Have you ever felt some uncomfortable pain in lower back during long term standing position (exception legs)? I am sure you know what I am talking about and your respond is something like: “Of course I felt – many times”…
Ok, nothing dangerous – everything is ok with your lower back. Mr. Lower back is just little tired of “standing” and he wants to inform you about that – he is screaming and begging for some chair (or opposite – spinal flexion relief movement).
Here is an explanation. Lower back muscles are posture muscles. That’s mean that they hold us upright (along with gluteal region, hams and other muscles…) and are non-stop active during walking, standing, running or anything in upright position.
Biomechanical advantage in that part of the body works so we can hold upright position very long time without fatigue, but many ask why we feel discomfort in lower back after a while?
Discomfort occurs simply because of natural curve in that part of the body (more curve – more included tension in muscles). That’s mean that lower back muscles must to hold upper body (along with other postural muscles) and a constant tension in them produce a cramp that starts to hurt after a while. You DON’T have a problem with lower back – you have a problem with crampy muscles and they need rest. Don’t be afraid by pushing your thoughts toward pinched nerves or something similar. Logically, if you have a lordosis (excessive anterior pelvic tilt – APT) things become even worse (worse cramp, m. shortening, pain and higher potential for intervertebral disc protrusion – and consequently pinching nerve risk). It could be a real problem!
If you try to walk around, shake legs or something similar – a problem simply doesn’t leave you… hmmm ok, let’s try to squat with heels up of course (or on your whole feets – congrats mostly on your motor control, you are a rare average human being 🙂 ). It helps definitely because the trick is in opposite movement at lower spine – flexion, which is going to stretch lower back muscles. Of course, “butt wink” (read as lumbar flexion) occurs during lower squat positions and you can feel relief immediately (if some muscle is shorted, under a tension or discomfort try to stretch or roll him in relax position – maybe it’s going to help).
Noooo, it’s not the end – the goal of this topic comes here! Of course that you will not solve a problem with squat position because you will feel pain in legs very soon. Or you MUST to see what’s happening in front of you (you have no intention to squat neither lie down on your rock star concert for sure – unless you are drunk or going to puke of course 🙂 ). Ant position is not popular nor cultural manner during important happenings. Besides, you can tear your trousers on well-known place 🙂 .
Ok blah blah, I will reveal you NOW a small trick of how to stay longer in upright position without pain in lower back. Just squeeze glutes and abs so lower ribs come down and pelvis shift to posterior pelvic tilt (lower ribs and pelvis starting to face each other). Plus slightly bend knees to make squeezing even easier. This position makes your lower back more flat (flexion movement) and therefore provides pain relief. Besides, you isometricaly train glutes and abs on that way – joke because an influence is small, I am talking about gently squeezing. An influence is maybe even good with people with a totally “glutes-abs amnesia” (they can kill two birds with one stone with this trick). With slightly bending knees you will make slight hip flexion which is good because it will be easier to make posterior pelvic tilt with less m. iliopsoas and m. rectus femoris tension (because of their slight shortening). Try to make full PPT during totally extended hips – m. iliopsoas and m. rectus femoris will not let you it so easy.
Yeah but it’s not a neutral lower spine position someone would say. Yeah I know, but it’s not dangerous because the spine is not loaded by external load. Otherwise, you need that slight lower back flexion in order to full relaxing effect (posteriorly tilting the pelvis and causing the butt to “tuck under”!
Last but not least, you can do this trick every time you feel pain by holding PPT position 1 or 2 min. (or even less – until pain expires), shift body in common mode after that and when you feel pain again – repeat the process.
You will can to stand much longer on this way so, try this simple trick next time you are in shopping mole with your wife/girlfriend 🙂 and let me know your impressions in comments section below.
Thanks for reading and all the best,