Low Back Pain Prevention

I’m going to post a few entries about low back pain in the next few weeks. I think the real key to preventing or rehabbing a low back pain sufferer has very little to do with the low back. I think the problem is most often in the hips. I always say “poor hip mobility undermines spine stability”. We know we want mobile hips and a stable spine. The video below was filmed intentionally to show how the spine can move to compensate for the hips not moving.

We could call this “poor glute function”, “poor glute activation” or use McGill’s term, gluteal amnesia. Whatever you choose to call it it’s a problem. If the glutes are not able to extend the hip the spine will move into extension. Excessive lumbar motion will cause back pain. It’s a vicious cycle that must be terminated in the hips, not at the back. Teach lumbar stability and glute function and, you are on your way to relieving lots of low back pain. For more info you can look at my Concepts in Core Training DVD or any of Stuart McGill’s products. All are available at www.performbetter.com 

4 Responses to “Low Back Pain Prevention”

  1. Good point Mike!

    I personally find that excessive lumbar spine extension is more common in women and excessive flexion is common with men.

    But I agree, lack of hip mobility is often the culprit.

  2. Nick Chertock Says:

    I’ve been waiting for someone to illustrate this, I’m certain you’re right that most low back pain can be traced to hip immobility and lack of pelvic control in general.

  3. Great stuff, as always! 🙂

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