Often overlooked, but an important step in understanding how our bodies move is the ability to dissociate between lumbar spine and hip movement. For some this comes intuitively, but for others it requires practice.
Why is it important to dissociate between lumbar spine and hip movement?
- For a healthy individual, variety of movement is important. Dissociatingbetween lumbar spine and hip movement gives us another way to move our bodies. It can break up periods of repetitive bending from your spine, which will help reduce your likelihood of injury.
- For an individual with acute low back pain it provides a safer means to continue performing everyday tasks when recovering from an injury.
Oftentimes during a spell of acute low back pain, people are encouraged to stop lifting; to stop bending; to stop slouching, yet many of our essential daily tasks require us to do some form of the above. For example, how are we to pick up our house keys after dropping them on the floor, if we are not supposed to bend?
A quick and easy exercise to practice, for those with and without low back pain, is called a ‘hip-hinge’. Take a large stick (I often use a broomstick) and place it against your back. The stick should run the length of your spine. Hold the stick to your spine with one hand behind your head and the other below your tailbone. The stick should touch your body in 3 different places: 1) your pelvis 2) between your shoulder blades, and 3) the back of your head. Feet shoulder-width apart and allow for a soft bend in your knees. Maintain the three points of contact and try bending forwards from your hips. It should feel as though you are sticking your buttocks backwards, and you may feel a stretch in the back of your thighs. If you lose any point of contact, stop and try again. Repeat this up to 10-15 repetitions, 2-3 times a day. If you’re experiencing any discomfort, stop.
If you’re struggling with low back pain and eager to learn more about it and the things you could be doing to help, contact us at (506) 738-8299 to book an assessment.
Trevor is a physiotherapist at the Human Performance Centre. You can contact him at 738-8299.