Back Pain Relief

2 Muscles People Who Sit Need To Strengthen

Absent of any trauma , disease, or structural abnormalities, you can bet your bottom dollar that your back pain is coming from muscular imbalances. This is where you have some weak muscles and some tight or shortened muscles that are on either side of a joint(s).

In the case of the lower back, you could have these imbalances on either side of your spinal joints or hip joints in general.

Inactivity Will Make Your Hip Muscles Weak

For most of you who are sitters for most of the day, there are a lot of areas that are affected by inactivity and what I call a static posture. In other words, you’re stuck in a chair focusing on some work that keeps you in that same chair and you only get up to go pee or some other activity that does not get your blood flowing or your muscles stretching.

This relative inactivity will eventually cause all sorts of problems. One of the bigger problems is a weakness in your hip extensor muscles. Namely the Gluteals and the Hamstrings.

These muscles lose their strength because they don’t get any action. Most of the time your glutes and hamstrings help you either straighten up from a bent position. Think picking strawberries or carrots.

Another thing that the glutes and hamstrings help you do is climb up to higher elevations like when you walk uphill or climb some stairs or a ladder.

Most of the time, getting up from your desk to go to the bathroom or vending machine does not involve straightening from a bent position or climbing stairs or a hill (that is unless you’re headed to the outhouse).

There are several back pain exercises that you can do to hit the glutes and/or the hamstrings.  Some are easier than others.

Exercises To Strengthen Your Lower Back

I have found this video of exercises for your low back. I like it because it shows you how to get both muscles groups working and getting stronger with 2 easy movements from the same position. And, while you may not be able to do it in the office, it’s easy enough to do in your living room after work while watching your favorite TV show.

Bonus! You’re not sitting down when you’re doing it.

Take a look at the video and give it a try.

Now, I will be the first to tell you that if you have a lot of back pain, trying to do the exercises in this video may not be possible. But, you can start by just working on the ball lying in a supine bridge pose. This is an excellent back pain exercise to start of with.

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Why The Psoas Muscle May Be Contributing To Your Pain

You’re probably going to get tired of me saying this, but, I want to reiterate my belief that most cases of back pain are due to muscular imbalances in the lower half of the body.

These muscular imbalances involve a tight muscle(s) on one side of a joint and a weak muscle(s) on the other side of a joint. In this blog post, we’re going to look at the Psoas Muscle.

Short Video Explains Why Sitting Can Lead To Backache

I have found a good video that I want you to watch after you’ve finished reading this short article. It’s by a chiropractor named Jose Guevara. “Dr. G” as he goes by, does a good job of walking you through a quick introduction to this particular muscle and why it can cause you some problems.

Dr. G starts out by giving you a very brief lesson in the anatomy involved with this muscle. It attaches to front of each vertebrae in the lower back.  That’s at least 5 bones. Sometimes the muscle extends up into the middle back vertebrae.

He then goes on to tell you some of the actions and motions that the muscle does. The primary thing that he mentions in this video is that the Psoas flexes the hip. That simply means that it brings your knee up toward your chest.

In an exaggerated example, if you are climbing steps or a ladder and you’re bringing your knee toward your chest then it’s primarily the Psoas that’s doing the work. But it’s at work even when you’re walking. You don’t have to be climbing.

So, when your knee is relatively close to your chest, this means the Psoas is in a shortened position. When it stays in this shortened position, like when your sitting down. It tends to stay short even when you try to stand up.

Do You Sit Down For Long Periods Of Time?

If you’re someone who sits most of the time, and have been doing so for a long time, chances are your Psoas muscles (you have one on each side of your body) are tight and contributing to your back pain.

What doctor G doesn’t go over is the opposing muscles that are weak. These are generally the gluteus maximus muscle and the hamstrings. These are the muscle groups that round out this particular muscular imbalance unit that helps to cause your lower back pain.

What Is The Psoas Muscle?

Take a look at this video. Dr. G gives you a little stretch that you can do at the end. Try it and see what you think.

This is a very good concise overview of one of the primary causes of back pain in people who have to sit long hours at a desk or in a truck.

More on what causes back pain: click here

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