Lower back pain is one of the most common physical complaints. Sometimes it just starts aching, other times it seems you injure yourself and are left dealing with the aftermath for much longer than you would like.
In an overwhelming majority of cases, low back pain is caused by some variation of poor posture and the solution lies in locating and correcting the problem area; which, surprisingly, is not usually your actual back.
Of course, there are exceptions to this, and pain should really be assessed by someone who knows what they’re talking about. Then you can be confident you’re taking the right course of action.
Although back pain often feels like stiffness, your lower back is meant to be a pretty stable area. Excess movement is often a trigger for pain. Your lower back can start to move too much to compensate for a lack of movement elsewhere in your body; most often in the thoracic spine (your upper back) or the hips.
Stand side-on next to a mirror and try lifting your arms in front of your body. Watch your lower back and see how high you can lift your arms before your lower back has to start moving. If you can’t get your arms right up above your head before your lower back starts to move, this is a sign your lower back is compensating for a lack of mobility in your upper back.
Staying side-on to the mirror, try standing on one leg and extending your leg out behind yourself with your knee straight. Again, watch your lower back and see how far you can take your leg behind your body before your lower back starts to move. If your leg only moves a very short distance behind you before your lower back starts to arch, this is a sign your lower back is compensating for lack of mobility in your hips – and it may be different on both sides.
Mobility exercises which will help release tightness in the thoracic spine and hips are pretty easy to find online, otherwise please get in touch with me and I will happily talk through some with you. You’re going to want to plan to build some mobility exercises into your daily routine for several weeks in order to make proper headway with your back pain, but you will be surprised at the improvements you can make with just a few minutes a day.