We hope you're liking our lower back series thus far. We hope that in our past few posts it has helped to educate you on some differences in how pain can present. There are a few more subjects to cover, but before getting into those, a big question that gets asked in the office often is how to build lower back strength.
This of course is a difficult question to have just an immediate response for, as it depends on the individual. Is your goal to survive the rigors that a desk job can impact upon us? Are you involved in a specific sport that has certain demands? Are you a seasoned power lifter seeking that new personal best on a sumo dead lift? You can see this can be a different answer for certain people indeed!
I think most people that arrive in the office are using strength as a reference to prevention of their problem from happening again. For ourselves, this is type of strength is defined as educating your back on becoming stable. If you think about a day in terms of movement, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of small changes in position we take . If the majority of these are performed poorly, they may lead to problems down the road.
Stability can be defined as the ability to resist movement. For instance, when we lift something off the floor, is our back remaining unchanged in its position as the rest of the body moves through it to create lift?
Does your back look like a table top or a sad banana when you're attempting to lift your grocery bags off the floor of your car?
If it's bent forward, it's not stable, and is open to additional and normally unwelcome stress. The best definition of strength, therefore, lies in the ability to learn how to resist these movements. Through resistance we build durability, and durability makes our back less sensitive.
Do you think your lower back is durable? Try this quick test! Attempt to perform the bird dog as shown in the picture:
Are you able to do this without wobbling? Can you keep your back flat while performing? Do your hips shift from side to side drastically while you perform this? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may need to get on a short period of exercises to learn how to move better in your day to day activity. At our office we strive to educate people how to move with better purpose through their day. If you feel like a program like this would be helpful for you, feel free to give us a call and set up an appointment.
As always , feel free to email us at MHCWNY@gmail.com or comment with questions.