart health, and help with weight loss through greater calorie burn. 

Stretching & Trigger Pointing

While standing desks can help prevent our muscles from becoming tight – stretching and trigger pointing can help as well.  The glutes and hip flexors are the two most common problem areas when it comes to low back pain. Taking time daily to stretch the hip flexors and glutes can help immensely (check our youtube channel for more info on stretching these areas).  Stretching these areas for 30-60 seconds is often enough to lessen the pain. 

While stretching is a great idea – sometimes muscles get so bound up that stretching alone isn’t enough to help release them. In this case performing trigger pointing can help release them. This is where you take an object like a lacrosse ball or trigger point ball and you put direct pressure on the muscle. Trigger points are tender so the body will let you know where the issue is. After the trigger point is found applying direct pressure for a few minutes followed by cross friction can help. After the tissues have been released through trigger pointing it’s the best time to stretch them (again check out our youtube channel for more info).

If you would like more details and specifics on helping with back pain check out Low Back Pain Prevention and Reduction at: https://youtu.be/QWbVDovYz_w

Glen and Yvette Carrigan - Personal Trainer Leawood, KS

Glen Carrigan
Freedom 4 Life Fitness