From an earlier discussion, there are alternating areas of mobility and stability within the human body; the lumbar spine prefers stability while the hips and the thoracic spine need to be mobile.
The lumbar spine requires a balance of mobility and stability. Each segment must be mobile with external stability coming from the muscles of the trunk and core. (Technically speaking the abdominals, quadratus lumborum, the erector spinae and spinalis muscles etc. Which BTW are nicely balanced in this photo)
If you have pain, you usually address it directly by grabbing, rubbing or touching it in some way. And when a doctor or therapist finds the painful spot you feel confident that they know what they are doing and on the right track to take it away. Pain symptoms can be tricky though, particularly with low back pain. Pain is our perception of something that is going wrong. The structures of the lumbar spine may be compromised in some way but they may not be the source of the pain as evident by the following studies.
The first of many studies was in 1990 by Boden et al performed an MRI scan on 67 asymptomatic people. they found 20% of these people had a disc herniation. Furthermore, in 1994 Jenson & Modic studied 98 asymptomatic people and reported 64% had an abnormal disc finding on MRI (bulging, protrusion, extrusion etc.)
OK let's return to your back pain and it's management by looking at the hip mobility.
Your hip range of motion is important for a healthy back. Particularly internal rotation. The hip needs to internally rotate with each step you take. If your leg is out straight and you log roll your leg
(and foot) inward, this is hip internal rotation.
To help strengthen the muscles that perform this motion- lie on your side with your knees bent and legs stacked on top of each other. Place a pillow/towel roll/ball between your knees. Lift your top foot up toward the ceiling- this rotates your thigh inward. Start with 2 sets of 10. Progress slowly.
If you have pain or difficulty with this exercise you may need to work on the range of movement first. Seek professional help if you are unsure. You can always get FREE advice on any matter: Contact Motion In Action LLC, at 412-344-4800, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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