Where to start for Fixing Low Back Pain
Did you know that low back injuries are the #1 injury in America? In fact Americans spend 90 billion dollars annually on back issues. Are you one of those that suffer from chronic low back pain? How do you deal with it? Do you stretch your back? Foam roll your back? How about your feet? Hips? It might surprise you to learn that the first few places we should look at when suffering from low back issues are the feet and the hips rather than the back itself.
Let's start with the feet
Your feet are the foundation for your entire body. They are connected to your legs which connect to your hips which connects to your back which connects to your neck which connects to your shoulders and head. So you can see how problems in the feet can actually in turn effect anywhere in your body. When looking at the health of the feet we talk about plantarflexion and dorsiflexion. Plantar flexion is the movement of pointing the toes downward, dorsiflexion is the movement of pointing the toes upward. To have a good range of motion for both, in particular dorsiflexion, will assist us in having a good range of motion in other areas.
Stretches for ankle mobility
1. Knee to wall mobilization
2. Plate Ankle mobilization (see above image)
3. Banded ankle mobilization
Let's move to the hips
Hips play a crucial roll in a healthy low back. When we are young, our hips have a very good range of motion. Unfortunately due to years of sitting, our ligaments have tightened and our range of motion decreases. These tightened ligaments and limited range of motion pulls on our pelvis which attaches to our spine. This can cause inflammation and pain in our low back.
Stretches to Increase hip mobility
1. Pigeon lunge (see image)
2. Crossack squat
3. Figure Four stretch
Incorporating these exercises and stretches into your daily routine can help to increase range of motion and assist in relieving low back pain. However, if you have severe low back pain you should definitely work with a specialist to help pin point the problem and deal with the pain. Finding a good chiropractor that will really work with your issues rather than bandage the pain will benefit you in the long run.