By Bronwyn Ison
Typically we attribute or blame our aching body to an injury. Have you thought you may be injuring your body due to not moving or exercising enough? Lack of mobility or working a sedentary job will make you ache. Working in the fitness industry, one of the most common complaints I hear among my students is lower back pain. Low back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, according to research published earlier this year.
Why do so many people ache in their lower back? There are a myriad of reasons why you may be uncomfortable. Recently, one of my students received the results of her MRI. She learned her pelvis is out of alignment. This happens to be one of the main culprits to lower back pain. Our pelvic girdle consists of three bones. The pelvis can easily shift depending on which muscles are weak or stiff. If your pelvis is located to the left or right, this pulls on the muscles in the low back, creating pain and stiffness.
In the yoga classes I instruct, you are sure to get a great abdominal work out. I cannot stress enough the importance of strengthening your abdominals. Weak abs muscles may be causing lower back pain. The center of your movement stems from the transverse abdominals, which are closest to the spine. Lack of strength in the transverse can also lead to debilitating injuries. Striving for strong abdominals should be a priority in every workout. Fortunately you can exercise your abdominals every day.
Sitting for long periods of time is strenuous on your back. We are built to move and not sit at a desk for hours upon hours. Unfortunately your profession may find you sedentary at a desk five days a week, eight hours a day. You feel achy in the lower back, hips, knees and perhaps your hands and wrists. If you do not like the way you feel make a point to get up throughout the day and move. Standing up and fold forward to release your hamstrings. Rotate your wrists and self massage your forearms and fingers. Drop your head from side to side and front to back to relieve neck pain. Lie down on your office floor and hug your knees to chest to relieve your back. Remember many exercises can be performed throughout the day to avoid tension, tightness and fatigue.
Another contributor to lower back pain is tightness in the hips. When your hamstrings are tight it places unnecessary pressure on the low back muscles to compensate. Hence, the low back picks up a lot of slack. This is not your back’s job, and as a result it experiences fatigue and overuse.
The solution to relieving lower back pain… get out there and move. Strengthen your body with multiple exercise disciplines. Diversifying your exercise routine will help you work different muscle groups and keep you motivated. If you don’t like the way you feel, only you are responsible for taking your health into your own hands. Now get out there and be healthy!
Bronwyn Ison is the owner of Evolve Yoga. www.e-volveyoga.com or 760.564.YOGA
50-991 Washington Street, La Quinta 92253